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Today’s program will certainly have its own unique “flavor.” Get ready for an amazing blessing and incredible teaching from Fr. Augustine Puchner. He is a Norbertine priest, and pastor at St. John the Baptist Church in Costa Mesa, CA.

What is so unique about today’s podcast is the intimacy of the setting. This audio was taken directly from an online conference recently put together by Deacon Steve Greco and the Spirit-Filled Hearts Ministry (based in Irvine, CA).

Fr. Augustine is speaking on behalf of Deacon Steve’s powerful new book, “Be Not Afraid;” as drills down deep on the topic of ‘examination of conscience..’






Originally broadcast on 8/23/20


Each week, we bring you compelling conversation with church leaders and laity. Our host and primary speaker is Rick Howick.

Today’s guest is Deacon Steve Greco, the host of the weekly radio show EMPOWERED BY THE SPIRIT, heard on Sundays at 12 noon on Relevant Radio. He’s also the founder and president of Spirit-Filled Hearts Ministry.

Deacon Steve has just written a very timely book for these times. It’s called “Be Not Afraid.”

Give us a listen and spread the word!





Originally broadcast on 7/18/20


Today’s podcast is an important and timely edition of Empowered by the Spirit, as Deacon Steve Greco welcomes two very enthusiastic guests to the studio (Katie Hughes and Martha Garduno).

Our topic of discussion is primarily about Deacon Steve’s brand new book which is hot-off-the-press and so needed for today. It’s called “Be Not Afraid,” which encourages all of us to turn to our faith amidst the pandemic and all the challenges we currently face.

Listen in.. and you’ll surely glean some wonderful insights and encouragement!






Originally broadcast on 7/12/2020



Deacon  Steve Grecoassigned to St. Elizabeth Ann Seton Church in Irvine, is a retired pharmaceutical industry executive who was ordained to the diaconate in 2007.  In 2014, he founded Spirit Filled Hearts Ministry (, which is engaged in evangelism and the growing in the Christian faith in the Diocese of Orange and beyond. 

In 2020, he authored and has released two books, Be Not Afraid, which encourages the reader to turn to faith in the midst of the pandemic and current challenges, and Miracles Through Prayer, an introduction to and aid for Catholics wishing to grow in their spiritual lives. Bishop Vann penned the foreword for the book on prayer. 

Following is a Q&A with Deacon Greco: 

Why did you decide to write Be Not Afraid? 

 As the pandemic really got going in March, I and several friends, began an intense period of prayer. As a result, I felt called to write a book about the importance of faith in overcoming fear. This pandemic is an opportunity for each of us to trust more in Jesus and His Mercy. 

I’ve received a positive response, with people telling me that it really gives them hope and encouragement, strengthens their faith and helps calm them about troubles in society. And, two diocesan parishes, St. John the Baptist in Costa Mesa and Santiago de Compostela in Lake Forest, have distributed the book to their parishioners. 


What advice from the book would you like to offer? 

Take this time as an opportunity to improve your relationship with Jesus and strive for constant communication with Christ.  Every moment of the day is critical.   

I’m praying now more than ever, up to four hours a day, including three rosaries, 7 to 10 Divine Mercy chaplets, as well as prayer with Scripture.  We know that “we plan and God laughs.”  Going into March, the ministry had never been busier.  But since then, we’ve had to cancel 50 conferences, talks and seminars.  As unfortunate as this was, however, it has prompted our ministry to change its strategy and focus, and begin to offer online Facebook seminars, teachings and even a Friday afternoon bible study with my wife and I. 

We’ve begun some wonderful partnerships, including one with Fr. Tim Peters, a diocesan priest and Scripture professor at St. John’s seminary, who is leading a Gospel of John bible study for us. Our ministry’s radio program,  Empowered by the Spirit, has joined the Virgin Most Powerful radio network, and is now reaching listeners on the East Coast.   

Our increased online efforts through Facebook Live and YouTube are enhanced aspects of the ministry we look forward to continuing after we’re allowed to return to in-person gatherings. 


You’ve also written a new book on prayer. 

Yes.  Bishop Vann told us last fall that the upcoming year would be a Year of Prayer.  Referencing Luke 12:49, the bishop has told me that he wants to set our parishes on fire with the love of Christ. So, in response, I wrote this book as a comprehensive guide to various forms of prayer available to us which will aid us in growing closer to Christ.  It is meant for individuals, but would also work well with small parish groups that engage in study and prayer. 


Where can people buy the books? 

The books can be purchased at  We encourage parishes to make the book Be Not Afraid available to their families. We would welcome donors to help us facilitate this effort; they may email us through our ministry website.  I think our people will find it a valuable aid in overcoming fear with faith.