Archive for the ‘Current Event’ Category

The Faith Playbook

Wednesday, November 26th, 2014

The faith playbook is an aid to help us grow in our Catholic faith using football as our guide. The series is a way to help us understand why we practice certain virtues and disciplines in the first place using the same virtues and disciplines that relate to football.

Fr. John Paul Gives Recollection & Blessing to Birmingham Pregnancy Center

Monday, November 3rd, 2014

Birmingham, AL – Father John Paul gave a Recollection to the staff and volunteers at Her Choice Birmingham Woman’s Center.  It is a Pro-Life Pregnancy resource center than provides counseling, ultrasound testing, post-abortive healing counseling and many other services.  They are on the front lines of the Pro-Life movement right in the city of Birmingham.  The pictures are of Father John Paul going around the Her Choice center and doing a Eucharistic blessing.  It was powerful to bring the Lord’s Real Presence in the midst of a place that is ushering in a culture of Life and Love!

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Friars Welcome New Postulant!

Thursday, October 9th, 2014

Please join the Friars in welcoming a new man to share our way of life: Clark, age 25, from Brooks, Alberta (Canada). Clark graduated from the University of Saskatchewan and spent time as a missionary throughout Canada. He has a passion for sharing God’s voice of beauty through modern technology.

On Monday, October 6, the Friars officially welcomed Clark as their new postulant after a brief ceremony in the EWTN Chapel. The ceremony, following Vespers, began with a few prayers and responses. After, Fr. Anthony Mary placed the San Damiano Cross over Clark. He was them welcomed by his new Franciscan brothers.

Postulancy is that period of time set aside as the “first step” in Religious Life. As a man makes the move from living in the world to living his life more perfectly for God, this first year of formation is ultimately focused on helping him better understand and listen more attentively to the call of Jesus in his life: “Come, follow me.” In addition to living our daily schedule by praying, working and recreating side-by-side with the friars, Clark will take part in formation classes which instruct him in the spirituality of St. Francis of Assisi and the charism of Mother Angelica, and familiarize him with the mission of our apostolate here at EWTN and with the Poor Clares of Perpetual Adoration. He will also spend time each day focusing on the basic elements of the spiritual life, the fundamentals of the Catholic Faith and the disciplines of Religious Life in general. Please remember Clark in your prayers.

EWTN Radio Conference

Wednesday, October 8th, 2014

Mother Angelica said on one of her classic EWTN Live talks “God needs every means of communication so that the eternal word can get to every man, woman, and child.” On October 1st through the 3rd, the Friars attended the 2014 EWTN Radio Conference that was held at the Wynfrey Hotel in Hoover Alabama.

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The conference began as the EWTN Radio affiliates spent a day retreat at the Shrine of the Most Blessed Sacrament as Bishop Baker of the Diocese of Birmingham welcomed all that attended. The retreat was followed with tours through the EWTN network and also an attendance for EWTN Live where Fr. Mitch Pawca interviewed Dave Vacheresse who is the General Manager for the global EWTN Radio and Archbishop Wenski of Miami.

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Archbishop Wenski was a keynote speaker at the event along side Steve Gajdosik, the President of Catholic Radio Association, Kate Sell, Founder of KLS Strategies and Sherry Brownrigg, the President of the Kennedy Brownrigg Group. The event was followed up by an appreciation banquet for all who attended.


Br. Leo, Br. James, Br. Gabriel, and our Postulants Clark Jaman attended the event. Br. James coordinated the liturgical functions and decorations for the Masses held at the Hotel.

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Mother Angelica also said on her classic EWTN Live show: “Don’t forget to pray to the poor souls…they’ll get you a radio station.

The Transitus of St. Francis of Assisi

Monday, October 6th, 2014

On the solemn eve of the Feast day of St. Francis of Assisi, Franciscan friars all around the world and in every order commemorate the transitus of St. Francis. The transitus is St. Francis’s passing from this life into heaven. The Friars of the eternal word gathered at the Our Lady of the Angels chapel in prayer and devotions as the night began. The event consisted of Br. Gabriel reading from the life of St. Francis according to St. Bonaventure over the death of St. Francis.


Our life is a pilgrimage and a journey towards God and St. Francis of Assisi lived this out to the fullest by his imitation of simplicity and poverty, chastity and obedience and above all charity to be all things in Christ.


Surely he was the most Christ-like of men!! His only desire was to be like Christ and imitate him perfectly, and he was found worthy to be adorned with the marks of his likeness; in his life he imitated the lie of Christ and his death he imitated his death, and he wished to be like him still when he was dead.” (The Life of St. Francis, Bonaventure, Omnibus p. 739-740

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The event also consisted of benediction and a blessing from a first class relic of St. Francis and a closing hymn written by St. Francis call “All creature of our God and King.” St. Francis of Assisi, Pray for us!!!

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Friars Attend XLT: Birmingham

Tuesday, August 26th, 2014

Homewood, AL – On Sunday night (August 24) Fr. Mark, Fr. John Paul, Fr. Paschal, Brs. James and John Therese attended XLT: Birmimgham, a night of worship, speakers, and adoration hosted by nearby Our Lady of Sorrows Catholic Church in Homewood, AL. Youth leaders and members, both teens and adults of St. Peters Catholic Church in Hoover and Our Lady of Sorrows came together for the two-hour event.

Greg and Lizzy Boudreaux  lead the event in prayer, music and a spiritual talk on the topic “love begs a response.” Both Greg and Lizzy where guests on “Life on the Rock” this past year. The night was filled with many confessions, as six priests during the event were available to hear confessions including our own friar priests. Monsignor Muller led the youth in Eucharistic Adoration, meditations, and Benediction.




MFVA Friars at EWTN Family Celebration

Tuesday, August 26th, 2014

On the weekend of August 16th and 17th, the Friars attended the 2014 EWTN Family Celebration in Birmingham Alabama. The event was filled as families from all across the nation came to meet and greet the employees, show hosts, and religious of EWTN.

The events keynote speakers included Fr. Robert Barron, Fr. Timothy Gallagher O.M.V, Fr. Larry Richards, and Joanne Bogle who all have appeared on the EWTN. As Fr. Leonard Revilla said in his homily on Saturday “this is our chance to meet you as the viewer.” The EWTN Family celebration is always an exciting time as we get to grow in our faith and grow as an EWTN family.

The friars were busy with several assignments. The friar priests heard many confessions during the event and also had the opportunity to meet and greet those who traveled great distances. The priests also participated in radio interviews and a live taping events. Br. James and Br. Tarcisius worked diligently in organizing the vestry, sacristy, and liturgical functions during the event. The brothers helped serve the Mass  and also helped organize the confession lines. Br. John Therese worked in the EWTN Kid’s Faith Factory area.

Fr. Anthony, Fr. Joseph, participated in a “Family Talk” live taping with Michael Warsaw. The friars also had Mass for the employees, and Evening prayer and Benediction. Throughout the days the Friars also participated in Eucharistic Adoration.


From Conversion to Perpetual Profession: Br. Matthew

Monday, August 18th, 2014

In the presence of the Bishop of Birmingham, the Franciscan Missionaries of the Eternal Word, his family and friends, and with thousands of EWTN viewers watching, Br. Matthew Mary of the Exaltation of the Cross, reverently and sincerely professed perpetual vows on Monday August 11, 2014.

Perpetual professions are always celebrated with much praise and thanksgiving to God.   It is blessed occasion for a man to vow to live in poverty, chastity and obedience in accordance of the Rule St. Francis of Assisi for the rest of his life.   In other words, the Friar vows to live radically and literally like Jesus Christ as taught by his Holy Father St. Francis of Assisi.  Br. Matthew wholeheartedly embraced this way of life as he professed perpetual vows.  However, there was a time when he knew very little about consecrated life and about the Catholic faith.

As a child living in Wilmington, Delaware, Jason (Br. Matthew) learned about the Christian faith from his parents.  They taught him and his siblings how to pray, introduced them to Bible stories, and instructed them in morals and virtues.  Holidays such as Christmas and Easter were celebrated joyfully and festively in the home but rarely did these celebrations begin with church services.   Though his family called themselves Christians, they did not belong to a denomination or church community.  In fact Jason and his siblings were not baptized.

In his youth religion was not among Jason’s favorite interests.  “At times, my father would discuss certain accounts or readings from scripture with me and I would ask him questions… The fact that I never went as far as to do my own research shows that my interest level was not that high; at least not as high as my interest in video games,” said Br. Matthew.

Nonetheless, he had an interest in learning and excelled in academics.  While in the sixth grade a teacher recognized his potential and gave him the inspiration to excel.  “My performance at school greatly improved in sixth grade thanks to the kindness and loving support of my teacher Mrs. Hughes,” said Brother.  This influence remains with him today and has resulted in above average academic performances in college and at the seminary.   “She helped me to accomplish more than I ever thought I could…  Beginning in sixth grade, my performance improved to above average.  I indeed owe her a huge debt of gratitude.”

Jason also excelled and continues to excel in music.  In high school he played the alto saxophone in concert band and tuba or saxophone in marching band.  He was awarded, the “Unsung Hero” award, one of the marching bands highest honors for work ethic and performance.  “I had no expectation of winning that award whatsoever.  The most impressive part is that the classmates themselves had chosen the recipient of the award, which deeply moved me,” he said.

After graduating in 1999, as member of the National Honors Society, he continued working part-time at Burger King.  In the fall he began working full-time at Neurology Associates while attending part-time classes at Delaware Technical and Community College (DTCC).   Four years later was hired by Delaware Curative Workshop.  He graduated from DTCC summa cum laude in May 2007.

He had many academic and employment achievements but nothing can compare to the gift he received on April 19, 2003.

During the Lenten season of 2002, Sue, a friend of Jason’s mother Beverly, informed her about the RCIA program at Immaculate Heart of Mary Parish.  She then shared this information with her family.  “When my mother told me about RCIA, I was very excited to give it a try,” said Brother.  About 5 months later, he and his siblings began RCIA and all were baptized and received into the Catholic Church on April 19, 2003.  His newfound faith suddenly became the center of his life.

“I had loved learning about the faith in RCIA and afterwards I continued my faith formation by reading books and watching EWTN.”

Jason still struggled with understanding Church teachings and questioned miracles and God’s presence in history.  He eventually found answers through prayer and research.  “Only after much time in prayer, reflection, reading, and learning did I come to realize that God is really and truly active all throughout history and especially in the present.  This realization further deepened my relationship with God.  At this time I was still trying to figure out what I should be doing with my life” he related.

While he attended a Sunday Mass in 2004, one of the general intercessions was for more laborers to be sent out into the harvest.  This was a prayer for an increase in vocations.  “When I heard this I thought to myself, ‘Maybe this is what God wants me to do.”  After this, he did not think about a vocation again until February 2005 when he met with the vocation director for the Diocese of Wilmington.  “Since I was basically ignorant when it came to a vocation to the priesthood or religious life, he gave me some explanation of the difference between religious life and the diocesan priesthood.  I felt more inclined towards the religious life,” he said.

During his discernment Jason, visited two religious communities, the Capuchins and the Franciscan Missionaries of the Eternal Word.  After visiting with the MFVA’s twice in 2007, he joined them in September of the same year.   On August 8, 2008 he entered novitiate and was given the name Brother Matthew Mary of the Exaltation of the Cross.  A year later he made his first profession of vows and started studying philosophy at the St. Joseph House of Studies.  In the fall of 2011, he began a pre-theology degree completion program at Mount St. Mary’s Seminary and University.  Brother received his undergraduate degree with summa cum laude honors in May 2013.

Br. Matthew did a pastoral year during the 2013/ 2014 academic year.  Throughout this time, he served as a bookkeeper, mentored his fellow temporary professed brothers, completed a community hymnal, worked in the EWTN studio, and occasionally cantered at the TV Mass and accompanied MFVA priests on parish assignments.  He will soon return to Mount St. Mary’s Seminary to begin studying theology.


Annual Blessing of EWTN’s Facilities & Campus

Thursday, August 14th, 2014

Mother Angelica started broadcasting EWTN from our Irondale, Ala. headquarters on August 15, 1981 — the Feast of the Assumption. Every year since then, the Friars have processed the Blessed Sacrament in and around the campus buildings asking Our Lord to continue to bless the Network and all who so generously support it. Frs. Leonard and John Paul conducted the Eucharistic blessing of the facilities as president of EWTN Michael Warsaw and the vice-presidents followed behind singing hymns and praying various litanies.

Fr. Leonard was recently appointed as the new EWTN Employee Chaplain and Fr. John Paul was appointed as Assistant Employee Chaplain.  Together they will be responsible for the pastoral care of the EWTN employee family.  Fr. Joseph, the former EWTN Chaplain, has been asked to take on the responsibilities of Shrine Administrator at the Shrine of the Most Blessed Sacrament in Hanceville, AL.  He will continue to serve the Network on a regular basis through his on-air work including his new television series, Church Universal, debuting at the end of August.







MFVA Summer Update

Friday, August 8th, 2014

IRONDALE, AL – It has been a fast few weeks here with the Franciscan Missionaries of the Eternal Word. Just to recap a few events lately and to let you know what is going to happen in the weeks to come:

JULY 26: Fr. Miguel who was the administrator up at the Shrine of the Most Blessed Sacrament for several years has moved back down to the Network. Fr. Joseph will be taking his place up at the Shrine.

AUGUST 2: It was an eventful day as three of the brothers, Br. Paul, Br. James, and Br. John Therese renewed their vows. Paul Rahn our former postulant, now Br. Gabriel Mary was invested with the Franciscan Habit and was received into the Novitiate. He will be under the direction of Fr. Miguel.

AUGUST 4: Fr. Leonard came back to the friary after being away this summer in San Antonio Texas for an intensive Spanish course and Derwent, Canada to chaplain a summer film program. Also, Br. James and Br. John Therese started school again. They will continue to study philosophy with Dr. Richard Geraghty.

AUGUST 8:  Br. Bernard will be celebrating his birthday along with Fr. Dominic celebrating his feast day.

AUGUST 11:  On the feast day of St. Clare of Assisi, Br. Matthew will be professing his solemn vows.

AUGUST 14 – 15: The Friars will be participating in the EWTN Facilities Blessing. Also, Br. Matthew and Paul will be heading up to Mt. Saint Mary’s Seminary.

AUGUST 16 -17: We will be participating in the EWTN Family Celebration. Fr. Patrick and Br. Tarcisius will be heading back to the Mt. Saint Mary’s after the EWTN Family Celebration.  Fr. Dominic will be heading back to Rome to work on his doctoral dissertation for Canon Law.