St. Thomas Becket, loyal son of the Church, martyr and saint

And what would happen next………

A strong man who wavered for a moment, but then learned one cannot come to terms with evil and so became a strong churchman, a martyr and a saint—that was Thomas Becket, archbishop of Canterbury, murdered in his cathedral on December 29, 1170.

His career had been a stormy one. While archdeacon of Canterbury, he was made chancellor of England at the age of 36 by his friend King Henry II. When Henry felt it advantageous to make his chancellor the archbishop of Canterbury, Thomas gave him fair warning: he might not accept all of Henry’s intrusions into Church affairs. Nevertheless, he was made archbishop (1162), resigned his chancellorship and reformed his whole way of life!

Troubles began. Henry insisted upon usurping Church rights. At one time, supposing some conciliatory action possible, Thomas came close to compromise. He momentarily approved the Constitutions of Clarendon, which would have denied the clergy the right of trial by a Church court and prevented them from making direct appeal to Rome. But Thomas rejected the Constitutions, fled to France for safety and remained in exile for seven years. When he returned to England, he suspected it would mean certain death. Because Thomas refused to remit censures he had placed upon bishops favored by the king, Henry cried out in a rage, “Will no one rid me of this troublesome priest!” Four knights, taking his words as his wish, slew Thomas in the Canterbury cathedral.

Thomas Becket remains a hero-saint down to our own times. From Saint of the Day

For a greater telling of this saint’s life – EWTN Library

Note: T. S. Eliot wrote a play — “Murder in the Cathedral” — about his life, and a movie — “Becket” (1964) — starring Peter O’Toole and Richard Burton has been made, too

Prayer for St. Thomas a Becket

Taken from the Roman Missal.

O God, for the sake of whose Church the glorious Bishop Thomas fell by the sword of ungodly men: grant, we beseech Thee, that all who implore his aid, may obtain the good fruit of his petition. Through our Lord Jesus Christ, Who livest and reignest with Thee in the unity of the Holy Spirit, forever and ever. Amen.

Faith Check 28 – Supporting our Priests

Supporting our Priests

I once spoke with a priest of a large suburban parish with thousands of members, who told me that he could count the number of dinner invitations he had received over the past year from his parishioners on one hand.  This shocked me as I knew he was very busy with his ministry, and I assumed that he was frequently invited to the homes and activities of his parishioners.  Yet such was not the case.

It is easy to take our priests for granted.  Our priests are men who have sacrificed everything—marriage, family, children—for the sake of the Gospel.1  And yet they are but men who, like everyone, need to be encouraged, welcomed, and loved.

Let us find ways to involve them in the lives of our families.  Let us pray for them that they will grow in the grace of God and be protected from the attacks of the enemy;

And let us pray the Lord to send more priestly laborers into the harvest fields, so that the People of God might be sanctified, supported, and led in our earthly pilgrimage toward our Father’s House.

1 –  cf. Mt. 19:10-12; 1 Cor. 7:32-35

Cardinal Arinze on the Sacred Liturgy and the life of the Priest

Cardinal Arinze, on September 21, 2011, spoke with priests of the Archdiocese of Omaha on the Sacred Liturgy of the Church and unique and specific role of the priest.

Francis Cardinal Arinze discussed the Sacred Liturgy as central to the life and ministry of the priest.  He discusses what the Sacred Liturgy is,  he summarizes the ministry of the priest in its three-fold aspect and then sets out how the Sacred Liturgy effects the personal life of the priest.  How he celebrates it matters very much.

This is a very important prospective for all the members of the Church to hear!

Event sponsored by the Pro Sanctity Movement

The Priesthood and the Sacred Heart of Jesus – Discerning Hearts

Msgr. Esseff continues his reflections in the Chapel of Apparitions located in Paray le Monial, France.

Msgr. Esseff opens up the special call priests have in bringing the Sacred Heart to the world.  He also brings forward the prophetic message of Pope Paul VI in 1970 which he warns of the attack of the evil one on the priesthood in particular over a 40 year period.  The priesthood of this time is truly the pierced heart of Christ.

Be sure to visit “Building a Kingdom of Love”

IJCY5-Is Jesus Calling You with Fr. Paul Hoesing episode 5

Is Jesus Calling? A Spiritual Guide to Discerning Your Vocational Call with Fr. Paul Hoesing – episode 5: The Sixth Spiritual Lesson: Your fear is from the spirit against Christ. “God does not reveal himself through fear, pressure or confusion.  This where the spirit against Christ reveals himself.”

Questions: What are your ideas and images of god the Father and how do they differ from what Jesus teaches us about the Father?  Do you see the Father as someone who pressures you to do things?  Where does fear drive your relationship with the Father?  Recall your latest experience of peace, stillness, clarity and gratitude in God and believe that that is how the Father draws you?

The Seventh Spiritual Lesson: God’s will is found in your will when you are in Christ. “God’s will, His desire for you, is not out there somwhere!  It is found in your own desire when you are in Christ!  That is the will of God for you!”

Questions: Does the thought of the priesthood come into your thoughts, feelings and desires when you are experiencing the peaceful presence of God?


Based on “Is Jesus Calling You To Be A Catholic Priest: A helpful guide”, published by National Conference of Diocesan Vocation Director.

Fr. Paul Hoesing serves as the Vocation Director for the Archdiocese of Omaha, NE.
Check out “F
or Your

IJCY2-Is Jesus Calling You: Discerning Your Vocation with Fr. Paul Hoesing episode 2

Is Jesus Calling? A Spiritual Guide to Discerning Your Vocational Call with Fr. Paul Hoesing – episode 2: Discerning Your Vocation The First Spiritual Lesson:  You Must Follow Christ.  “Discovering one’s vocation is not a navel-gazing, self-focused, psychological exercise.   It’s not about a man figuring something out.  It is not about solving a confusing puzzle.”

Questions: Where have you encountered Christ?  Where do you experience his loving presence now for you?   Where do you feel consciously blessed and grateful for what God has done for you?

The Second Spiritual Lesson: Learn to desire what God desires for you. “All you need is to desire whatever God may desire for you. Remaining true to this desire opens your heart to receive what God wants for you. Then, God Himself will take care of you.”

Questions: Do you trust that God always wants what is best for you? Where do you begin to become afraid of giving God permission to lead you? When do you begin to try to manipulate God to want what you think will make you happy? When that happens, simply say over and over again inside of yourself to the Father, ‘Father, I give you permission to lead me!’ Or ‘Father, I desire your goodness to me.’ Or, ‘Father, I trust you’”

Based on “Is Jesus Calling You To Be A Catholic Priest: A helpful guide”, published by Nati onal Conference of Diocesan Vocation Director.


Fr. Paul Hoesing serves as the Vocation Director for the Archdiocese of Omaha, NE.
Check out “For Your

Discerning Your Vocation Discerning Your Vocation



IP#65 Sr. Briege McKenna – The Power of the Sacraments part 2 on Inside the Pages

Part 2 of 3…Sr. Briege McKenna O.S.C. is a tremendous blessing for all of us in the Church! The Power of the Sacraments” is a beautiful work which helps us all to appreciate the gift of grace that flows through the sacraments. There is such a hunger in the hearts of God’s children today for healing and peace. Sr. Briege, in her beautiful maternal nurturing way, helps us to see that the answer is right in front of us reaching out to us right now…he is Jesus Christ. “Miracles Do Happen” is her beautiful book recounting her miraculous healing and her call to mission to the world. It also expresses her great love and concern for the priesthood. Her insights are tremendous…her love for Christ and her bride, the Church, is a glorious witness and light for today’s world. She is truly one of the most inspiring persons I have ever encountered!

Click here to be taken to Sr. Briege’s website “St. Clare Sisters Retreat Ministry”

You can find both of Sr. Briege McKenna’s books here

For more information:

St. Clare Sisters Retreat Ministry
P.O. Box 1559
Palm Harbor, FL 34682, U.S.A.

Office: #727-786-3821
Fax: #727-787-3741
Prayerline: #727-781-5906

For more Sister Briege on Inside the Pages:

IP#64 Sr. Briege McKenna – The Power of the Sacraments part 1 on Inside the Pages

IP#66 Sr. Briege McKenna – The Power of the Sacraments part 3 on Inside the Pages

[email protected]
[email protected]

IP#27 Gregory Erlandson – Pope Benedict XVI and the Sexual Abuse Scandal Part 1 on Insides the Pages

Pope Benedict XVI and the Sexual Abuse Scandal is an important contribution to the understanding and healing of the great heartache that has inflicted the Church over the last 30 years.  Talking with Gregory Erlandson was a great opportunity to realize the nuisances of what got us here, but also the response and hope that leads us to the future.

The wonderful David Scott, put it best:

This is Catholic journalism at its best. Erlandson and Bunson are two of most knowledgeable people in the world on the Church and this book shows it. Good reporting, sharply written, smart analysis, not afraid of the hard questions–even if the answers don’t always put the Church in the best light. This book should be in every mainstream newsroom in the country. It offers a definitive historical overview of the abuse scandal and Pope Benedict’s role, first as head of the Vatican’s doctrine office and now as Pope. This should be an eye-opener for those who think Benedict has been negligent or worse. The facts just don’t support the conclusions that the mainstream media has been insisting upon. In addition to good reporting, this book provides excellent documentation–full texts of every reference Benedict has made on the crisis, including his addresses to the U.S. bishops and his historic letter to the people of Ireland. A good read and an essential reference.

Find more this book at

IP#18 Fr. Alfred McBride – A Priest Forever on Inside the Pages

It’s always a rich joy to spend time with Fr. Alfred McBride.  In ” A Priest Forever:  Nine Signs of Renewal and Hope”, Father McBride brings forward not only his master catechetical skills, but his deep love for the vocation he has lived all these many years.  Though crisis may be rocking the Church with the current priest abuse scandals in other parts of the world, Fr. McBride helps us to see the rays of the Father’s  grace and mercy which are bringing about renewal and hope in the face of the storm.

Fr. McBride’s book is published by
St. Anthony Messenger Press

IP#16 Fr. Donald Calloway – No Turning Back on Inside the Pages

The story of a modern day St. Augustine.  Fr. Donald Calloway would blush at the comparison, but the power found in his story of conversion and transformation is life changing for many who hear or read about it.  And add in the influence of Our Lady, the Blessed Virgin Mary and watch out, you to may be drawn deeper into the heart of Christ and His Divine Mercy.  A great read and a wonderful interview, with Fr. Calloway there is “No Turning Back”!

Find Fr. Donald Calloway’s book or for more information go to

Here is another interview we had with Fr. Calloway concerning “Blessed Virgin Mary and the Theology of the Body