October 14, 2009
Upcoming Programs
Ways to Find Healing

Though we don’t like to talk about it, evil is at work in our world. From the most ancient times, the Church has recognized that evil can sometimes manifest itself in dramatic ways. Thus we see examples in the Gospel stories of Jesus freeing people who are possessed by demons. What Jesus did became part of the Church’s ministry, and even was—for centuries—an office conferred on all priests prior to ordination. Today, what may have been called “possession” in former times, is often diagnosed as a mental or emotional condition, and can be treated medically and through counseling. But there remain some cases which respond only to the Church’s ministry of exorcism. For these cases, many dioceses appoint and train qualified priests to perform the Church’s prayer, asking Jesus to free the possessed person. American Catholic Radio was privileged to interview Father Gary Thomas, exorcist in the Diocese of San Diego. He came our attention when St. Anthony Messenger Press produced an audiobook version of The Rite: The Making of a Modern Exorcist, by Matt Baglio, a Doubleday book, soon to be a movie, which chronicled Father Thomas’s story.

Now a different topic. While usually not a result of evil per se, the tragic occurrence of suicide afflicts too many in our society. Suicide can result from untreated depression, and other causes. The Church tries to minister compassionately to the families of suicide victims during the funeral rites, but we all need to learn more about we might respond to a hurting person before the choice is made to end one’s life. These two ACR interviews—one on exorcism, one on suicide—will help inform our listeners, and, hopefully, help someone to find peace and healing!

Father Greg Friedman, O.F.M.
American Catholic Radio: Upcoming Episodes (#9-43, #9-44)
Use the links below to preview the shows or download them in MP3 format for broadcast.
Highlights from this episode include:

Living Faith
Patricia Gallagher talks about the experience of her husband trying to commit suicide and how it affected her family. They eventually were able to reach and help others who were struggling with anxiety, depression and attempted suicide by writing a book about what they all went through.

Ask a Franciscan
Father Hilarion Kistner responds to questions: Do the numbers seven and four have a special significance in the Bible? Are there limits to God's promise to give us whatever we ask in Jesus' name? Why does Ezekiel tell us that Pharaoh was laid to rest among the uncircumcised?

Marriage Moment
Greg and Jennifer Willits, hosts of their own talk radio show called The Catholics Next Door. They tackle the question, “What are the pros and cons of working with your spouse?”

Exploring Our Faith
Franciscan Father Jim Van Vurst, OFM has worked as a friar for over 40 years has been in education, administration and pastoral ministry in healthcare settings. He has been a part of our evangelization team at St. Anthony Messenger Press for the past several years. He currently serves as spiritual advisor to communities of Poor Clare Franciscan sisters in North America, and is involved in retreats, recollection days and spiritual direction. From his background in psychology and pastoral counseling, Father Jim speaks with producer John Feister about the topic of suicide and mental illness.
Highlights from this episode include:

Living Faith
Leonardo DeFilipis is staging a one-man stage production, VIANNEY, about the life of St. John Vianney. Leonardo's production company, St. Luke Productions, is taking their play around the country, just in time for the year for the priest.

Ask a Franciscan
Father Greg Friedman responds to questions: Can we get sick from sharing the Eucharistic cup? What's the meaning of the phrase "Lord, I am not worthy to receive you"?

Marriage Moment
Catholic psychotherapist and author Greg Popcak along with his wife Lisa Popcak, a professional educator and Life Coach, answer the question, “What should be our priority—the marriage or the children? How does our faith help us balance being parents, friends and lovers?”

Exploring Our Faith
Father Gary Thomas is a priest in the diocese of San Jose, California, and serves as exorcist for the Diocese of San Jose. His training for that post was profiled in The Rite: The Making of a Modern Exorcist, by Matt Baglio. Ordained in 1983, Father Gary was a seasoned pastor at the time he received his appointment as exorcist. He attended a course at a Vatican-affiliated university which prepared priests to conduct investigations of possible demonic possession, and if necessary, the rites of exorcism.
 
 
Franciscan Radio
Link to audio features Saint of the Day, Sunday Soundbites, and American Catholic Radio.
American Catholic Radio
A weekly half-hour catechetical program, in the popular style of the Franciscans.
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