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Welcome to another episode of Orange County Catholic Radio, featuring host Rick Howick.

Today’s guest has a life testimony that is unlike any you have heard before. Over 5 decades ago, Richard Borgman felt a strong missionary calling on his life. He spent years overseas in places ranging from Africa to Abidjan, teaching and sharing the message of Christianity. Somewhere along the way, he and his family felt a tug to convert to Catholicism. He eventually jumped in with enthusiasm. His son Scott took that commitment even further by eventually being ordained a Catholic priest. (Currently serving in the Diocese of Orange).

Do yourself a favor and tune in to this lively conversation. It’s sure to energize you and boost your spirits!





Originally broadcast on 1/1/22


Welcome to another episode of Orange County Catholic Radio, featuring host Rick Howick.

Today, Rick is thrilled to welcome Fr. Scott Borgman to the studio. Fr. Scott is the Judicial Vicar in the Office of Canonical Services for the Diocese of Orange.

Over the course of this fascinating dialogue, we’ll hear how Fr. Scott grew up as the son of a pastor in a missionary family. He spent considerable time overseas as a youth and his first language was French. Fr. Scott is also a convert to the Catholic faith.

Be sure to listen and SHARE this dynamic podcast with a friend!






Originally broadcast on 12/11/21


The Christian faith in the Philippines is 500 years old this year and celebrated worldwide by Filipinos, including those in the Diocese of Orange. Ferdinand Magellan of Spain arrived in the Philippines on March 16, 1521. Joining us in-studio today are some very special guests to share with us what this blessed anniversary means to them.




Originally broadcast on 7/24/21


One of my fondest childhood memories is listening in fascination with my
Holy Family elementary school classmates as our teacher read aloud to us. 

The stories I remember most come from the classic C.S. Lewis tale, “The Lion, the Witch, and the Wardrobe.” 

The vivid mental images of the magical wardrobe, the snowy crunch of forest paths, and the wonders of the fantastic Narnia captured my young imagination. As an adult I can see plainly the allegorical references to Jesus (Aslan the lion), Mary (our heroine, Lucy), Satan (Lucy’s evil brother, Edmund) and the Jewish people (Mr. and Mrs. Badger), among many others. As beloved as the seven-volume “Chronicles of Narnia” was to me as a child, I was thrilled to read them our three children. 

Until fairly recently I was unaware of Lewis’s close friendship with faithful Catholic J.R.R. Tolkien, while I knew of his serious scholarship. I love thinking about the two of them quaffing pints in an Oxford tavern as they debated Catholicism or critiqued each other’s works of fantasy.  

Besides “The Lion, the Witch, and the Wardrobe,” our children loved Tolkien’s “The Hobbit” and the “Lord of the Rings” trilogy as much as the Harry Potter series.  

Lewis biographer Joseph Pearce notes that the two men bonded over their experiences in World War I, the loss of their parents early in life, and their literary and teaching careers. “They both avoided contemporary culture, neither had a car nor would drive one, and both largely ignored politics and the news,” Pearce writes. “And in their fledgling efforts as novelists, they served as each other’s first readers. ‘The unpayable debt that I owe to him was not influence but sheer encouragement,’ Tolkien wrote decades later. ‘He was for long my only audience.’” 

Perhaps surprisingly, Lewis never embraced Catholicism. As Pearce writes in Catholic World Report, “A lesser known but nonetheless powerful part of C.S. Lewis’ legacy is the impact that he has had on the conversion of countless numbers of people to the Catholic Church.  

“This is indeed an astonishing phenomenon considering that Lewis never became a Catholic himself, unlike many other literary converts, such as John Henry Newman, Gerard Manley Hopkins, G.K. Chesterton, Evelyn Waugh, and Graham Greene, to name but an illustrious few,” Pearce writes. 

He says that his friendships with people like Tolkien helped convert Lewis from atheism to Christianity. But like other scholars, Dr. Thomas Howard, writing in, speculates that Lewis – raised Protestant in Northern Ireland – opposed the papacy and thus never seriously considered becoming Catholic. 

This is somewhat ironic, considering that many prominent Catholic authors mention Lewis frequently as a key influence on their work. I find it poignant that as close as he came, Lewis never entered the Catholic Church.  

After all, Lewis “believed in the real presence of Christ in the Eucharist, which he referred to as the Blessed Sacrament; he practiced auricular confession; he vehemently opposed female ordination, condemning in forthright terms the danger of having “priestesses in the Church”; he declared his belief in purgatory and in the efficacy of praying for the dead; and, last but not least, he crusaded against the errors and heresies of theological modernism,” Howard writes.  

“It is perhaps, therefore, not so surprising that C.S. Lewis has ushered so many people into the Catholic Church.” 


Hosts Deacon Steve Greco and Rick Howick of the OC Catholic Radio Show team up for a timely conversation about how we can truly reflect Jesus Christ in our lives to the society at large.

This is such an important conversation to have during this election season.


Listen in – and you will want to SHARE this podcast with others!






Originally broadcast on 9/6/20


NEW YORK (CNS) — Motion pictures have enchanted the public since the late 19th century, providing audiences with vivid storytelling on a host of topics and conceptually transporting them to distant places.

The art form was able to merge literature, theater and even biblical accounts and project it all onto accessible screens for the masses to take in.



However, as the film industry grew in the early 20th century, Catholic Church leaders became concerned about some of the content that had become so readily available to their flock.

Priests in the United States began to discuss films they deemed objectionable during Mass and to instruct the faithful to stay away from the “sinful” content.

Catholic groups throughout the U.S. began to organize in an effort to influence filmmakers into creating content that reflected moral standards and wouldn’t lead viewers to sin.

In 1915, the U.S. Supreme Court ruled in its Mutual Film Corporation v. Industrial Commission of Ohio decision that free speech didn’t extend to motion pictures, and states throughout the country began to introduce censorship legislation.

Faced with mounting political pressure and the possibility of having to comply with hundreds of decency laws throughout the U.S., movie studio heads worked with Jesuit Father Daniel A. Lord to develop the 1930 production code of standards for wide-release films, basically as a way of self-regulating.

“But, at first the code was really not being enforced,” said John Mulderig, assistant director for media reviews for Catholic News Service.

In response, the U.S. bishops established the National Legion of Decency in 1933 to directly address the morality of films being produced by the motion picture industry.

“The hope was that if the legion were present and were able to say, ‘You’re going to lose a significant portion of your patronage, that is the Catholic population are going to obey their bishops and stay away from not only bad movies but perhaps boycott theaters that show movies that violate the code, then you’re going to take a hit at the box office,'” Mulderig said.

“That indeed is exactly what happened … the bishops managed to show in a very short time that they had command of the faithful. The faithful would obey them and not go to certain movies or not even go to a movie theater for six months that had shown a film that contravened the production code.

“As soon as that happened, then Hollywood sat up and took notice,” he said, “and this brought on the enforcement of the production code … in a serious way.”

That financial incentive provided the Motion Picture Production Code — better known as the Hays Code after Will H. Hays, who was the president of the Motion Picture Producers and Distributors of America at the time — with more authority.

In 1934 — under the direction of prominent public relations professional and pious Catholic Joseph I. Breen — the MPPDA established the Production Code Administration, requiring all movies to receive a certificate of approval before release.

Hollywood studios adopted the code — which was not enforced by federal, state or local governments — to avoid governmental censorship and that code actually led to the disbanding of many local censorship boards.

It gave Breen the power to change scripts before shooting actually began and he’d frequently tell producers what they needed to alter in their films to avoid a “C (Condemned) Rating” by the Legion of Decency, whose reviewers were given an advance screening before its release, said Bernard F. Dick, a renowned film scholar, author and movie reviewer for the National Catholic Office for Motion Pictures, or NCOMP, as the legion was renamed in December 1965.

NCOMP was the successor of the Legion of Decency.

“No exhibitor would want to release a C-rated movie,” Dick told Catholic News Service during a September interview at his home in Teaneck, New Jersey. “Breen would get the script and look at it and say, ‘These lines are sex suggestive.’ That was one of his famous phrases.”

The Legion of Decency wasn’t just concerned about the depiction of sexually explicit content.



It was also troubled by profanity, violence, criminal activity and how religion was sometimes depicted, said Frank Frost, a founder of the U.S. membership affiliate of the International Catholic Organization for Cinema, now called Signis, and a movie critic for NCOMP from 1964 to 1971.

Gangster films that came out during Prohibition sometimes depicted murderous criminals as heroes, scenarios that could easily prompt a “C-rating,” Mulderig said.

Gritty subject matters were not always condemned, however.

Leaders at the Legion of Decency realized there were benefits to having movie plots depict the seamier part of life where there were elements of promiscuity, crime and immorality, as long as the storyline had a redemptive quality to it or provided a price paid for sinful lifestyles, he said, and those films didn’t necessarily receive a condemned rating.

The Legion of Decency would send out a team of reviewers and consultants to a preview screening of each wide-release film and they would write their impressions of the movie. Some would gather at the Manhattan headquarters of the legion to discuss the content before a classification was assigned.

A synopsis of the movie, its classification and sometimes the reasons why it was given would then be distributed in a newsletter to subscribers and to the National Catholic Welfare Council news service (the precursor to Catholic News Service), which would distribute it to its subscribing Catholic newspapers throughout the world.

Films were initially rated by the Legion of Decency as A: Morally unobjectionable; B: Morally objectionable in part; and C: Condemned.

The A ratings were later divvied up to A-I: Suitable for all audiences, A-II: Suitable for adults and adolescents, A-III: Suitable for adults only, and A-IV: For adults with reservations.

Over the years, the B and C ratings were merged into a new O rating to reflect a morally offensive classification.

“I grew up really with the Legion of Decency, because on the first Sunday after the feast of the Immaculate Conception, the priest would ask us all to stand and take the Legion of Decency Pledge,” Dick said.

The following is a version of that pledge.

“I condemn all indecent and immoral motion pictures, and those which glorify crime or criminals. I promise to do all that I can to strengthen public opinion against the production of indecent and immoral films, and to unite with all who protest against them. I acknowledge my obligation to form a right conscience about pictures that are dangerous to my moral life. I pledge myself to remain away from them. I promise, further, to stay away altogether from places of amusement which show them as a matter of policy.”

Though the pledge was voluntary and didn’t carry penalties from the church to violators, people at Mass did feel an obligation to recite the oath, Mulderig said. “I presume that if you refused to do that, you would be somewhat conspicuous.”

As a boy in the 1950s, Jesuit Father Kenneth Meehan was an enthusiastic movie patron who had three movie theaters near his childhood Baltimore home and he eagerly awaited the Legion of Decency newsletter to arrive in the mail telling him about the movies ready for wide release.

Admittedly, Father Meehan said he did frequently look for the movies condemned by the legion, figuring that if the church saw fit to be outraged by the content, the film was probably racy enough to satisfy an adolescent’s salacious appetite.

Regardless of his youthful indiscretion of mind, Father Meehan did answer the call of God and during his summer break from seminary studies, he took a job at the New York office of NCOMP in the early 1970s as a movie reviewer.

“This was a dream come true for me,” he told CNS. “I was allowed to blend my calling with my love of the movies and of writing.”

He would use his movie reviewer experience after he was ordained a priest, teaching in Catholic schools throughout the mid-Atlantic states during the next several decades, frequently in classes dedicated to film studies.

During the middle of the 20th century, the church grappled with changes in taste and public morality and its impact on the film industry changed.

In the 1960s came the Legion of Decency’s name change to NCOMP. This was meant to reflect that the organization’s mission had evolved, that some of its moral standard requirements had become less stringent and that it had begun to publish reviews that evaluated the artistic qualities of a given film.

The name changed again in the 1970s to the Catholic Office of Film and Broadcasting, which merged with the National Catholic Office for Radio and Television in 1980.

In 2010, it became the Media Review Office of Catholic News Service, which is owned by the U.S. bishops but is editorially independent.

This move allowed the film reviews and classifications to continue being a part of the content CNS offered, Mulderig said.

By the 1980s, the Catholic film office lost negotiating power with movie producers and eventually discontinued producing its newsletter.

But its classifications and movie reviews continue to be one of the most popular features among CNS subscribers and still grace the pages of Catholic publications and websites.

“I certainly believe our reviews are relevant today,” Mulderig said, “I think primarily for two groups of people.

“One would be the parents of underage kids who want guidance about exactly what their child will see if they go to this movie,” he said. “The other area is adult Catholics who specifically want to avoid certain things.

“I think it’s helpful that we’re engaging with the film in the overall assessment of ‘is this film one that upholds Gospel values or contradicts Gospel values?'”


Vatican City, Apr 26, 2019 / 09:59 am (CNA) – Pope Francis said Thursday that although today has its challenges, especially with the sexual abuse crisis, it is not more difficult to be a Christian now than in other periods over the last 2,000 years.

“The current context is not easy, also because of the painful and complex issue of abuses committed by members of the Church,” the pope said April 25. “However, I would like to repeat to you that today it is no more difficult than in other eras of the Church: it is only different.”

Speaking to a group of young people from France, the pope underlined the beauty of their effort to strengthen their faith through a pilgrimage to Rome “with the apostles Peter and Paul and all those witnesses, including some young people, who suffered martyrdom for choosing to remain faithful to Jesus Christ.”

“This is even more important because many people think that today it is more difficult to call themselves Christians and live faith in Christ. And you are certainly experiencing these difficulties, which sometimes become tests,” he said.

The group of young people came from the Diocese of Aire et Dax, in the south of France.

Their bishop is Nicolas Jean-Marie Souchu. His predecessor, Bishop Herve Gaschignard, was asked to submit his retirement in 2017 at the age of 57 over allegations of “inappropriate” gestures and words towards young people in the diocese, according to the Associated Press.

Gaschignard’s resignation was immediately accepted by Pope Francis. Before 2012, and his promotion to bishop of Aire and Dax, there had been similar suspicions against him in his previous position as an auxiliary for the Diocese of Toulouse.

In their audience, Francis advised the French youth to take advantage of their pilgrimage to rediscover that the Church “has been walking for two thousand years, sharing the joys and hopes, sadness and anguish of men,” as he wrote in Christus vivit, his post-synodal apostolic exhortation on young people.

Looking at the young people gives him hope, the pope said, because he knows that the Lord will never abandon his Church, and that he renews it through “your youth, your enthusiasm and the talents that he has entrusted to you.”

He urged reception of the sacraments, reading Scripture, fraternal life, and service to others as ways to stay close to Christ, following the example of their pastors, elder brothers and sisters in the faith, and the saints, who all faced difficulties in their own times and places.

“In the Church, holy and composed of sinners, may you recognize what that word is, that message of Jesus that God wants to address to the world through your life,” he said.

Recalling the image of the pine of Landes, France, Pope Francis said, “root yourself in the love of God to ensure that, where you live, the Church is loved.”

“I count on you. The Church needs your impetus, your intuitions and your faith!” he concluded.


Each week, we bring you compelling conversation with church leaders and laity. Today, Rick welcomes back one of our favorite guests, Daryl Sequeira from Servite High School in Anaheim. Daryl is the ‘chair’ of the theology department at Servite high school.

Today’s episode will be a discussion on where we are as a society today. There is so much that has come against Catholics and the church as a whole, so we’re going to dig in and talk about it.

Tune in for the very thoughtful discussion.





Originally broadcast on 4/6/19



Catholicism tells us family life is important for many reasons. One is that, potentially, it offers us the sacramental image of the very inner life of God Himself. 

Put more simply, says Monsignor Art Holquin, “The Church in her theology rightly calls the family, the ‘domestic church’ because it is within this family church that we first come to know the God of love, mercy and forgiveness.” Msgr. Holquin is episcopal vicar for Divine Worship at the Mission Basilica in San Juan Capistrano.  

Father Damien Giap, chaplain at St. John the Baptist School in Costa Mesa, agrees. “I think that if a child growing up experiences the love that comes from mom and dad, it helps very much to build the foundation,” Father Damien explains. “The best way for parents to show children they love them is for them to love each other. Then, when children mature, they then understand the love of the Father and the Blessed Virgin Mary.” 

Indeed, both church leaders say, familial love is key to our growing our faith. 

“Family love for Christians always holds the potential to be sacramental or iconic of God’s love,” Msgr. Holquin says. “Husband and wife in their marital bond image the intimacy of God’s love for his people. Hence, the grace of family love empowers its members to be that transforming and healing love in our broken world today. 

“The irreplaceable bond of husband to wife, wife to husband, parents to children and children to parents can indeed make real and indeed deepen the very love and faithfulness of God’s holy people within the domestic Church.” 

Family love is so central to faith, Father Damien notes, that unless we have experienced God’s love in the form of our family, we have little love to give others. “You can only give what you have,” he says. “The love of God isn’t just a series of dos and don’ts. Religion is about faith and love; the love we have received and that we then give to others. A person experiences and feels the love of God only if they have the foundation built in their formative years.” 

As we grow up, we learn the civility and order that family provides, he notes. “We spend the commodity of time that is so precious with our children. It gives them a certain foundation and stability when we eat and play together.” 

When parents fulfill their specific roles in the family with love and devotion, Father Damien says, children are reassured that the family is a safe, nurturing place. 

To be sure, Msgr. Holquin says, when he baptizes babies, he always tells participants that “it is within our family, the domestic church, that we first come to know what it means to experience the love of God – the caring, tender, forgiving and merciful love which shapes any family in Christian integrity. It all begins in the family!”


We Americans have patriotic traditions like fireworks for Independence Day. As Catholics, our unique family celebrations mark holidays such as Christmas and Easter. Outside the U.S. many cultures have unique celebrations that blend ethnic traditions with Catholic holidays.

In Ireland, the biggest of all celebrations is the St. Patrick’s Festival, named for the country’s patron saint. The festival revels in Ireland’s rich culture and heritage with parades, dancing, music, food and plenty of pints of beer. Revelers can be found across Ireland, from small villages to big cities.

Western tradition notes that Jan. 6 is celebrated as Epiphany, known as Three Kings Day in much of Europe. Christians recall the three wise men coming to visit Jesus, bringing gifts of gold, frankincense and myrrh. Epiphany is the climax of the Advent/Christmas season and the Twelve Days of Christmas.

Since the fall of the Soviet Union, Jan. 7 has become an official holiday – Russian Orthodox Christmas – which culminates in the observance of Theophany, the Feast of the Manifestation, the baptism of Jesus.

In South America, Catholics celebrate the Festival of the Virgen de la Candelaria, honoring one of Bolivia’s most beloved religious icons. On Feb. 2 parades and parties are held in her honor. Bolivian festivals combine a mix of Catholic and ancient local influences, such as Puno, the epicenter of Peruvian folklore.

New Year’s Eve in Brazil and Chile draws more than a million revelers to Copacabana Beach for one of the world’s largest celebrations. Fireworks, concerts and the religious celebrations of the Afro-Brazilian Candomble (dance to the gods) make for an unforgettable New Year’s Eve. In Chile, Valparaiso rings in the new year with a spectacular bang, setting off fireworks high above the city’s bay; Pablo Neruda used to spend New Year’s Even watching from his home high on a cliff.

Mexicans mark the Day of the Dead (Oct. 31-Nov. 2), an ancestral tradition that blends with Catholicism to create a special time to remember and honor loved ones by offering them an ofrenda, or offering, such as the fragrance of flowers, the light of candles, the aroma of special foods and the solemnity of prayers. It is also a time to joke and make fun of death through calaveras, or representations of the human skull; poetry allusive to a particular person, generally politicians; sugar, chocolate and amaranth skulls which are given to one another with a friend’s name so “they can eat their own death;” and special displays with skeletons representing daily activities.

During Advent, Christmas markets crop up in nearly every German town, large or small. The town squares are lit up and townspeople gather together, listen to brass-band music, drink beer and enjoy the hearty traditional fare of the region. Christmas markets date back to at least the 14th century.

On Nov. 22, Vietnamese Catholics mark the Feast of Our Lady of La Vang. The occasion recognizes the 1798 appearance of the Blessed Mother to a group of Catholic residents of Quang Tri who were hiding in the forest, trying to escape the king’s persecution. The Blessed Mother appeared to the group, offering them comfort. She was holding a baby; two angels stood at her side. After this first apparition, the Blessed Mother continued to appear in this same place many times throughout the period of nearly 100 years of religious persecution.

Some Italian religious customs have become worldwide traditions. Saint Francis of Assisi reportedly built a reproduction of the infant Christ’s manger in front of a church in Greccio, Italy in the 11th century; the tradition of creating a nativity scene outside a church has spread around the world.