May. 25, 2011
Upcoming Programs
The Gifts of the Spirit and the Power of Prayer

The Easter Season ends with the celebration of Pentecost (June 12 in 2011). This day focuses on the Holy Spirit and the Spirit's gifts in the Church. The work of the Spirit and the traditional "Gifts of the Holy Spirit" are often hard to quantify. How do I measure "wisdom" or "understanding." And, if I am asking for "courage," does that make me sound like the Cowardly Lion in the Wizard of Oz?

The Holy Spirit isn't that wizard, dispensing gifts according to some arrogant whim. Rather, the gifts of the Spirit flow lavishly in the Church. We see that at Easter time as we witness people coming into the community. At a friend's parish here in my city, over 30 people were baptized at the Easter Vigil. At my own parish, I baptized an infant on Easter Sunday. In both cases, I'm certain, there was palpable joy among those gathered at Eucharist. While I cannot measure it, I can testify to that joy! More subtle is the power of prayer.

A while back, I suggested to Judy Zarick, our "Living Faith" producer, that she interview my friend Gloria Story about her email intercessory group, the "Power of Prayer Gang." I've been getting Gloria's emailed requests for prayer for a couple of years now. Within this email circle, I've become both a petitioner and recipient of prayer; a recent fall left me on crutches for six weeks. Can I measure prayer's effects? Well, Gloria does let us know when the sick recover and those in emotional pain are comforted. But we sometimes do not hear of all the effects of our prayer. Sometimes these are hidden in the heart of God and the one who prays. In some ways, such prayer parallels our ministry of communications. I rarely know exactly who is listening to our broadcasts, or reading this newsletter or our blog.

Although Facebook and other Web services give us statistics of "page views," they cannot measure the human heart. For that, I need faith, which is in itself a gift of God. So, I keep writing, recording, praying.

May God bless all our efforts--and all of you!

Father Greg Friedman, O.F.M.
American Catholic Radio: Upcoming Episodes (#11-23 , #11-24)
Use the links below to preview the shows or download them in MP3 format for broadcast.
Highlights from this episode include:

Living Faith
Judy Zarick interviews Michael Leach, author of the book Why Stay Catholic? Michael is a cradle Catholic and former priest who left to marry. He remains Catholic because he has grown to understand that the Catholic Church brings him love, joy peace, gratitude, kindness and goodness. Michael Leach shines a light on the "good stuff" in Catholicism.

Ask a Franciscan
Franciscan Father Hilarion Kistner answers five scriptural questions: 1) Why does Jesus say that he has come to bring division, not peace? 2) Are angels sent to those who are saved or to those who expect to be saved? 3) Why isn't John the Baptist considered the first martyr? 4) What does the Catholic Church teach about having women in authority? and 5) In the Lord's Prayer, why do some Bibles say "debts/debtors" and others say "trespasses"?

Marriage Moment
Susan Hines-Brigger, assistant managing editor of St. Anthony Messenger, offers her commentary on "Bridging the Digital Divide."

Exploring Our Faith
At Easter, new Christians begin to receive and live the sacraments of the Church. Judith Dunlap has over 30 years’ experience in parish ministry and throughout the country gives workshops in faith formation of adults and children. Her most recent book is Bringing Home the Gospel: The Year of Matthew: a Weekly Journal for Catholic Parents, from St. Anthony Messenger Press. Judith speaks about the new connections we make through the sacraments of the Church.

Minute Meditations
Barbara Beckwith reads from her book, Joan of Arc: God’s Warrior, published by St. Anthony Messenger Press.
Highlights from this episode include:

Living Faith
Judy Zarick interviews Gloria Story from Ohio. Gloria organized at her parish an email prayer chain called the "Power of Prayer Gang." Her "prayer warriors" are now all across the country--from Florida to Oregon and everywhere in between.

Ask a Franciscan
Franciscan Father Greg Friedman answers two pastoral questions: 1) Is a Catholic who leaves the faith considered a heretic? and 2) What does the Church say about the circumcision of infants?

Marriage Moment
Susan Hines-Brigger, assistant managing editor of St. Anthony Messenger, offers a commentary entitled "Celebrate Your Marriage."

Exploring Our Faith
John’s guest is Doctor Robert Wicks, professor of pastoral counseling at Maryland’s Loyola University. In his clinical practice, Wicks focuses on working with psychotherapists, physicians, nurses, educators, relief workers and persons in full-time ministry. He has written more than 20 books, most recently, Prayerfulness: Awakening the Fullness of Life (2009, Sorin Books), and Bounce: Living the Resilient Life (2009, Oxford University Press). Wicks reflects on the power of prayer.

Minute Meditations
Barbara Beckwith reads from Enkindled: Holy Spirit, Holy Gifts, by Albert Haase, O.F.M. and Bridget Haase, O.S.U., published by St. Anthony Messenger Press.
 
 
Franciscan Radio
Link to audio features Saint of the Day, Sunday Soundbites, and American Catholic Radio.
American Catholic Radio
A weekly half-hour catechetical program, in the popular style of the Franciscans.
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