Sign Up for Our Newsletter!

By submitting this form, you are consenting to receive marketing emails from: . You can revoke your consent to receive emails at any time by using the SafeUnsubscribe® link, found at the bottom of every email. Emails are serviced by Constant Contact


Welcome to another episode of Cathedral Square featuring our host, Fr. Christopher Smith.

Today’s guest is very special to Fr. Christopher, as she played a key role at St. Callistus Parish in Garden Grove for many years.. before that same parish made the huge transition to become “Christ Cathedral’ a few years ago.

Ana Guardado-Chavez serves as Liturgical Administrator and Custodian of Records for the parish. She also assists the priests, and helps with all kinds of important tasks each day.


Be sure to listen and share this podcast!





Originally broadcast on 6/6/20


ANTANANARIVO, Madagascar (CNS) — Following Jesus means growing in friendship with him and with one’s brothers and sisters, never being content with the way things are, but not just griping about them either, Pope Francis told young people.

Jesus calls his disciples “to be on the move, acting, committed, certain that the Lord is supporting and accompanying them,” he told the teens and young adults from across Madagascar.

Tens of thousands of people of all ages were gathered for the vigil on the wide-open diocesan field at Soamandrakizay Sept. 7; the older folks came because the pope was scheduled to celebrate Mass there the next morning.

With straw mats and plastic tarps, blankets or sleeping bags, jugs of water and bags of food, it seemed that everyone was planning to spend the night.

Trinitarian Sister Jeannine Raivomanana, a young sister who was with three others from her order, said, “Since Pope Francis is coming here, we will stay.”

Mihaje Andrianera, 20, was there with her 18-year-old sister, Fara. “When I heard the pope was coming, I knew it was an opportunity. I mean, I just had to be here.”

Fara added, “This is the only time in our lives we will see him.”

The pope arrived as the winter sun was setting; the young people kept singing and dancing as Pope Francis toured the crowd in the popemobile.

Speaking in Italian, with a priest translating into Malagasy, the pope told the young people he knew that, deep down, they all were searching for a happiness that no one could take from them.

Sometimes, he said, it will be tempting to give up hopes and dreams for a meaningful life and for a more just world, “especially when you lack the bare necessities to make it from day to day or to pursue your studies, or when you realize that without a job, stability and social injustice, your future is blocked.”

Jesus calls each person to move forward and to find ways to make a contribution to improving society, he said.

However, the pope said, “The Lord is not looking for lone adventurers. He gives us a mission, yes, but he does not send us out alone to the frontlines.”

“It is impossible to be a missionary disciple all by ourselves,” he said. “Certainly, we can accomplish great things on our own, but together we can dream of and undertake things undreamt of!”

Pope Francis also urged the young people to remember how much God loves them and how he calls them to love others, including those society scorns.

God “does not call us by our sins, our errors, our faults, our limits, but by our name; each of us is precious in his eyes,” he said.

“The devil also knows our names,” the pope said, but he tends to call people by a label based on their “sins and errors; in this way, he makes us feel that however much we do, nothing can ever change, everything will remain the same. The Lord will have none of that. The Lord always reminds us how precious we are in his eyes, and he entrusts us with a mission.”

Pope Francis asked the young people of Madagascar to respond to God’s call like Mary did, by saying “yes” and setting off. “It is the ‘yes’ of all those willing to commit themselves and take risks, ready to stake everything, with no guarantee except the sure conviction of knowing they are bearers of a promise.”


VATICAN CITY (CNS) — With the launch of a new book, Pope Francis is calling for a new alliance — between young and old — to change the world.

In an effort to counteract today’s “culture of waste” that too easily marginalizes or ignores the young and the elderly, the book by Loyola Press creates a model of storytelling, dialogue, connection and reflection to help inspire these two groups to come together and rediscover older people’s lost “treasure of their wisdom.”

Packed with large full-color photographs of the elder contributors, the coffee-table-style book, titled, “Sharing the Wisdom of Time,” was released Oct. 23 at a book launch in Rome, with the pope scheduled to attend.

The 175-page book fleshes out what Pope Francis said he feels “the Lord wants me to say: that there should be an alliance between the young and old people.”

This alliance entails elders sharing their past experiences, advice, insights and dreams with younger people who are hungry for guidance and support as they prepare for their future, the pope said in the book’s preface.

Older people need to be “memory keepers,” forming a choir of praise and prayers supporting the people around them, he wrote, especially younger people, showing them the secrets to not just survival, but finding meaning and living life to the full, he said.

The pope calls on young people “to listen to and bond with their elders,” and the book offers a starter course, of sorts, offering scores of stories and wisdom from older people from 30 countries and from every walk of life: retired lawyers and engineers, farmers, garbage pickers, activists, refugees and a spiritual elder of the Lakota People in the United States. They speak of their experiences with racism, forgiveness, imperfection, conversion, beauty and joy despite the setbacks.

The stories are spread over five thematic chapters: work, struggle, love, death and hope, and each chapter begins with the pope reflecting on each theme. People’s stories are interspersed with the pope’s own reflections on an individual’s story, showing a model of how to mine its message for nuggets of advice that may mirror or be applied to one’s own life.

The book also includes a few stories by younger people sharing, “What I learned from an elder” and how an older person acted like an anchor, offering hope, support or inspiration in their lives.

The book invites readers to find opportunities to dialogue with elders and to visit for ideas and suggestions on how to spearhead intergenerational conversations, events and projects at home, in their communities and their parishes.

Some of the words of wisdom by the pope in the book:

— “Failure is the source of much wisdom,” he said. “No complaining allowed! It does not help. It does more harm than good.”

— “Our life is not given to us as an already scripted opera libretto,” where all the scenes are predetermined and fixed. “Failures cannot stop us if we feel the fire in our heart” to move forward and learn from mistakes.

— “The success of life is not glory but patience. Sometimes you need a lot of it.”

— “Our God wants to join us in our history,” he said. Just being content with survival and “not wanting to make history is a parasitic attitude.”

— Speaking about refugees who have faced insecurity with discernment and courage to leave their homes, they “will not let themselves be overcome by difficulties.” They refuse to accept defeat, “there is no wisdom in just giving up.”

— One person cannot solve all the problems in the world, but she or he can oppose it with being good, kind and caring to oneself and others. “You can fight with the smile and with the readiness to be kind to others.”

— “Learn the wisdom of getting help. You experience the solidarity that allows your heart to dream” and pull one out of despair.

— “Failure is not the last word. Failure always has a door that opens; woe to you if you turn it into a wall. You will never be able to get free.”

— “Sometimes we turn our little misadventures into epic dramas,” but people need to put things into their proper perspective and maybe have a good sense of humor. “Love is creative and it will not be overcome by the disasters and pitfalls of life.”

— “We can look at death and feel rich, because God lavishly ‘wastes’ his grace poured out on us.”

— “If God did not forgive sins, the world would have ceased existing a long time ago.”

— It is easy to judge others who have sinned, but “what I see are people who have lived,” he said. “Hope can be read in wrinkles.”

— On life being like a tapestry, “there is good and bad, death and life. If I look at my life, I like to think that the Lord would say with a smile, ‘Look what I did with all your mistakes,'” giving the tangled threads new shape and meaning.

— “Hypocrites will be scandalized by the miracles God works with our mistakes.” Reversing a situation from sin to grace “is one of the most wonderful ways God acts in our lives.”

— “Complaining rusts out the soul,” so do not pine over lost opportunities and temporal glory, remember the true final destination is to be with God.

— “Faith is not paying a toll to go to heaven.” God wants people to go forward with his love and “give us back to ourselves. God does not want anything ‘from’ us; he wants everything ‘for’ us.”