Posts by: Stephanie

Father Robert Barron appointed auxiliary bishop of Los Angeles

Father Robert Barron appointed auxiliary bishop of Los Angeles

Wonderful news from the Vatican today, as Pope Francis named three new auxiliary bishops for the Archdiocese of Los Angeles, including Father Robert Barron. Father Barron is the founder of Word on Fire ministries and the creator of the acclaimed CATHOLICISM film series. He is a pioneer in the New Evangelization, with more than 13 million views of his regular Youtube videos, and next to Pope Francis he is the most followed Catholic leader on social media.

Below is Bishop-elect Barron’s statement on his new appointment:

It was with enormous surprise that I received word of my appointment as auxiliary bishop of Los Angeles, but it is with a humble and joyful heart that I accept it. The Church of Los Angeles—the most populous in the United States—is energetic, diverse, and creative. Over the years, I’ve visited many times, including multiple trips to the Los Angeles Religious Education Congress in Anaheim; most recently, I was in the Archdiocese for a lecture at Thomas Aquinas College. So though I can’t claim to know it well, I have been able to taste and see some of its richness.

The late Francis Cardinal George—the spiritual grandfather of Word on Fire—was a mentor and friend to me. The mission closest to his heart was the evangelization of the culture, bringing Christ to the arenas of media, politics, law, education, the arts, etc. I can’t think of a more exciting field for this sort of work than Los Angeles, which is certainly one of the great cultural centers of our time.

Many might be wondering what this means for the important work of Word on Fire. The short answer is that it will certainly continue! Through the ministrations of Fr. Steve Grunow and his extremely gifted staff, we will keep bringing you my regular articles, sermons, videos, and media resources.

We have so many projects in the works, including our new film and study program on God and atheism, titled The Mystery of God, and our beautiful new documentary series CATHOLICISM: The Pivotal Players. Those projects will continue as planned with more to come in the future.

I am grateful to all of you who follow and support Word on Fire, using our content to form yourselves and share the Catholic Faith. I thank God each and every day for you.

It is a blessing for me to work with you to introduce people to Jesus Christ and invite them to share all the gifts he wants his people to enjoy.

Please pray for me as I begin this new adventure under the Lord’s providence.

– Bishop-Elect Robert Barron

Read more on Bishop-elect Barron and his new appointment at The Tidings.

What To Do When Your Children Leave the Church

What To Do When Your Children Leave the Church

According to Georgetown University’s Center for Applied Research in the Apostolate,  there are 32 million people in the United States who were raised in the Catholic Faith but no longer identify as Catholic. That’s 10% of the entire U.S. population. Naturally, when children leave the Church it is a heartache for the parents, and many wonder what they should or shouldn’t do. Below are a few dos and don’ts to help you if your child has left the Church:

Don’t feel guilty: There is nothing to gain by combing through the past and thinking of things you could have done differently. Even if you did everything “right,” your children are unique people who will make their own decisions. Their decisions may cause you anguish, but avoid blaming yourself. Focusing too much on the past and things outside your control can take away from the present, where you do have some control and responsibility.

Pray: For your children and for yourself. Pray for your children to return to the Church and continue their relationship with Christ. Pray for the Holy Spirit to work on their hearts. Pray that you may avoid feelings of anger and despair. Pray for God’s grace that you may be a witness of a holy, joyful, merciful, and loving life in Christ.

Be open to dialogue: Faith is a gift from God, and doubt and searching can be an important part of the journey of faith. Listen to your child’s questions or concerns and try to see things from their perspective. Often listening and simply sharing your point of view can be more beneficial than aggressive evangelism. Being open to dialogue doesn’t mean you agree with your child, but that you want to maintain a relationship with them even if you no longer share the same beliefs.

Choose to have a relationship: It can be tempting in your emotional anguish to say or imply that if your child leaves the Church, it will forever damage your relationship. Though your children’s choices may cause you sadness and disappointment, always continue to work on your relationship. Love them and let them know that they are loved.  Break down any barriers of resentment or anger by reaching out in love. If certain topics cause serious disagreement, avoid that subject rather than forcing them to defend their position.

Never lose hope: Do not lose hope that your child will return to the faith. A good example of this unfailing hope is St. Monica, who prayed for her son’s conversion for 30 years without any sign of results. Her son, St. Augustine, eventually converted and went on to become a great saint and Doctor of the Church. Trust and hope that God is watching over your children and that they will someday return to Him and His Church.


4 Ways You Can Fight Planned Parenthood

4 Ways You Can Fight Planned Parenthood

Yesterday’s release of an undercover video revealed that Planned Parenthood, America’s largest abortion provider, harvests and accepts money for the body parts of the babies they abort. The video also showed Dr. Deborah Nucatola, Planned Parenthood’s senior director of medical services, explaining that they will alter the abortion procedure in order acquire certain body parts that are in demand.

If you are disturbed by the practices of Planned Parenthood and want to know what you can do to fight against them, here are some ways you can make a difference:

1. Prayerful Witness: Many local pro-life groups gather outside of Planned Parenthood facilities to peacefully pray for an end to abortion. They pray for the women seeking abortions, for the clinic workers, and for the unborn whose lives are ended through abortion. The national campaign 40 Days for Life involves prayer vigils outside of Planned Parenthood facilities 24 hours a day for 40 days. Since 2007, more than 10,000 babies have been saved from their scheduled abortion. The next 40 Days for Life campaign is September 23 to November 1. Find a campaign near you and learn how you can get involved.

2. Contact your Representatives: Planned Parenthood receives more than $500 million of federal funding each year. Contact your representatives and let them know that you do not want your tax dollars to fund America’s largest abortion provider.

3. Support Crisis Pregnancy Centers & Maternity Homes: Many of the women who seek abortions from Planned Parenthood feel like they have no other option. Crisis pregnancy centers offer free ultrasounds, counseling, prenatal supplies, baby clothing, and baby supplies to help women in crisis pregnancies see that they do have options. Additionally, maternity homes offer pregnant women housing, counseling, childbirth and parenting classes, adoption assistance, and spiritual support during and after pregnancy. Offer women an alternative to Planned Parenthood by supporting your local pregnancy centers and maternity homes.

4. Help Planned Parenthood Workers Leave the Abortion Industry: Former Planned Parenthood director, Abby Johnson, started a non-profit to help abortion clinic workers leave the abortion industry. The organization, And Then There Were Noneseeks to end abortion from the inside out, by offering financial, legal, professional, emotional, and spiritual support to clinic workers who wish to leave the industry and heal from their experiences. Their work and the testimony of these former workers has caused abortion clinics to shut down permanently. Learn how you can join in the mission of And Then There Were None.

For more on how to get involved in the pro-life movement visit the National Right to Life Committee web site.

(Image credit: Personhood USA)