Resources: Chosen courses

Resources Chosen Courses

We fail to reach too many children with outdated and boring catechetical programs. This is beginning to change with excellent programs from publishers like Ascension Press. Their Chosen offering is outstanding. It is available in two 24 lesson formats, one for faith formation and a modified version for confirmation preparation.

While both are targeted at teens, the faith formation series can also be used in any setting people are learning or refreshing their knowledge of the faith. That could be classes welcoming people back, RCIA, parish rediscovering classes or even religious education.

These lessons are exciting, fast-paced and include excellent videos from some of the best young apologists out there. Here, Chris Stefanick (whose videos I often feature in my 7 Quick Takes Friday posts) introduces the program:

The course also has a boat-load of heavy-hitter endorsements, including bishops:

This is more of a parish resource than a personal one. That is, it is probably something that you individually will not buy but is perfect for your parish. Talk to your Religious Education director or pastor about this. Send them the URL for this program: There they will also find previews of the program’s exceptional videos. Watch these videos to see how they will appeal to young folks. They will appeal to you too!

Chosen Introduction

What are you looking for? (Chris Stefanick)

What Happens at Mass? (Brian Butler)

The Problem of Suffering (Fr. Mark Toups)

The Symbols of Baptism (Sarah Swafford)

Where Am I Going? (Chris Stefanick)

“Are you talking to me?” (Jackie Francois)

The Power of Confession (Fr. Mike Schmitz)

What Happens at Confirmation? (Chris Stefanick)

What is a Sacrament? (Sr. Maris Stella)

What is Marriage? (Jason Evert)

How Do I Build Virtue? (Deacon Harold Burke-Sivers)

The Beatitudes (Mary Ann Wiesinger)

Building the Kingdom (Chris Padgett)

This is the new evangelization.

Resources: Regina Magazine

Resources Regina Magazine

Regina Magazine is a FREE publication which launched its first online edition last February (2013). It is published in PDF format, but may also be viewed online on their website (via the online Issuu PDF viewer). Regina also offers an RSS feed.

Let me warn you right up-front: the website is not very good (presentation, organization, broken links and so on). The content however, is excellent and the PDFs look like something you should be paying for (donations are requested). The articles are widely varied, fairly short and always 100% faithful to the teaching of the Magisterium. Many stories are told from a first person perspective, as our faith is experienced. Their tag line is “Inspiring. Intelligent. Catholic.” I agree.

The editions to date are (English versions, but also available in Spanish and German):

  • Vol 6 – Priests Issue (online / PDF)
  • Vol 5 – Christmas Issue, Christmas 2013 (online / PDF)
  • Vol 4 – Fall Issue, Fall 2013 (online / PDF)
  • Vol 3 – Summer Issue, April 2013 (online / PDF)
  • Vol 2 – Spring Issue, April 2013 (online / PDF)
  • Vol 1 – Winter Issue, February 2013 (online / PDF)

Personally, I download the PDF versions to my Android tablet and read them there with my favorite PDF reader app (Moon+ Reader Pro). I also subscribe to the RSS feed and follow that via Feedly. (See it also in my sidebar under Great Blogs.)

Beginning with Volume 4, the content is organized (mostly) in sections. Here is a sample from that edition:

  • Columbus the Catholic
  • Update: The Latin Mass in America Today – A Candid Interview with Byron Smith
  • One Man’s Perspective – After 30 years of working to support the Latin Mass
  • May God Give Us Strength – To Do What Needs to Be Done
  • The Parishes
    • The Cathedral of South Saint Louis – Restoring Saint Francis de Sales Oratory
    • How I Got to Saint Louis – An Interview with Canon Raphael Ueda
    • Prayer, Prudence, and Courage
    • East Side, West Side, All Around the Town – The Latin Mass in New Your City
    • My First Time – Discovering the Latin Mass in West Virginia
    • Bringing the ‘Catholic’ Back to a California Parish
    • The Wonder of ‘Weird’ Portland – How Holy Rosary Parish Thrives
  • The Orders
    • The Sisters
    • The Nashville Dominicans – Springtime for an American Order of Preachers
    • The Order with Vocations ‘from the least expected places’
    • Young Americans Today ‘Know What Emptiness Is’
    • The Sisters Of Mercy and the Statues in the Attic – A Treacherous Journey
    • The Fast Growing Friars – The Eastern Province of the Dominicans
    • “Maybe He Will Be a Priest” – Nick’s Story
  • A Diocese
    • Living In Lincoln – A Beautiful Catholic Culture
    • Back from the ‘Promised Land’ – Our Move to Nebraska from California
  • The Schools
    • 11 Steps to Selecting a Catholic Homeschool Curriculum
    • In Their Own Words
    • The Family That Learns Together – The Homeschooling Hesters
  • The Universities
    • “In True Franciscan Fashion” – The Steubenville Story
    • Towards a Catholic Resurgence in the Media – John Paul Catholic University
    • A Liberating Education – Thomas Aquinas College
    • Breathing Catholic in the Shenandoah Valley – Christendom College
  • Style
    • A Beautiful Goodbye
    • Something Old, Something Borrowed
    • Diary of a Latin Mass Wedding
    • Veiling in America
  • The Media
    • How Catholic Radio Changed My Life
    • In Hoc Signo: “We Shall Publish” – The Amazing Success of Ignatius Press
  • The Home Front
    • Can You Be Fabulous? – An Army Wife Goes Paleo
    • A Catholic Thanksgiving, Oklahoma Style
    • Family Night – Sunday Dinner for 30
  • The Laity
    • The Catholic Gentleman – One of Facebook’s Hottest New Pages
    • Doctor Dad Says
    • Real Pilgrimages
    • Miracle in Palo Alto – How the Saint Ann Choir Kept Chant and Polyphony Alive for 50 Years
    • Ave Maria – A Very Catholic Town
    • Rebuilding a Catholic Renaissance
  • The Saints
    • The American Disciple – Chesterton with Dale Ahlquist
    • Saint Katharine Drexel – She was an American Millionaire, and a Saint
    • Francesca Cabrini – The First American Saint
    • Elizabeth Ann Seton – The First Saint Born in America

Regina is the brain-child of editor Beverly De Soto, a revert to the faith who now lives in Germany. The staff writers include 6 men and 10 women. Yet, the magazine describes itself as “aimed at women” while acknowledging “about 30% of [the] subscribers are men.” Men, ignore that! There are a few women focused pieces (e.g. “style,” “fashion” and the like) which we will of course just ignore. The gender of this wonderful magazine is “Catholic”!

Highly recommended.

Resources: Father Leo Clifford Reflections

Father Leo Clifford

Unable to sleep early one morning several years ago, I decided to listen to EWTN. Tucked between programs was a reflection by Father Leo Clifford, OFM. The intro music sounded like it went with a soap opera or maybe something Vincent Price might have used. When Father began to speak, his style of oration felt formal and aristocratic. The whole thing sounded a bit bizarre. On the other hand, I had nothing better to do so I listened.

Putting aside my initial reaction, I found Fr. Clifford’s reflection to be surprisingly (considering my expectations) good. I, along with many others, have become very fond of his brief (under 10 minute) reflections. They make me think, draw connections I had not made before and learn. When I listen to them now, I often play them twice to get the most out of them. They are treasures.

The music and oration that was at first a bit off-putting, now seems appropriate for such excellent, serious topics masterfully understood and presented. Father died one year ago (February 16, 2012) but this portion of his work lives on. EWTN offers both audio CDs and DVD videos on their website. They also offer (for personal use) MP3 audio files for download. For your convenience, they are linked below via an audio player.

  1. Play Charity   (VIDEO )
  2. Play Christianity   (VIDEO )
  3. Play Faith   (VIDEO )
  4. Play Forgiveness   (VIDEO )
  5. Play Holy Communion   (VIDEO )
  6. Play Hope   (VIDEO )
  7. Play Mercy of God   (VIDEO )
  8. Play Our Lady   (VIDEO )
  9. Play Philosophy of Life   (VIDEO )
  10. Play Prayer   (VIDEO )
  11. Play The Holy Spirit   (VIDEO )
  12. Play The Mass
  13. Play A Name Not a Number   (VIDEO )
  14. Play Appealing Words   (VIDEO )
  15. Play Are We Consistent   (VIDEO )
  16. Play Duty   (VIDEO )
  17. Play God's Will   (VIDEO )
  18. Play Gratitude   (VIDEO )
  19. Play Greatness   (VIDEO )
  20. Play How We Handle Our Failures   (VIDEO )
  21. Play Humility   (VIDEO )
  22. Play On Talking to Ourselves   (VIDEO )
  23. Play One Day at a Time   (VIDEO )
  24. Play Our Father
  25. Play Reminders   (VIDEO )
  26. Play Sin of Omission   (VIDEO )
  27. Play Sin   (VIDEO )
  28. Play Suffering   (VIDEO )
  29. Play The Agony and Ecstasy   (VIDEO )
  30. Play The Importance of One Person   (VIDEO )
  31. Play The Lord's Prayer   (VIDEO )
  32. Play The Love of God   (VIDEO )
  33. Play The Mother of God   (VIDEO )
  34. Play Three Things   (VIDEO )
  35. Play Without Christ   (VIDEO )
  36. Play Building Business
  37. Play Discipline   (VIDEO )
  38. Play First Hand Faith   (VIDEO )
  39. Play God's Ways   (VIDEO )
  40. Play Grief of God   (VIDEO )
  41. Play Missed Opportunities   (VIDEO )
  42. Play Purpose of Life   (VIDEO )
  43. Play Respectable Sins   (VIDEO )
  44. Play The Christ Who Needs Us
  45. Play The Greatest Commandment   (VIDEO )
  46. Play This is Your Life   (VIDEO )
  47. Play To Know   (VIDEO )
  48. Play Banquet of God   (VIDEO )
  49. Play Blessed Sacrament   (VIDEO )
  50. Play God's Truth   (VIDEO )
  51. Play Heart of God   (VIDEO )
  52. Play How to Handle Worry   (VIDEO )
  53. Play Our Lingering Sins   (VIDEO )
  54. Play Radiant Living   (VIDEO )
  55. Play Sermon on the Mount   (VIDEO )
  56. Play Solutions   (VIDEO )
  57. Play St. Francis   (VIDEO )
  58. Play Unfinished Symphony   (VIDEO )
  59. Play Who We Are   (VIDEO )

Resources: Catholic radio

Resources Catholic Radio

One of the great, often overlooked, resources for learning our faith and increasing personal holiness is Catholic Radio. It is an ideal source of information while “multi-tasking.” Listen while you are driving to work, preparing dinner, cleaning the garage, exercising or doing other tasks. Depending on the particular show, radio can also play a role in your prayer life such as at bedtime, waking-up or at some other specific time.

The variety of content is huge and far from boring. You will find shows that are engaging, interesting and relevant to you. If you are a radio listener now, you will find Catholic content to be a refreshing change from secular news, talk radio and music stations.

Catholic Radio Networks

There are innumerable Catholic radio stations across the country and the world. They typically feature a mix of their own content plus content from other sources. Local stations are usually part of a network of stations. Each network also produces their own content. Some of the larger English language networks are:

Content Giants

Many of the Catholic radio networks include content from two powerhouses: EWTN and Catholic Answers.

EWTN (Eternal Word Television Network) is the largest religious media network in the world. Their content is original including both television and radio, via every media format imaginable and in many languages. Wikipedia has an overview. A good book on EWTN’s founder is Mother Angelica: The Remarkable Story of a Nun, Her Nerve, and a Network of Miracles.

Catholic Answers is another original content producer carried by many networks. They are focused on English language apologetics and evangelization in the US. I wrote about them last year.

Two other content producers in this category are noteworthy, although not currently radio oriented. Catholic TV is an original video network and the Newman Connection offers instructional videos. I was delighted recently to discover that EWTN, Catholic TV and the Newman connection are all available as free “channels” on the Roku.

On the Internet too

Most areas of the country have an AM or FM station on at least one of these. Oddly, there are 2 large metropolitan areas that do not – New York City and Atlanta. No problem! Almost all of the networks also provide their content free of charge over the Internet. It is not as accessible or portable as simply tuning in your radio, but it is widely available and the sound quality is often better than broadcast.

One way to access content is via the websites linked above, but an easier way is via a free web service known as tunein. They make finding all available internet radio content very easy. You can also create your own “presets” list of favorite stations and more. Smart phone and tablet users can also download their free app (Android or Apple) which offers many features and syncs presets with your (free) account. Recommended.

Online Recording Service

In many cases, the scheduled network shows are archived on their websites for access at your convenience. Some might not be, but when they are you may have several favorites and prefer not to visit multiple websites to access them. What you need is a TiVo-like DVR to record your favorite radio shows. That is exactly what provides. They also have apps for your smart phone or tablet (Android or Apple).

Satellite Radio

One other way technology comes to the rescue is via satellite radio. SiriusXM Radio offers quality Catholic content on their “Catholic Channel” (#129) and EWTN (#130). It is a good solution for those who would like to receive Catholic radio on the go but lack local sources. I particularly recommend Greg and Jennifer Willits show The Catholics Next Door (also available here).


Speaking of your portable devices, podcasts are also available for download in many cases. Be sure to check the network website, the Android Marketplace and the iTunes store.

Some of My Favorite Shows

I occasionally listen to many shows, but there are a few that I seek out and listen to fairly often:

  • Son Rise Morning Show
  • At Home with Jim and Joy Pinto
  • Catholic Answers Live
  • Marcus Grodi’s The Journey Home
  • Reflections with Father Leo Clifford (broadcast daily)
  • Mother Angelica’s Holy Rosary (broadcast daily)
  • Trish Short’s Divine Mercy Chaplet (broadcast daily)
  • Resources: Catholic Resources

    Resources Catholic Resources

    For over a dozen years, Rev. Felix Just, S.J. (and Ph.D.) has published some unique and very useful Catholic content on his continuously updated website – Catholic Resources for Bible, Liturgy, Art, and Theology. He is the Director of Biblical Education at the Loyola Institute for Spirituality in Orange, CA.

    Father Just describes his website as follows:

    This website contains a variety of materials, mostly related to biblical and liturgical studies, intended for scholars, teachers, students, pastors, believers, seekers, and others. Many pages contain my own writings and photographs, some were created by my students, and some are collections of links to other websites.

    There is much hidden treasure here! When I was in RCIA, I searched online for a concise “Order of Mass” and found it here.

    Recently I stumbled upon an thorough list of scripture references for the Mass in a forum post. The list shows how deeply scriptural the Mass actually is:

    Introductory Rites

    • Sign of the Cross
      • “In the name of the Father, and of the Son, and of the Holy Spirit.” (Matt 28:19; cf. John 14:13-14; Acts 2:21)
    • Liturgical Greeting
      1. “The grace of our Lord Jesus Christ, and the love of God, and the communion of the Holy Spirit be with you all.” (2 Cor 13:14)
      2. “Grace to you and peace from God our Father and the Lord Jesus Christ” (Phil 1:2; Eph 1:2)
      3. “The Lord be with you.” (2 Tim 4:22; cf. Matt 1:23; 28:20)
    • People’s Response
      • “And with your spirit” (cf. Gal 6:18; 2 Tim 4:22)
    • Rite of Blessing and Sprinkling Holy Water (see Ezek 36:25; cf. Num 8:7a)
    • Penitential Act
      • Intro: “Let us acknowledge our sins, and so prepare ourselves to celebrate the sacred mysteries.” (cf. Ps 51:5)
      1. “I confess to almighty God…” (cf. Lev 5:5; Neh 1:5-9; Dan 9:3-19; James 5:16)
      2. “Have mercy on us, O Lord./ For we have sinned against you. / Show us, O Lord, your mercy. / And grant us your salvation.” (Ps 41:4)
      3. “Lord, Have Mercy” (Matt 15:22; 17:15; 20:30-31; cf. Ps 123:3)
    • Gloria
      • “Glory to God in the highest, and on earth peace to people of good will” (Luke 2:14; cf. Rev 4:11; 5:11-14)
      • “We praise you, we bless you, we adore you, we glorify you…” (Cf. Ps 148:13)
      • “Lord Jesus Christ, Only Begotten Son” (cf. Ps 2:7; John 1:14)
      • “Lord God, Lamb of God, Son of the Father, you take away the sins of the world…” (cf. John 1:29)
    • Prayers concluded by “Amen” (Neh 8:6; Ps 41:13; Rom 16:27; Heb 13:20-21; Rev 7:16)

    Liturgy of the Word

    • Introductory/Concluding Dialogues
      • “A reading from the book/letter of…”
      • “The Word of the Lord” (1 Peter 1:25) – “Thanks be to God” (Rom 6:17; 2 Cor 9:15)
      • “A reading from the holy Gospel according to…” – “Glory to you, O Lord”
      • “The Gospel of the Lord” – “Praise to you, Lord Jesus Christ”
    • Acclamations before the Gospel
      • “Alleluia” (many Psalms, esp. Ps 146-150; Rev 19:1-6)
      • “Praise to you, Lord Jesus Christ, King of endless glory!” (cf. Ps 24:7-10; 1 Thess 2:12; 2 Tim 4:18)
      • “Praise and honor to you, Lord Jesus Christ!” (cf. Dan 4:34, 37; 1 Peter 1:7)
      • “Glory and praise to you, Lord Jesus Christ!” (cf. Phil 1:11)
    • Profession of Faith
      • “I believe…” (Mark 9:24; John 11:27; cf. John 14:1; 1 John 5:10)
    • General Intercessions
      • “We pray to the Lord” (Exod 8:29-30; 10:17-18; Jer 42:2-4; Acts 8:22-24)
      • “Lord, hear our prayer” (2 Kings 20:2-5; Isa 38:2-5)

    Liturgy of the Eucharist

    • Preparation of the Gifts
      • “Blessed are you, Lord God of all creation…” (cf. 1 Chron 29:10; Ps 72:18-19; 119:10; Luke 1:68)
      • “Blessed be God forever ” (cf.)
    • Eucharistic Acclamations
      • “Holy, Holy, Holy Lord God of hosts…” (Isa 6:3; Rev 4:8)
      • “Blessed is he who comes in the name of the Lord.” (Ps 118:26; Mark 11:9; Matt 21:9; Luke 19:38; John 12:13)
      • “Hosana in the highest” (Mark 11:10; Matt 21:9; cf. Luke 19:38)
    • Words of Institution (see Mark 14:22-24; Matt 26:26-28; cf. Luke 22:17-20; 1 Cor 11:23-25)
      • “Take this, all of you, and eat of it, for this is my Body, which will be given up for you” (a combination of Mark 14:22; Matt 26:26; Luke 22:19; 1 Cor 11:24)
      • “Take this, all of you, and drink from it, for this is the chalice of my Blood, the Blood of the new and eternal covenant, which will be poured out for you and for many for the forgiveness of sins.” (a combination of Mark 14:24; Matt 26:27b-28; cf. Luke 22:17, 20; 1 Cor 11:25)
      • “Do this in remembrance of me” (only Luke 22:19; 1 Cor 11:24a, 25b)
    • Memorial Acclamations
      1. “We proclaim your Death, O Lord, and profess your Resurrection until you come again.” (cf. 1 Cor 16:22)
      2. “When we eat this Bread and drink this Cup, we proclaim your Death, O Lord, until you come again.” (cf. 1 Cor 11:26)
      3. “Save us, Savior of the world, for by your Cross and Resurrection you have set us free.” (cf. Matt 8:25; Luke 4:42; Rom 8:21)
    • Lord’s Prayer
      • “Our Father in heaven…” (Matt 6:9-13; cf. Luke 11:2-4; Mark 14:36; Gal 4:6)
      • Doxology: “For the kingdom, the power, and the glory are yours…”
        (found only in some biblical manuscripts after Matt 6:13; cf. Rev 4:11; 11:15; 1 Chron 29:11)
    • Greeting of Peace
      • “Lord Jesus Christ, you said to your apostles, ‘I leave you peace, my peace I give you'” (John 14:27)
      • “The peace of the Lord be with you always.” (cf. John 16:33; 20:19, 21, 26)
    • Breaking of the Bread
      • “Lamb of God, you take away the sins of the world…” (cf. John 1:29, 36; Rev 5:6-13; 22:1-3)
    • Preparation before Communion
      • “Behold the Lamb of God, behold him who takes away the sins of the world. Blessed are those called to the supper of the Lamb.” (John 1:29, 36; Rev 19:9)
      • “Lord, I am not worthy that you should enter under my roof, but only say the word and my soul shall be healed.” (Matt 8:8; cf. Luke 7:1-10)

    Concluding Rite

    • Final Blessing (cf. Gen 28:3; Deut 14:29; Num 6:23-27; Ps 29:11)
    • Dismissal
      1. “Go forth, the Mass is ended.”
      2. “Go and announce the Gospel of the Lord.” (cf. Mark 16:15)
      3. “Go in peace, glorifying the Lord by your life.” (cf. Ps 115:1; 1 Cor 10:31; 2 Thess 1:12)
      4. “Go in peace.” (cf. Exod 4:18; Deut 10:11-13; Judg 18:6; 1 Sam 1:17; Mark 5:34; Luke 7:50; 8:48)

    I wanted to track-down its source, finding it in a number of places online (without attribution), I finally found it here – on Father Just’s website.

    Catholic Resources is a treasure trove of biblical and liturgical materials. Put some time aside to explore its excellent content.