Sports & Celebrities

Great Start for Canonization Pilgrimage

by Steve Ray on April 25, 2014

20140425-225612.jpgRome is packed with people! Buses are pouring in from every direction. I think the educated estimate is there will be 2 million people here for the canonization on Sunday.

Our group arrived this morning and everyone is in good spirits and excited. We had a great start for the day with Mass at St. Mary Major, time for shopping around St. Peter’s Square, settling into our gorgeous five-star hotel and a marvelous Italian dinner. Everyone is now in bed catching up on their much-needed sleep.

20140425-225635.jpgTomorrow morning we start with Mass in St. Peter’s Basilica in the crypt of the Popes at the bones of St. Peter. Everyone is very excited about the special Mass to begin the pilgrimage. Then we will tour all of ancient Rome and including the Coliseum, Roman Forum and some of our favorite ancient churches.

This is a picture of everyone having dinner tonight. Also some of our pilgrims got to chat with Newt Gingrich at St. Peter’s where he is shooting a movie about JPII.

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Mixed Reviews on How Great Mandela Really Was

by Steve Ray on December 10, 2013

Nelson Mandela with wife Winnie and Joe Slove, head of South Africa Communist Party and leading member of ANC.

While the world has it’s eyes on South Africa and the funeral of Nelson Mandela, his praises are being sung around the world. No doubt he was a huge figure on the world stage, was unjustly imprisoned and did some important things for South Africa, but his legacy is mixed.

He was a huge pro-abortion leader who ushered in some of the world’s most anti-life laws. He also supported the gay movement and paved the way for homosexual “marriage” in South Africa. He was also a communist which opens a bit of a window into his worldview.

Yes, he suffered nobly for freedom and to eliminate apartheid, was a great example of forgiveness and magnanimity, but we need to be aware of the condemnatory aspects of his legacy as well.

Here is an interesting article in LifeSiteNews.com entitlePro-life leaders urge caution, while Pope, Cardinal Dolan praise controversial Nelson Mandela.

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Jackie was one of our pilgrims on this trip to the Holy Land. She is a marathon runner who’s achieved great success. Even while here she would arise early and run several times around the Wall of Jerusalem.

Deacon Jim was also on our trip along with his wife and daughter. He is struggling with serious stage 4 cancer. He was a trooper the whole way and never once complained. He served at Mass and struggled but never fell behind.

Jackie has run thirty-one marathons, seven of them Boston Marathons. But she missed the Boston Marathon this year and I’ll let her tell you why. Why is the number 7 so important to her. What makes her run?

Deacon Jim did not expect Jackie’s announcement – none of us did, but we were all stunned and moved to tears.

Why will Jackie run the Boston Marathon next year? I think you will enjoy her story which she shared with us on the bus yesterday. There was not a dry eye on the bus and no one spoke for a long time. This is one incredible lady!

Jackie wrote:

As many of you know, Andrew and I went with my parents on a Holy Lands pilgrimage in April. It was a unique and fascinating experience. From the Christian perspective, I would strongly recommend our tour host, Steve Ray (and his wife Janet) http://www.catholicconvert.com/ . His (and her) knowledge of both Testaments of the Bible and the Holy Lands itself is stunning, and he conveys it to the group in a way that is easily understood and appreciated. I have attached photos from 2 places that I felt were quite powerful. The first is from within the Church of the Holy Sepulcher in the walled Old City of Jerusalem, and marks the spot where Mary stood during the Crucifixion. The second is within the Church of all Nations, and is the stone upon which Christ began His passion in the Garden of Gethsemane on Holy Thursday.

        We have been back for about 2 weeks now, and everything we experienced is still filtering in. God willing, Andrew and I have increased our commitment to each other, and hope to be better neighbors to everyone else as well.

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Manny Loses His Faith and his Fight

December 9, 2012

Dear Steve (written by a friend in the Philippines): My name is Ivan and I don’t know if you will still remember me, I am the brother of Lafayette of Davao City, Philippines. I just want to share something which I hope you will find interesting. Manny Pacquiao is a professional boxer from the Philippines [...]

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Dominos Pizza Magnate Tom Monaghan Compares Himself to Hugh Hefner

March 15, 2012

If it weren’t for his faith, Domino’s Pizza founder Tom Monaghan said he’d be like Hugh Hefner right now, bathing in luxury after luxury. At least that’s what he told JSerra Catholic High School students in San Juan Capistrano on Thursday during a private speaking engagement that was also open to the community. His message [...]

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Tim Tebow: God’s Quarterback – Love him or Hate him

December 12, 2011

TIM TEBOW: GOD’S QUARTERBACK By PATTON DODD “On a brisk Thursday evening in mid-November, I sat high in the stands at a Denver Broncos home game, covering the ears of my 4-year-old son as the fans around us launched f-bombs at Tim Tebow, the Broncos’ struggling second-year quarterback. Mr. Tebow was ineffective and off-target for [...]

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