Catholics Evangelize with Popcorn


Ottawa father John Pacheco brought his four daughters and some members of the Legionnaires of St. Maurice, a men’s group he leads at his parish, to help out at the booth and to get ideas for their own evangelization projects.

Pacheco said he wanted his kids and the men in his group to see “evangelization is a normal part of life” and not a “hard sell” where someone “presses a button and you put on your evangelization face.”

“Most Catholics have never been involved in evangelization” he said. “We keep talking about the new evangelization, but nobody ever does anything. It’s all talk, talk, talk.”

Helping out at the fair gives the men in his group a chance to see how people react. “It’s all about practice,” he said. Next year they might rent the booth next door and add some other elements, including music and a man dressed as a medieval knight to help spark questions and opportunities to talk about chivalry and Catholic moral teaching.


Popcorn Evangelization

There has been a lot of talk over the last couple of decades of the so-called “new evangelization”.  From my perspective, I haven’t seen much evangelization at the local parish or even group level anywhere. There hasn’t been much evangelization, either “new” or old time, for that matter. Lots of talk and no action, for the most part.

And yet, evangelization is one of the main reasons – if not the main reason – that the Catholic Church exists. Today in the West, local parishes are shutting down.  In fact, of the ones that trudge along, it’s all about keeping the furnace going or paying the electricity bill.  For the Basilicas and Cathedrals, especially in dying areas, it’s all about selling tickets as a tourist attraction.  We’ve become a museum piece, as Pope Benedict once quipped. To say that we have lost our way is a major understatement. I told the guys in the Legion at the start of our group that evangelization is not just a pious option, it’s a matter of survival.  We simply will not survive as a potent religion if we don’t spread our Faith.

The challenges and opportunities today are vastly different than they were 50 years ago.  We are not dealing with anti-Catholic protestants.  We are largely dealing with fallen-away Catholics, and people who know little about Christianity or the Catholic Faith. We have a different challenge that, in some ways, is easier than times past.  There is a great hunger for spiritual truths, and all of us have to take concerted, specific, and deliberate efforts to make it happen. It’s not good enough to let someone else do it, or have just a good, fuzzy feeling about evangelization.  Uh….who’s gonna get in the car and hit the pavement and do it? Warm fuzzies doesn’t do the trick, sorry to say.  Nor does sitting behind a computer.  That’s not going to cut it either…at least not totally.  We need to get personal and press the flesh – in your face with a smile kind of evangelism.  Each one of us needs to step out of our comfort zone and get uncomfortable, be vulnerable, and yes, even look like a fool and idiot at times.  Step out into the peripheries, as Pope Francis says. That is the cost of furthering the Gospel.  We have to start at Square 1 and build from there.

My good friend, Fr. Anthony Hannon, who pastors St. Catherine of Sienna parish in Metcalfe started something rather bold a number of years ago at the rural fair in his Community.  He purchased a booth at the Metcalfe Fair, and started doing evangelization.  When things didn’t work out the way he had planned along the more conventional approach to evangelization, he rolled with the punches and got smart. He invited the Queenship of Mary and put them as the first point of contact, setup a popcorn machine and started getting different results.

I was impressed with this strategy.  Fr. Anthony happened to mention to me that the Sisters needed a popcorn machine maker for this year’s event. So the Legion bought one for them, organized a rotation to help them out, and do some reconnaissance to find out what works and what does not in evangelizing people.  Catholics don’t do evangelization, do we?.  That might have been the reality in the past, but we cannot afford for this to be the reality going forward. We need to learn “real fast”, as the saying goes.  In my first encounter this year, I must admit being somewhat awkward, but I brought my wife and kids out to help ease into it. They had some fun on the rides and experienced a rural fair, and they also got a chance to engage and to make evangelization part of normal life. Sometimes, it was a smile and simply passing out popcorn; other times giving out a pamphlet or rosary; other times engaging in an invitation to learn more about the Catholic faith in a follow-up session on the following Tuesday at the Church; other times engaging in a more substantive conversation. There weren’t any on-the-spot-conversions, but I noticed that lots of people are attracted to popcorn and religious sisters!

The latter is what fascinated me, in particular. I think it has a lot to do with their habits and their sense of purpose and meaning — something that is sorely lacking in today’s nihilistic culture.  One group of teenagers has now been back four years to have a chat with Sr. Philomena.  It’s about establishing relationships and building from there. Constancy, consistency, and the joy of Christ are the keys. Young people are looking for a challenge and a way of life that the world does not offer.  The Church and her traditions can offer it. We just need to get out there and make it happen, and simply draw back the curtain and say, “Hey!  We’ve got a lot to offer in here.”  One young man who I had the opportunity to engage in came back a second time. When I asked him what he was looking for, he said he wasn’t sure. After a short conversation, I have him a booklet on how to be a man from a Catholic perspective.  Maybe a seed was planted. Who knows?  I also remember a group of young children who were all excited about the popcorn.  Before giving them their bags, I asked them, “How many of you know that God loves you, raise your hand?”  They all raised their hands.  Here’s your popcorn, kiddies.  Next year, we’ll take it one step further.

There is a risk of just stopping at popcorn evangelization without going further, but there’s a certain prudence in starting out light and soft and then moving in on harder subjects.  It all depends on where the individual is at, and your discernment in probing deeper if they will let you.  That’s something we will have to work on together as a group. There’s a skill to it and a discipline.  It’s not some loosey-goosy exercise.  I came away from the experience a bit wiser and with an idea or two of how to entice people into learning about the Faith.  Popcorn evangelization is a phrase I like to use to describe an approach that brings down people’s barriers to the Christian Faith and gets them to consider the Catholic Faith in a natural and “safe” context.  It works.  And we need to grab a clue and work with it as a strategy. The account below is from one of our other Legionnaires who was present at the Fair.

I was at the Metcalfe Fair this afternoon, did some observing and helping. The flow of people was moderate but the free popcorn did help a lot in attracting people to the booth, kids especially. People were friendly and polite. I did try to talk to them but I’m poor at starting a conversation, so mostly it was just a “hi”, do you want some free popcorn. I did talk to a mother who “complained” about a priest who has not yet replied to her daughter’s letter. She said that her daughter wrote a letter to ask the priest something like, why spend thousand of dollars on a gold-plated monstrance? Wouldn’t it be better to spend that money to help the poor as Jesus taught in the Bible. I tried to explain and told her that It is kind of showing respect to God and in Jesus time the Jerusalem temple was also decorated with gold and expensive things but Jesus did not complain about that. Furthermore, the Church is still doing a lot of charity work, it is not like the Church just spend money on expensive stuff and not helping the poor. She seemed to feel better with my explanation and before she left I asked her to bring her daughter to the booth if she has more questions. I also said the priest should respond. Several people, especially kids were looking at the rosary, I tried to tell them what the rosary was about but I didn’t do a good job, I was ignorant and unprepared about the rosary. There were free pamphlets available on the table which talks about the rosary. I should have taken a look at all the pamphlets being displayed at the booth so that I could be more prepared to help when people show an interest in them.  One last thing, the popcorn machine works in a cycle, it takes time to produce the popcorn and people are willing to wait and the waiting provide opportunities to engage them. Some people started talking and some looked at what were on display at the table but most of them just looked at the popcorn machine. It would be nice if we can add some slogans or catch-phrases, like “It is written: ‘Man shall not live on bread alone, but on every word that comes from the mouth of God.”, promote some ministries/activities​ at the local church.

Follow up story by BC Catholic here.

Sister Lucia: “Final Confrontation between the Lord and Satan will be over Family and Marriage.”

Yes, I was. At the start of this work entrusted to me by the Servant of God John Paul II, I wrote to Sister Lucia of Fatima through her Bishop as I couldn’t do so directly. Unexplainably however, since I didn’t expect an answer, seeing that I had only asked for prayers, I received a very long letter with her signature – now in the Institute’s archives. In it we find written: the final battle between the Lord and the reign of Satan will be about marriage and the family. Don’t be afraid, she added,because anyone who operates for the sanctity of marriage and the family will always be contended and opposed in every way, because this is the decisive issue. And then she concluded: however, Our Lady has already crushed its head.

And yet, how sad it is that so many bishops are so blind to what they are proposing.  How can any of these men be saved?

Methodist, Episcopalian clergy ‘bless’ Cleveland abortion clinic in prayer service

This is what happens when you let feminists become ordained clergy.  The vast majority of them (not all, but most) are liberal and progressive.

Archbishop Durocher wants to allow women to become “deaconesses”.  Good plan, eh?

There were no “deaconesses” in the Catholic Church – ever.  The early Church referred to such women as such because they were the spouses of deacons.  The Archbishop just wants to concoct these positions in order to scratch the itch of male guilt over God’s Word.  Very sad.

Women have their own ministry and power without encroaching on ministries that are exclusively male.

I wonder if it was worth the 3 minutes of fame, Archbishop.

The Entire Polish Episcopate Stands Firm

Abp. S. Gądecki, Chairman of the Polish Episcopal Conference laid down the gauntlet on Saturday.  Obviously Saint John Paul II has not been able to persuade Pope Francis yet, otherwise we would not be having this discussion, nor would enemies of Christ and his Church be promoted to such high offices and given prominence at this Synod.  Nevertheless, it looks like St. John Paul II is going with Plan B – the Polish Episcopate to have his voice heard.  The resistance to the innovations is holding fast and even building. Unless the Pope wants to risk schism, there will be no change in the Church’s teaching or pastoral practice.  The Holy Spirit protects the Church and the Pope from error. Sometimes He does it by means which we are not used to and which we do not expect, but the job gets done in the end.  Let this be a teaching moment for all of the papalotrists out there: the Faith comes before the Pope.  The Holy Spirit will guard his office from teaching error — even through humiliation if required.  And the Pope will be OK with that too…because he’s humble and he accepts the judgement of the Church.

Saturday, October 10, 2015


I wish to stress at the start that this speech is not only my personal opinion, but the opinion of the whole Polish Episcopal Conference.

1.  It is obvious, that the Church of our time must — in the spirit of mercy — support the divorced living in repeated civil unions, caring for them with a special love, in order that they do not feel that they are cut off from the Church, when in fact, as baptized persons, they have a duty to take part in the life of the Church.

Let them, therefore, be encouraged to listen to the Word of God, to take part in the Sacrifice of Holy Mass, to persevere in prayer, to support works of charity and common initiatives for justice, to bring up their children in the Christian faith as well as nurturing a spirit of and acts of penance, so that in this way, on a day-to-day basis, they can work for God’s grace. Let the Church show itself to be a merciful Mother and in this way strengthen them in faith and hope. (Pope St. John Paul II, Familiaris Consortio, 84)

2. Nevertheless the Church, in teaching about giving Holy Communion to the divorced living in new civil unions, cannot bend to the will of the person, but to the Will of Christ (see Paul VI, “Speech to the Roman Rota,” 28.01.1978; Pope St. John Paul II, “Speech to the Roman Rota,” 23.01.1992, 29.01.1996). The Church cannot allow itself to be sub-ordinate to either feelings of false sentiment towards people or to false, though popular, models of thinking.

To agree that those living more uxorio [“as if they were married”] in nonsacramental unions should be able to receive Holy Communion would be against the Tradition of the Church. Already documents from the earliest synods in Elwira, Arles, Neocezaria, which took place in the years 304–319, confirm the doctrine of the Church, that the divorced living in new unions cannot receive Holy Communion.

The basis of this position is the fact that their state and way of life is objectively a denial against the bonds of love between Christ and the Church, “which is expressed and realized by the Eucharist” (Pope St. John Paul II, Familiaris Consortio, 84; por. 1 Kor 11, 27–29; Benedict XVI, Sacramentum Caritatis, 29; Francis, Angelus, Aug. 16, 2015).

3. The Eucharist is the sacrament for the baptized, who are in a state of sacramental grace. Permission for people who are not in a state of grace to receive Holy Communion could do immense harm not only in the pastoral ministry for families, but also for the doctrine of the Church about sanctifying grace.

In reality the decision to give them Holy Communion would open the door to this sacrament for everyone living in mortal sin. In consequence this would write off the meaning of the sacrament of penance and distort the meaning of life lived in a state of grace. It is also necessary to stress that the Church cannot accept so-called gradualism of the law. (Pope St. John Paul II, Familiaris Consortio, 34).

The Dogma of Inclusivity —Sympathy for the Devil

There has been a lot of talk from Pope Francis about going out to the peripheries to seek the lost sheep.  The point of leaving the 99 and seeking that one lost sheep is to bring the lost sheep back into the fold.  The point is not to alienate the 99 and be a church of 1.  And yet, if you were to listen to some of the bishops and cardinals over the past year, you would discover that there has not been a lot of attention to the 99.  It’s all about the 1 black sheep and his problems.  We have arrived at such fevered pitch in the Church today that the innovators are all about ramming through another dogma — the dogma of inclusivity where everyone is welcome without distinction, without discernment, and without any brains, too.

The mercy being thrown around today in Rome is not about authentic mercy. It’s about sympathy for the devil. Don’t be deceived.

Please allow me to introduce myself
I’m a man of wealth and taste
I’ve been around for a long, long years
Stole many a man’s soul and faith

And I was ’round when Jesus Christ
Had his moment of doubt and pain
Made damn sure that Pilate
Washed his hands and sealed his fate

Pleased to meet you
Hope you guess my name
But what’s puzzling you
Is the nature of my game

I stuck around St. Petersburg
When I saw it was a time for a change
Killed the czar and his ministers
Anastasia screamed in vain

I rode a tank
Held a general’s rank
When the blitzkrieg raged
And the bodies stank

Pleased to meet you
Hope you guess my name, oh yeah
Ah, what’s puzzling you
Is the nature of my game, oh yeah
(woo woo, woo woo)

I watched with glee
While your kings and queens
Fought for ten decades
For the gods they made
(woo woo, woo woo)

I shouted out,
“Who killed the Kennedys?”
When after all
It was you and me
(who who, who who)

Let me please introduce myself
I’m a man of wealth and taste
And I laid traps for troubadours
Who get killed before they reached Bombay
(woo woo, who who)

Pleased to meet you
Hope you guessed my name, oh yeah
(who who)
But what’s puzzling you
Is the nature of my game, oh yeah, get down, baby
(who who, who who)

Pleased to meet you
Hope you guessed my name, oh yeah
But what’s confusing you
Is just the nature of my game
(woo woo, who who)

Just as every cop is a criminal
And all the sinners saints
As heads is tails
Just call me Lucifer
‘Cause I’m in need of some restraint
(who who, who who)

So if you meet me
Have some courtesy
Have some sympathy, and some taste
(woo woo)
Use all your well-learned politesse
Or I’ll lay your soul to waste, um yeah
(woo woo, woo woo)

Pleased to meet you
Hope you guessed my name, um yeah
(who who)
But what’s puzzling you
Is the nature of my game, um mean it, get down
(woo woo, woo woo)

Woo, who
Oh yeah, get on down
Oh yeah
Oh yeah!
(woo woo)

Tell me baby, what’s my name
Tell me honey, can ya guess my name
Tell me baby, what’s my name
I tell you one time, you’re to blame

Oh, who
woo, woo
Woo, who
Woo, woo
Woo, who, who
Woo, who, who
Oh, yeah

What’s my name
Tell me, baby, what’s my name
Tell me, sweetie, what’s my name

Woo, who, who
Woo, who, who
Woo, who, who
Woo, who, who
Woo, who, who
Woo, who, who
Oh, yeah
Woo woo
Woo woo


Vatican Strong Arms Faithful Priest-Reporter

Pope Francis has styled himself as a pope who wants a more collaborative approach to how the Church functions.  Since his election, he has emphasized this collegial approach, even to the point of identifying himself as “bishop of Rome”, instead of “the Pope”.  But more and more, it’s becoming evident that the people he has put in charge of many things don’t share this open approach.

In point of fact, in the last couple of years, we’ve seen the tendency of clerics to abuse their power and presume to control and suppress opinions that they just don’t like.  The latest evidence of this can gleaned by the latest scandal coming out of the Synod where a Catholic priest had his press credentials revoked.

Amid continuing concern about the Vatican press office’s “manipulation” of the family synod’s message, a priest who has been covering Vatican news for over 15 years had his credentials revoked last week, and was told to leave the premises “immediately.” The revocation came after he had challenged an archbishop following the October 6 press conference over comments claiming that allowing Communion for the divorced and remarried is up for debate.

Now you might think that this is a new development in the Catholic Church.  But really it’s not that new.  Readers will recall what happened here in Canada a few years ago when John Henry Westen of LifeSiteNews was barred from covering the Plenary Session of the CCCB.  The heat surrounding the Development and Peace abortion scandal was way too much for the CCCB’s media handlers.  They decided to pull the plug and ban independent media scrutiny.   What was Fr. Rosica’s role in that decision?  One can only speculate.  However, it would not be out of character to believe he had some role in it, considering these comments he famously made during this interview:

The reality of what is happening today, however, is just a logical continuation of what we have seen in the past, except that instead of it weakening the Canadian Church, this putsch has been exported to the universal church.  It’s quite sad to see, and it represents yet another “gift” that the Canadian Church has given to the Universal one.  Along with the Winnipeg Statement, the Canadian “branch” has very little to be proud of indeed.  We are an international embarrassment, and the devil’s dupes on the world stage.  Jesus have mercy on us.

Caput brings the hammer down on Rosica’s “inclusivity”


The Holy Father has wisely encouraged us to be both fraternal and candid in speaking our thoughts during this synod.

Just as our thoughts shape the language we use, so too the language we use shapes our thinking and the content of our discussions. Imprecise language leads to confused thinking, and that can sometimes lead to unhappy results. I want to share with you two examples that should cause us some concern, at least in the English-speaking world.

The first example is the word inclusive. We’ve heard many times that the Church should be inclusive. And if by “inclusive” we mean a Church that is patient and humble, merciful and welcoming — then all of us here will agree. But it’s very hard to include those who do not wish to be included, or insist on being included on their own terms. To put it another way: I can invite someone into my home, and I can make my home as warm and hospitable as possible. But the person outside my door must still choose to enter. If I rebuild my house to the blueprint of the visitor or stranger, my family will bear the cost, and my home will no longer be their home. The lesson is simple. We need to be a welcoming Church that offers refuge to anyone honestly seeking God. But we need to remain a Church committed to the Word of God, faithful to the wisdom of the Christian tradition, and preaching the truth of Jesus Christ.

The second example is the expression unity in diversity. The Church is “catholic” or universal. We need to honor the many differences in personality and culture that exist among the faithful. But we live in a time of intense global change, confusion and unrest. Our most urgent need is unity, and our greatest danger is fragmentation. Brothers, we need to be very cautious in devolving important disciplinary and doctrinal issues to national and regional episcopal conferences — especially when pressure in that direction is accompanied by an implicit spirit of self-assertion and resistance.

Five hundred years ago, at a moment very like our own, Erasmus of Rotterdam wrote that the unity of the Church is the single most important of her attributes. We can argue about what Erasmus actually believed, and what he intended with his writing. But we can’t argue about the consequences when the need for Church unity was ignored. In the coming days of our synod, we might fruitfully remember the importance of our unity, what that unity requires, and what disunity on matters of substance implies. (Source)

Here’s a bishop who’s quickly ascending the stage and calling out the little emperors in Rome.  God raises up the lowly and not-so-lowly to defend his bride against the innovators.  It’s becoming obvious that Caput is one of those men who is being called to defend.  The texts in red clearly highlight two of the major problems coming out of the mouth of Fr. Tom Rosica in his reportings on what some (read: liberal western European bishops) want.  I think the whole liberal plan is getting overturned before our eyes.   Whether the Pope supports the progressive faction and whether there is this progressive group who will write the final document, it doesn’t matter.  The Pope just does not have the numbers to make any significant change to the Church’s practice. The Pharisees, it seems, have won the day. The overwhelming message of this Sanhedrin to the Saducees is this: We ain’t buyin’ what you are selling.  Go pound dirt.

You have the problem, Dear Bishops, Not Us

Interesting article here.


His Eminence Beatitude Baselios Cleemis Thottunkal, President of the Indian Bishops Conference and head of the Syro-Malankara Catholic Church, was a guest at the press briefing. He told the media that mercy means conversion which is reciprocal.  “The Gospel demands this as a condition. The Kingdom of God is at hand, be converted,” he said.

The thing about the current papacy of Pope Francis is that it’s not that he does not state the truth.  He does.  Sometimes, he does so admirably and even more emphatically than his predecessors did.  However, there are too many occasions where he does not give the complete truth and leaves out critical components.  This has been the ongoing problem with his pontificate, and is the genesis for the cries of clarity that are coming from all quarters of the Church today. In speaking about mercy, his disciples have used this major weakness to  speak about a demonic faux mercy 24-7 to promote a perverse sexual ideology—let us not delude or kid ourselves here but acknowledge it plainly.  But the mercy being offered is not of God.  The Devil also has mercy. In fact, everything that God does, the Devil has a bastardized version of it that he tries to peddle at a bargain basement price.  In the Devil’s version of mercy, it’s mercy without repentance.  And that mercy is not a mercy that saves, but a mercy that kills.  We all need to be wary of false prophets peddling cheap and empty mercy.

All mercy without repentance – or at least a severe imbalance between the two – means that you are not really preserving the Gospel message in its fullness and therefore risk distortion of it.  I’ve always said that the Catholic faith is always about balance in its theological and moral teaching.  Leaning to one side too much risks a rupture with the truth.  So far, the Holy Father has faltered badly in this respect, and he has permitted the enemies of the Church’s perennial teaching and witness of repentance and conversion to forward their heretical and demonic attack on the Catholic Faith.

The bishops at the Synod need to point this out to him in a charitable way.  The Pope is not a god.  And he is in need of correction from the bishops.  Let us pray that the correction comes during the Synod, and that a bold resilience develops among holy bishops to preserve the Faith…even if Peter stumbles.

A number of Fathers also spoke earnestly about marriage preparation. Many considered pre-marriage formation to be seriously lacking. One Father suggested that the bishops themselves needed to penitentially admit that they had failed to provide formation for the lay faithful in this regard. There was a suggestion in another intervention that couples, like those in formation for the priesthood or religious life, also need a “novitiate” time before entering into the sacrament of marriage. It was thought that the crisis in religious and priestly vocations is directly linked to the crisis in family life.

Well, to be honest, the family is in crisis precisely because the western, liberal bishops have failed miserably to uphold the Faith.  All of this navel gazing in Rome today is just a big waste of time and a pony-show.  Dear bishops:  listen carefully to me as a husband and father of four young daughters:  you can’t help us with sociological clap trap about “meeting us where we are”.  Please, just stop. The crisis that has developed has been precipitated by YOU.  As Samuel told King David.  “You are the man.”  Look no further and focus on nothing else.  You don’t know our struggles, nor can you really live them.  Your job is to uphold, proclaim, and propagate the glorious truths of the Catholic Faith about marriage and the sanctity of human life and authentic human sexuality.  That’s it.  Sign Familiaris Consortio and go home. That’s the best gift you can give us.  Stop suggesting, as you have for 50 years, that a Catholic sacramental marriage is just too hard for some people.  BS. It’s not.  Stop trying to introduce bastardized, second-class marriages into the Church to cover up for the problems that you, yourselves, have largely been responsible for. Man-up and take some responsibility for a change.  You can start with, for example, your not-so-subtle undermining of Humanae vitae.  If you want to really help us, starting preaching the Gospel that our forefathers handed down to you, and the problems that you created will disappear.  That’s the truth of it. It’s not really that complicated.