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EPISODE #300
EMPOWERED BY THE SPIRIT: SEVEN STEPS OF HEALING

Welcome to another episode of Empowered by the Spirit featuring host Deacon Steve Greco.

Deacon Steve is a permanent deacon of the Diocese of Orange, CA. He is head of Spirit Filled Hearts Ministry, which engages in evangelization and support of the foreign missions. His guest is Katie Hughes, who works with Deacon Steve in Spirit Filled Hearts Ministry. They speak about all the different areas of healing that we can seek in our lives. Join us for this powerful discussion!

 

 

Originally broadcast on 2/20/22

EPISODE#70
CATHEDRAL SQUARE: A LENTEN EVENING OF RENEWAL AT CHRIST CATHEDRAL

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

Today’s installment will provide you with an audio journey through this very special season on the church calendar. This “Lenten Evening of Renewal” was recorded live inside Christ Cathedral. Our presentation offers a mix of choral and instrumental music, as well as reflections from Fr. Christopher Smith. We will also sing and reflect on the three Sorrowful Mysteries of the rosary: The Agony in the Garden, The Carrying of the Cross and the Crucifixion.

 

 

 

Originally broadcast on 3/19/22

EPISODE#67
CATHEDRAL SQUARE: AN ADVENT EVENING OF RENEWAL

This is a very special edition of Cathedral Square with your host Fr. Christopher Smith.

Just days ago at Christ Cathedral in Garden Grove (CA), a truly unique evening took place. It was called “An Advent Evening of Renewal.” On this podcast, we will now benefit from the audio of that special service!

A prominent pastor once said, “In order for something to simmer, you have to turn down the heat.” Fr. Christopher shares that he hopes this reflection will indeed be our opportunity to ‘turn down the heat’ of our everyday lives. Let us also really listen to see what the Lord would have to say to us during this Advent season – both individually and as a community.

Let us reflect on the spoken word, some beautiful sacred music, and a meditative rosary.

 

 

 

Originally broadcast on 12/11/21

POWER OF THE ROSARY

The Rosary is one one of the most powerful prayer reflections that we have available to us,” said Abby Hauke, an eighth-grade student at St. John the Baptist Catholic School in Costa Mesa. “It helps us stay connected to our God through the loving care of His Mother Mary.”

The month of October is dedicated to the Most Holy Rosary. It was instituted to pay tribute to the Blessed Virgin Mary in appreciation for the love and protection that she provides the Church in response to those who pray it faithfully.

“We needed what it provides for us,” said Leah Hauke, sixth-grade student and Abby’s sister. “A strong and dedicated way to ask our God for his help.”

The two sisters started a weekly Rosary reflection at school during recess.

“Every Thursday we gather at Mary’s Grotto and pray together for the souls of unborn children and for an end to abortion in our world,” said Leah.

The effort began as a family affair but was quickly embraced by the campus faith community.

“It started out small, but it wasn’t long before lots of students began to join us. At this point, we have students from fourth through eighth grade joining us every week,” said Abby.

And so we are reminded, by our children, of the importance of making time to pray the Rosary each day. It helps us resist daily temptations, it encourages us to slow down and find peace in our hectic world, it helps us pray for our neighbor and God’s world in a strong and dedicated way, and finally it helps us to focus when we’re not quite sure how to pray for what we need. The Holy Rosary is powerful because it’s based on sacred scripture and sacred tradition. It is a grace-filled weapon to help us bring about peace and healing during these difficult and challenging times in our world.

Both sisters want to keep the effort going as long as they can.

“It’s a beautiful gift from Our Blessed Mother and it belongs to all of us, so we need to use it as often as we can,” said Leah.

“Mary promised us that if we pray to her, she will hear us and respond,” said Abby, “and that’s saying a lot.”

EPISODE#59
CATHEDRAL SQUARE: TOM AND JOANNE PETERS OF THE CHRIST CATHEDRAL GIFT SHOP

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

On this week’s program, we visit with a married couple who have a wealth of fun an interesting stories to share. Their names are Tom and Joanne Peters, and they have been married for more than 50 years. To top it off, they just happen to be the owners of the Christ Cathedral Gift Shop, which is housed right here on the campus of Christ Cathedral in Garden Grove.

Listen as Tom & Joanne share their amazing and inspiring journey of faith together.

 

 

 

 

 

Original broadcast date 7/10/21

EPISODE #267
EMPOWERED BY THE SPIRIT: PILGRIMAGE TO THE HOLY LAND WITH GUEST FR. DAVE HENEY

Join Deacon Steve Greco as he welcomes Fr. Dave Heney back to the program.

In addition to being pastor at St. Bruno Parish in Whittier, CA, he was also the longtime daily host on Relevant Radio’s “Family Rosary Across America” program.

Today we’ll be taking a virtual tour through the Holy Land!

Listen, and be sure to SHARE this podcast!

 

 

 

Originally broadcast on 1/3/21

MATER DEI, ROSARY, SERVITE STUDENTS SIGN UP

November 11, 2020, marked the first day of the 2020-2021 school year when high school athletes could make their college commitments official. In response to Covid-19 safety protocols, Orange County Catholic high schools celebrated their senior athletes in a variety of safe formats, including Mater Dei High School, where three separate National Signing Day ceremonies took place on campus to honor 30 of their senior Monarchs.  

There were four players from the school’s baseball program who committed to playing at the next level. Drew Porter will be headed to California State University, Northridge. Alonzo Tredwell will play for UCLA, and both Skye Selinsky and AJ Valle committed to Columbia University. 

From the softball diamond, Natalie Marshall committed to University of Kansas, and Morgan McConnell signed with University of North Dakota.  

Six Monarchs from across Mater Dei’s boys and girls basketball programs made their college commitments. Harry Hornery will play for USC. Nick Davidson is headed to University of Nevada, Reno. Wilhelm Breidenbach signed with University of Nebraska. Brooke Demetre committed to Stanford University. Maeaali’l Amosa will play for Pepperdine University, and Alyssa Durazo-Frescas signed with University of Nevada, Las Vegas. 

The Mater Dei volleyball programs saw seven senior athletes commit to continuing their playing careers. Zaria Henderson is headed to University of California, San Diego. Cadence Gronski will play for Santa Clara University. Isabella Lesage signed with Northwestern University. Lauryn Sweeney will play for Fordham University. Josh Rosenblum signed with California State University, Long Beach, and Colby Bennett and Rachel Blair committed to the beach volleyball programs at USC and Concordia University, respectively.  

From the pool, swimmer Kailia Utley committed to Vanderbilt University, and swimmer Lizzie Mackowiak is headed to University of Arizona. Water polo player Grant Loth signed with UCLA, and teammate Clay Kaneko committed to Pepperdine University. From the girls water polo program, Casey Coppock will play for University of California, Santa Barbara, and Janna Tauscher signed with University of California, Berkeley. 

Three soccer players made college commitments, including Megan Hogate who will play for University of Texas. Faith Nguyen is headed to UCLA, and Connor Place signed with University of California, San Diego. 

Additionally, golfer Ryder Henares will continue his playing career at Loyola Marymount University, and tennis player Grace McSkimming is headed to Sacramento State University.  

“It was such a pleasure to see our athletes enjoying Signing Day,” says Mater Dei Athletic Director, Amanda Waters. “It was a safe and fun event, and our families were truly grateful we could give them this experience. All three sessions were worth it to see their smiling faces and the emotion from the parents on this special day.” 

Rosary Academy saw two of their water polo players make college commitments. Lauren Woolley will play for San Jose State University, and Veralie Naranjo signed with Biola University.  

“I am so proud and happy to see Lauren committing to continue her academic and water polo career at SJSU,” says Rosary head water polo coach Rory Bevins of Woolley. “I know she will continue to do great things and look forward to seeing her grow as a person.” 

Of Naranjo, Bevins says, “I am very excited for Veralie committing to continue her water polo and academic career at Biola. She will do great things at the next level, and I am so excited to see what she does in the future.” 

Servite High School celebrated three of their senior athletes as they made college commitments. Golfer Benjamin Hong is headed to Boston College, and his teammate William Sung signed with Columbia University. 

“They are what Servite is all about,” says Servite head golf coach, Dane Jako, “not just great players, but also great teammates, students and men.” 

And Servite pitcher Brady Childs will play baseball for Drury University. 

“Brady has displayed a great work ethic and has proven to be a great teammate during his time at Servite,” said Friars head baseball coach, Shawn Gilbert. “We look forward to watching Brady further develop as a pitcher and an individual at the next level.”  

EPISODE #262
EMPOWERED BY THE SPIRIT: A FAMILY GUIDE TO SPIRITUAL WARFARE (PT. 2) WITH KATHLEEN BECKMAN

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

RESPECT LIFE ROSARY PROCESSION DREW 100 TO CHRIST CATHEDRAL

In response to numerous parishioners from all over the diocese asking how they could help to bring more awareness to the preeminent priority of abortion during this election, parishioners from 18 parishes gathered Oct. 17 in a prayerful procession and recitation of the Rosary along Chapman Avenue in Garden Grove, just outside the grounds of Christ Cathedral. 

Organizer Tami Vogeler said, “All human life is equally sacred, but all issues are not equal. The issue of abortion is the preeminent priority issue…so, we felt a need to speak up.” 

Vogeler said the group was inspired by the statement from the USCCB Pro-life committee: “Last November, the U.S. bishops reaffirmed that ‘the threat of abortion remains our preeminent priority because it directly attacks life itself, because it takes place within the sanctuary of the family, and because of the number of lives destroyed.’ While we noted not to ‘dismiss or ignore other serious threats to human life and dignity such as racism, the environmental crisis, poverty, and the death penalty,’ we renewed our commitment to protect the most fundamental of all human rights – the right to live.”  

Chris Kenmore, Rick Garrett, Alejandra Baker and Tami Vogeler planned the event intended to encourage Catholics from all the parishes to join in the sidewalk vigil/Rosary procession to celebrate Respect Life Month and to honor the Blessed Mother as part of a Marian Devotion in the month of the Rosary.  

Alejandra Baker said, “We started at the parking lot of Christ Cathedral, on Chapman Avenue, processed in prayer towards Lewis Street, and remained at the corner of Chapman and Lewis Street, chanting the Rosary, alternating it in English and Spanish. We returned to the parking lot of Christ Cathedral where our Rosary procession ended.” 

 

PRO-LIFE FROM CONCEPTION TO NATURAL DEATH 

 

Pro-life is about more than the beginning of life. It also encompasses the end of life. The Catholic Church is committed to providing resources, along with community partners, that assist individuals and families at the end of life’s journey. 

The Whole Person Care Initiative is a comprehensive approach to caring for the sick and dying, spearheaded by Catholic healthcare, the Catholic Church, community healthcare providers, and public health leaders. This effort seeks to remake how our healthcare system addresses death and dying and lays out a vision for a network of care that addresses both the physical and spiritual dimensions of care. 

In 2018, the Diocese of Orange spearheaded the first local conference of its kind as part of the larger statewide Caring for the Whole Person Initiative, a collaborative project of the California Catholic Conference and the Alliance of Catholic Health Care. This day- long summit was open to professional care providers, community health leaders, parish volunteers, and clergy. Speakers included Ira Byock, MD, Megory Anderson, PhD. and Most Rev. Kevin Vann, Bishop of Orange. To view a few recordings and material presented on this day, please visit https://www.rcbo.org/resource/about-life-justice-and-peace/whole-care-conference/ 

A ROSARY FOR OUR NATION

I’ve found myself praying for my country a lot these days. As a family, we remember to do so when we say grace at dinner. At other times — usually after reading some terrible headline or seeing the latest total of fatalities from the coronavirus pandemic — I’ll say a silent prayer as well. 

So I welcomed the recent announcement by Archbishop Jose H. Gomez of Los Angeles that there would be a national Rosary for America. Now is certainly the time to request heavenly intercession amid our pandemics not just of disease but of polarization, anger and fear. 

The prayer took place on Oct. 7, the feast of Our Lady of the Rosary. While it was announced only a week before, Catholic newspapers, television, radio and social media threw their support behind the event. 

Archbishop Gomez introduced it, but he did not dwell on our ailments and our conflicts. Instead, he recalled the first Catholic missionaries in the New World, and he reminded us that we are the missionaries today called to bring the good news to the people. 

“We ask Mary to look upon our nation with her mother’s eyes,” he said. “We ask her to intercede for this great nation.” 

“We pray that America might fulfill the beautiful vision of our missionaries and founders,” he continued. “As a land where all men and women are treated as children of God. With equality, liberty and justice for all.” 

It was a simple appeal, and what followed was simple as well. Various bishops from around the country took turns praying the decades of the Rosary. 

One decade was recited in Spanish. Without exaggeration or heavy-handedness, the great diversity of our church was represented in various backdrops and chapels. In the faces of the young children who recited the Glory Be, in the faces of the women who recited the Fatima prayer and in the faces of the bishops themselves. 

It was a prayerful visualization of our nation and our church. 

At the end, Archbishop Gomez asked Catholics to “light up the digital highways” by posting prayer intentions with the hashtag #RosaryforAmerica. 

One of the unexpected blessings of the pandemic have been the events of public prayer. Most notable was the “urbi et orbi” blessing by Pope Francis on March 27. The powerful image of the pope alone in the darkening, rain-swept plaza of St. Peter’s was perhaps the most iconic Catholic image of this time of sickness and fear. 

Public processions have taken place as well. In San Francisco on Oct. 3, Archbishop Salvatore J. Cordileone led an hour-and-a-half procession through the Mission District to commemorate the city’s patron saint and to offer thanksgiving for a relaxation of city restrictions on the celebration of indoor religious services. 

Such public prayer in times of crisis has a long history in the church. More than 1,500 years ago, St. Gregory the Great led a procession through Rome praying for a cessation of the bubonic plague. According to legend, he had a vision of St. Michael the Archangel sheathing his sword on the top of what is now called Castel Sant’Angelo, and the plague was stopped. 

Our pandemics are still with us. Not just COVID-19, but also the pandemics of distrust and division, of inequality and want. As Archbishop Gomez declared, now is a time of missionary witness. 

If Catholics in every parish and every diocese can transcend their divisions and unite to care for the hungry, the homeless, the unemployed, the sick and the grieving, perhaps the healing that our nation most desperately needs will take place. The sword will be sheathed, and our prayers will be answered.