Never Underestimate the Power of Our Lady Over Evil

Never Underestimate the Power of Our Lady Over Evil

Photo by Jomarc Nicolai Cala on Unsplash

Written by Bishop Edward M. Rice

David Carollo, Executive Director of the World Apostolate of Fatima USA, recorded an increase in rosary sales since The Atlantic magazine published an article in August that attempted to link the rosary to violent, right-wing extremism in the United States. After a frenzy of grave concern of what many considered anti-Catholic sentiment, the magazine changed its headline from “How the Rosary Became an Extremist Symbol” to “How Extremist Gun Culture is Trying to Co-Op the Rosary.”

The article said, “These armed radical traditionalists have taken up a spiritual notion that the rosary can be a weapon in the fight against evil and turned it into something dangerously literal.” Well, I don’t know about that. I do know that I’ve been carrying and praying the rosary since seventh grade. Does that make me a threat to others? (more…)

Is God your Source or just a Resource?

Is God your Source or just a Resource?

Twenty-sixth Sunday in Ordinary Time

The readings from this reflection: Am 6:1a, 4-7; Ps 146:7, 8-10; 1Tm 6:11-16; Lk 16:19-31

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The emphasis of riches and wealth in the Gospel account of Luke is overwhelmingly obvious to any reader of the Gospel. As in previous Sundays in this liturgical cycle, Jesus invites three groups of persons to be aware of the blessings that riches or wealth provide but also reminds that whatever riches or gifts we possess, each has its source in God. The three groups highlighted in the Gospel according to Luke are the disciples of Jesus, the Pharisees, and the crowds that followed Jesus with no specific desire of committing themselves to the Gospel proclaimed. To paraphrase the words of a little-known writer, Tony Evans, our only source is God, and the riches we have and the gifts we possess are all resources that flow from that one source. Recognizing this will help us appreciate their value in our lives as we seek to be stewards of these blessings from God.

Our Gospel passage this weekend highlights this fact in a vivid way and how we need to be aware of this, especially in our relationship with our brothers and sisters. The parable points out two principal characters both described in an interesting way in our Scriptural translation. First, there is “a rich man who dressed in purple garments and fine linen and dined sumptuously each day.” Jesus does not give a name to this rich man, but rather describes him by his lifestyle and actions. However, the second character in the story is given a name, Lazarus, which means: God is my helper. But, he is also described according to his situation: “a poor man named Lazarus, covered with sores, who would gladly have eaten his fill of the scraps that fell from the rich man’s table.” The interesting detail we immediately see here is that both are described in relationship within the situation of another.

Is God your Source or just a Resource?

The Eucharistic Miracle of Santarém

During the national three-year Eucharistic Revival, The Very Rev. Shoby Chettiyath, V.G., the diocesan Vicar General, will write a series of articles exploring the various Eucharistic Miracles of the World. A companion for readers in this series is, “The Eucharistic Miracles of the World,” an international exhibition designed and created by Blessed Carlo Acutis, the Servant of God. All rights reserved; used with permission. More information may be found at

This most important Eucharistic Miracle we highlight in this article took place on Feb. 16, 1266, in the city of Santarem, of the District of Fatima in Portugal. The fact remains that the consecrated host has been preserved for more than 750 years, intact and drenched in Blood, in the church of St. Stephen of the Holy Miracle. The most ancient documents describe how the miracle happened: A young wife suffering from the infidelity of her husband in the sacrament of marriage, consulted a sorceress to regain his faithfulness and save her marriage. The Sorceress told her to go to the church and steal a “consecrated Host” to use for sorcery. The desperate woman went to the Church of St. Stephen to attend the Mass and after receiving Holy Communion, took it out of her mouth and wrapped it in a veil that immediately became stained with Blood. The unfortunate woman, overcome with fear and confusion, rushed home and locked the miraculous Host in a trunk. In the middle of the night, a bright light coming from the trunk woke the wife and the unfaithful husband. When she explained to him what she had done, the couple knelt in front of the trunk and repented. In the early morning, the parish priest was informed of the event and came to the couple’s house to take the Host and carry it back to St. Stephen’s Church in a solemn procession, followed by a crowd of religious and faithful. The Host continued to bleed for three more days. Then later the priest kept the Host in a wax pyx at the church and soon word spread, bringing many to visit the church to witness. In 1340, when a priest opened the tabernacle, he found the wax pyx was broken into many pieces: in its place was a crystal vase containing the Blood mixed with the wax. The Sacred Host is now preserved in an 18th century Eucharistic throne above the main altar. “Throughout the centuries, on various occasions the Host gave new emissions of Blood, and in some cases various images of Our Lord were seen in the Holy Eucharist. Among the witnesses of this prodigy is St. Francis Xavier, the apostle of the Indies, who visited the shrine before going on the missions. Every year since the miracle occurred, on the second Sunday of April, the precious relic is processed from the home of the couple to the Church of St. Stephen. The couple’s home became a chapel in the year 1684.” Numerous studies and canonical analyses were carried out on the relics. The Host changed into bleeding Flesh and Blood flowed out of the Blessed Sacrament. Both relics are preserved to this day in the Church of St. Stephen in Santarém. Some Popes granted plenary indulgences to this Eucharistic miracle: Pius IV, St. Pius V, Pius VI, and Pope Gregory XIV. Still today, it is possible to admire these precious relics in the Church of St. Stephen of Santarém. ©TM

The Very Rev. Shoby Chettiyath, V.G., serves as Vicar General, Moderator of the Curia, and Vicar for Religious in the Diocese of Springfield-Cape Girardeau. He is Parochial Administrator of St. Francis of Assisi Parish, in Nixa, MO.

Three New Seminarians for the Diocese

Three New Seminarians for the Diocese

COME, AND YOU WILL SEE written by Bishop Edward M. Rice

In my last column, I shared my thoughts on the importance of Catholic identity and the integrity of life required of a teacher in our Catholic schools. Notice that I didn’t say, “Catholic teachers,” but teachers in our Catholic schools. The reality is that we do partner with non-Catholics in the faith formation and education of the students in our schools. How can that be? First, by the integrity of their lives, as with a Catholic teacher, they strive in their moral and civic life to be intentional disciples of Jesus. Then, by a spirit of openness—i.e., not being an obstacle to what the Catholic school is trying to accomplish—forming our students as intentional disciples of Jesus in our Catholic faith.

In this column, I would like to highlight and offer my profound thanks to the many volunteers that serve their parish as PSR directors, catechetical leaders, catechists, youth directors, RCIA leaders and catechists. I hope each of you is recognized on the local level on Catechetical Sunday, which is celebrated Sept. 18 this year! If you think passing on the faith is difficult, try passing on the faith when you have one shot every week in a PSR program! Many who volunteer as catechists and directors of parish programs are just that: volunteers. For all that you do—I thank you!


Whether you are a teacher in a Catholic school or teaching in one of the PSR programs, or simply have the desire to grow in your faith, I hope everyone knows the many resources that are available to them through the Online Catechetical Institute from Franciscan University. All these courses are FREE of charge, thanks to the generosity of the Missouri Knights of Columbus. Franciscan University is constantly putting out new programs to help in the faith formation of our young people and adults. More information, including how to register, can be found on p. 14 of this issue of The Mirror! And let us not forget the three-year Eucharistic Revival that we have entered into. The USCCB Website has many resources as well. And, a good number of our parishes participate in “Formed,” a Catholic App that focuses on Catholic movies for all ages, Bible study, and sacramental prep materials. I constantly tell all of our teachers, principals, catechetical directors, and youth ministers that they share in my work in forming people in the faith. And that is the way it should be. That’s the role of the laity. Hopefully, our priests are nurturing our people who in turn, nurture the faith in others. And when that happens, as it does here in southern Missouri, the faith grows. I’m not naïve and I know we have our challenges, and the greatest challenge is to move forward in faith. Thanks for all you do.


I am so pleased that we have three new candidates that have entered into formation and formal discernment for the priesthood, God willing. One of the young men, Jesse Thompson, from St. Cecilia Parish, Kennett, MO, is in formation as he finishes his degree at Franciscan University, Steubenville, OH. The other two men are both from St. Elizabeth Ann Seton Parish, Springfield. Trey Ringgold is in an internship at St. Vincent de Paul, Cape Girardeau, while Wyatt McFall is in Conception Seminary, Conception, MO. These three men, along with the three returning seminarians, bring us up to six total seminarians for the Diocese of Springfield-Cape Girardeau, which is just under 25% of our goal of having 25 seminarians by the year 2025.

I am encouraged by the enthusiasm of our vocation promoters throughout southern Missouri, from Joplin to Cape Girardeau. They will be a blessing to Fr. Scott Sunnenberg, our diocesan Director of Vocations & Seminarians, as he continues to work with young men discerning God’s will in their lives. The three-year Eucharistic Revival should also result in a revival of vocations.

Some important dates to remember:

Fri., Sept. 9, is International “Buy a Priest a Beer Day”

Wed., Sept. 14, Project Andrew Dinner, Immaculate Conception Parish, Springfield, 6:30 p.m.

Sun., Sept. 25, Priesthood Sunday, nation-wide event coordinated and sponsored by the US Council of Serra International

Tue., Sept. 27, Project Andrew Dinner, St. Peter the Apostle Parish, Joplin, 6:30 p.m.

Sun., Oct. 9, Deacon Sunday

Nov. 6-Nov. 12, National Vocations Awareness Week

Sun., Nov. 6, Project Andrew Dinner, St. John Vianney Parish, Mountain View, 4:30 p.m.

Sun., Nov. 7, Project Andrew Dinner, time & location TBD

Nov. 12-14, 2022, Fall “Encounter with God’s Call,” visit to Conception Seminary, Conception, MO

Feb. 4-5, World Day of Prayer for Consecrated Life is Feb. 2, 2023 (celebrated in parishes Feb. 4-5)

Let us continue to pray for the renewal of marriage and family life as well as for vocations to the priesthood and life as a consecrated religious.

Is God your Source or just a Resource?

Christ Jesus came into the world to save sinners


The readings from this reflection: Ex 32:7-11, 13-14; Ps 51:3-4, 12-13, 17, 19; 1Timothy 1:12-17; Lk 15:1-32


If we are looking for a theme that runs throughout the readings on this Sunday, we can find it proclaimed in the Alleluia verse taken from 2 Corinthians 5:19. In all of the Scripture passages on this day, we see so clearly that “God was reconciling the world to himself in Christ and entrusting to us the message of reconciliation.”

In the first reading, as Moses was leading the people of Israel away from Egypt, they so quickly lost sight of the power of God who had set them free. They began to worship a calf, calling an idol their “God.” The one, true God tells Moses, “Let me alone, then, that my wrath may blaze up against them to consume them.”