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Welcome to the second of Deacon Steve Greco’s conversation with our very special guest, author and speaker Kathleen Beckman.

Her new book is titled “A Family Guide to Spiritual Warfare.”

Part 1 was titled: Strategies for Deliverance and Healing.

Part 2 (this episode) is titled: The Foundational Tripod for Victory.





Originally broadcast on 11/22/20


WASHINGTON (CNS) — Pope Francis joined Catholic Church leaders expressing sorrow after back-to-back mass shootings in the United States left at least 29 dead and dozens injured in Texas and Ohio Aug. 3 and 4.

After the prayer called the Angelus in St Peter’s Square on Aug. 4, the pope said he wanted to convey his spiritual closeness to the victims, the wounded and the families affected by the attacks. He also included those who died a weekend earlier during a shooting at a festival in Gilroy, California.

“I am spiritually close to the victims of the episodes of violence that these days have bloodied Texas, California and Ohio, in the United States, affecting defenseless people,” he said.

He joined bishops in Texas as well as national Catholic organizations and leaders reacting to a bloody first weekend of August, which produced the eighth deadliest gun violence attack in the country after a gunman opened fire in the morning of Aug. 3 at a mall in El Paso, Texas, killing 20 and injuring more than a dozen people.

Less than 24 hours after the El Paso shooting, authorities in Dayton, Ohio, reported at least nine dead and more than a dozen injured after a gunman opened fire on a crowd at or near a bar in the early hours of Aug. 4. The suspected gunman was fatally wounded and police later identified him as 24-year-old Connor Betts, of Bellbrook, Ohio.

On Aug. 4, after the second shooting become public, the president of the U.S. Conference of Catholic Bishops and the chairman of the bishops’ domestic policy committee offered prayers, condolences and urged action.

“The lives lost this weekend confront us with a terrible truth. We can never again believe that mass shootings are an isolated exception. They are an epidemic against life that we must, in justice, face,” said Cardinal Daniel N. DiNardo of Galveston-Houston, USCCB president, in a statement issued jointly with Bishop Frank J. Dewane of Venice, Florida, chairman of the USCCB’s Committee on Domestic Justice and Human Development.

“God’s mercy and wisdom compel us to move toward preventative action. We encourage all Catholics to increased prayer and sacrifice for healing and the end of these shootings. We encourage Catholics to pray and raise their voices for needed changes to our national policy and national culture as well,” the statement continued.

Archbishop Dennis M. Schnurr, who heads the Cincinnati Archdiocese, which includes Dayton, said it was “with a heavy heart” Catholics turned to prayer this Sunday. “As tragic and violent shootings continue in our country,” in El Paso and now Dayton, “I ask for everyone of faith to join in prayer for the victims and their loved ones.

Eric Spina, president of the University of Dayton, said the Marianist-run school and its community offered “our prayers for the families and loved ones of the victims and the wounded, both for our friends and neighbors here in Dayton and in El Paso, Texas.”

In the shooting in El Paso, police arrested 21-year-old Patrick Crusius, of Allen, Texas. Several news organizations said local and federal authorities are investigating whether the shooting was a possible hate crime since the suspected gunman may be linked to a manifesto that speaks of the “Hispanic invasion” of Texas.

Via Twitter, Bishop John Stowe of Lexington, Kentucky, tweeted Aug. 4: “More senseless gun killings … more white nationalism … more disregard for the sanctity of human life. … We need to create the beloved community Jesus envisions now.”

On its website, the Diocese of El Paso announced Aug. 4 that Masses would take place as scheduled on Sunday but canceled “out of an abundance of caution” a festival-like celebration called a “kermess,” which is popular among Catholic Latino populations, that was scheduled to take place at Our Lady of the Light Church.

The diocese also asked for prayers and said Bishop Mark J. Seitz would be participating in an Aug. 4 interfaith evening vigil for the victims. In a statement announcing the vigil, the faith leaders said that communities need to console one another.

“Today we stand in horror and shock at the devastating loss of life and heartless attack on our border community. Tomorrow we will mourn, dry tears, offer our sacrifice of prayer and brace ourselves for the work ahead. Because even now the borderlands will stick together and the borderlands will stand together,” they said in the statement released by the Interfaith Alliance of the Southwest and the nonprofit Hope Border Institute of the El Paso Diocese.

The institute, which deals with immigration issues, asked anyone who could do so to donate blood at a center in the city. It also gave local directions and offered help via Twitter for those looking for loved ones who may have been hurt in the shooting but who were afraid to contact authorities because of their immigration status.

“If you are afraid to contact the authorities regarding the shooting because of your immigration status, please contact Hope Border Institute and we will help you,” the organization tweeted in English and Spanish Aug. 3.

The Sisters of Mercy of the Americas posted a prayer on their website called “Let the shooting end.” They called on lawmakers to enact guns laws “to protect all in our society.”

Immediately after the news of the El Paso shooting, they tweeted: “Our hearts break for the families of those killed and wounded in today’s mass shooting in El Paso. A school, a movie theater, a church, a shopping mall: All places where we should feel safe, all places that have experienced senseless tragedy because of guns.”

Cardinal DiNardo and Bishop Dewane said in their Aug. 4 statement that the bishops’ conference has long advocated for responsible gun laws and increased resources for addressing the root causes of violence and called upon the president and congress to set aside political interests “and find ways to better protect innocent life.”


Many centuries ago, St. Francis of Assisi was the first to make a Christmas creche, or manger, displaying figures depicting the birth of Jesus. 

St. Francis created the manger for Christmas Eve in 1223, according to the United State Conference of Catholic Bishops. The USCCB recommends that families gather to bless their Christmas manger or nativity set on the Vigil of Christmas, but if you set up the manger earlier in the Christmas season, you can bless it then. 

A parent or other family member blesses the nativity scene with a prayer, taken from “Catholic Household Blessings & Prayers:” 

All make the sign of the cross as the leader says, “Our help is in the name of the Lord.” 

The family members respond: “Who made heaven and earth.” 

One of those present, or the leader, reads a text of sacred Scripture, for example, Luke 2:1 (lines 1-8) or Isaiah 7:10 (lines 10-15, the birth of Emmanuel). Upon completing the Scripture reading, the leader says: “The Gospel of the Lord.” Family members respond: “Praise to you, Lord Jesus Christ.” 

Then the leader prays with hands joined: 

“God of every nation and people, 

from the very beginning of creation 

you have made manifest your love: 

when our need for a Savior was great 

you sent your Son to be born of the Virgin Mary. 

To our lives he brings joy and peace, 

justice, mercy, and love. 


bless all who look upon this manger; 

may it remind us of the humble birth
of Jesus, 

and raise our thoughts to him, 

who is God-with-us and Savior of all, 

and who lives and reigns forever and ever.” 

The family responds: “Amen.” 

Many Catholic families leave the manger or nativity set mostly empty during Advent, except for the animals. Then on Christmas Eve, it’s a tradition to add the angels, shepherds, Mary and Joseph. Some parents add baby Jesus overnight on Christmas Eve as a surprise for the children on Christmas morning. 

One fun tradition is to place the three kings someplace in the house at a distance from the manger so that they can “journey” to Jesus over the 12 days following Christmas, arriving at the manger on the Feast of Epiphany.  

Peanut Butter & Grace, a Catholic family life website, suggests that the three kings move to a different room or area of your home each day. You can ask them to search the house for them each morning. When you find them, pray with your kids: “O holy magi, help us to see Christ in this place, and make it holy in all we say and all we do here. Amen.” 

On the Feast of the Epiphany, Peanut Butter & Grace notes, the family can read the Gospel account of the visit of the three wise men (Matthew 2:1-12), then march together through the house holding the figures of the three kings, singing “We Three Kings.” 

As you celebrate Epiphany, you also might consider making or buying a King’s Cake, a sweet cake in which a small figure of the baby Jesus is hidden. Searching for the baby Jesus in the cake imitates the Magi’s search for Jesus. Recipes for King’s Cake are available at the Catholic Cuisine website,  


“Pray for me.” These words from Pope Francis have become a hallmark of his papacy. “I ask that you would pray to the Lord to bless me,” he implored at his first message to the world, “the prayer of the people for their Bishop.”

One of the unheralded aspects of Catholic spirituality that affects us all is intercessory prayer. Often anonymous and unknown, a prayer of intercession, as the Catechism describes it, is “asking on behalf of another,” an action that is “characteristic of a heart attuned to God’s mercy.”

We ask intercession for something in our own lives, for the wellbeing of others, for peace in the world. But how often do we pray for priests?

The Foundation of Prayer for Priests (FPP), an international apostolate, materialized in 2013 out of a void that co-founder and Diocese of Orange parishioner Kathleen Beckman saw in this era of the New Evangelization: to protect the Church’s spiritual leaders with prayer.

In addition to her work with FPP, Ms. Beckman is a prolific author and frequent contributor to the online resource Catholic Exchange. In her book, Praying for Priests: A Mission for the New Evangelization, she details how the Foundation of Prayer for Priests seeks to fill the void of utilizing intercessory prayer for the Church’s priestly sons. “Praying for the holiness of priests is urgent,” Ms. Beckman writes. She adds, “If the priest is to remain completely available to God and His people and willing to embrace suffering, he needs perennial renewal.”

As today’s emerging generations find themselves discerning their own particular pathways, Ms. Beckman thought it vital to create a proscenium where priests can be edified knowing communities are praying for them. In doing so, they become adopted sons—and thus models for the vocational call to the priesthood so integral in continuing the New Evangelization into the third millennium.

Ms. Beckman co-founded FPP with Monsignor Stephen Doktorczyk, JCD, Judicial Vicar for the Diocese of Orange’s Office of Canonical Services, who also serves as the foundation’s spiritual director. The essential nature of FPP, according to Monsignor Doktorczyk, is to “promote the pious practice of praying for priests, offering suggestions and ideas as to how to effectively do so.”

The impetus of launching the foundation, Monsignor Doktorczyk explains, “came from an initiative of the Holy See’s Congregation for the Clergy.”

Within three years since its inception, “the number of spiritual mothers and fathers, clergy and religious now spans 20 countries and thousands of members,” Ms. Beckman writes. The Foundation of Prayer for Priests website speaks of prayer places dubbed “Vianney Cenacles,” named after the patron of priests, St. John Vianney. Whether in homes, parishes, or prayer groups, Vianney Cenacles provide outlets for those who desire “to build a spiritual foundation of prayer for clergy and seminarians by spiritually adopting them.”

The Icon of Spiritual Motherhood, the Blessed Virgin Mary, and the Eucharist, serve as spiritual pillars for the foundation’s mission.

Praying for priests strike not a few as a revolutionary concept. “[S]ome will express that they never really thought it important to pray for priests,” Monsignor Doktorczyk explains. “[T]hat priests might need prayers was not something of which they were aware.” He cites that through the foundation website (, “priests from all over the English speaking world will write in to request prayers.”

The Foundation of Prayer for Priests offers concrete ways to actualize what is often a saying vulnerable to a hasty, insincere cliché: “I’ll pray for you.” Among these recommendations is entering into the prayerful silence of Eucharistic Adoration.

Indeed, the original initiative from the Congregation of the Clergy, which would later serve as the inspiration for the creation of the foundation, found Eucharistic Adoration so central it published Eucharistic Adoration for the Sanctification of Priests and Spiritual Maternity in 2007. It was signed by the then-prefect for the Congregation of the Clergy, Cardinal Hummes.

Monsignor Dokotrczyk recommends anyone interested in becoming more involved in the Foundation of Prayer for Priests movement to study the document. Its engaging contents contain short biographical sketches of figures throughout Church history. Among them is Anna Stang, who as a young woman kept the faith amid oppression under Soviet Communism. “Lord, give us priests again!” she bemoaned while in offering up her sufferings for the betterment of priests. “Give us Holy Communion!”

The Foundation of Prayer for Priests website offers instructions for those interested in private prayers, family prayers, joining a Vianney Cenacle, and how to become a member of the foundation.

“Pray for me,” Pope Benedict XVI implored at his Inaugural Mass in 2005, “that I may not flee for fear of the wolves.” With the establishment of the Foundation of Prayer for Priests, the now retired Holy Father can rest assured that he is not forgotten in the prayers of those to whom he dedicated his life.