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HAVE YOU ever wondered how big the Catholic Church really is? Have you ever asked, "How many Catholic Churches are there in the world?" This is the place to find answers to those questions, as well as answers to dozens of questions which you never thought to ask!

Come back often to discover our most recent findings.

Here is a quick list of Fifteen Things Which God Sees and Knows:

  1. He sees all things (Proverb 15:3) [These Scripture quotations are taken from the Douay-Rheims Bible.]
  2. He knows the size and scope of the universe (Psalm 146:4)
  3. He knows about the animal creation (Matthew 10:29)
  4. He knows mankind (Matthew 10:30)
  5. He knows our thoughts (Psalm 43:22)
  6. He knows our words (Psalm 139:4)
  7. He knows our deeds (Psalm 139:2)
  8. He knows our sorrows (Exodus 3:7)
  9. He knows our needs (Matthew 6:32)
  10. He knows our devotions (Genesis 18:19)
  11. He knows our frailties (Psalm 103:14)
  12. He knows our foolishness (Psalm 69:6)
  13. He knows his own (John 10:14)
  14. He knows the past, present, and future (Acts 15:18)
  15. He knows what might or could have been (Matthew 11:23)

Author Unknown

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The love of Christ drives us on

The man who burns with the fire of divine love is a son of the Immaculate Heart of Mary, and wherever he goes, he enkindles that flame; he deserves and works with all this strength to inflame all men with the fire of God's love. Nothing deters him: he rejoices in poverty; he labours strenuously; he welcomes hardships; he laughs off false accusations; he rejoices in anguish. He thinks only of how he might follow Jesus Christ and imitate him by his prayers, his labours, his sufferings, and by caring always and only for the glory of God and the salvation of souls.

Saint Anthony Mary Claret, Bishop

Life-Giving Power

When the life-giving Word of God dwelt in human flesh, he changed it into that good thing which is distinctively his, namely, life; and by being wholly united to the flesh in a way beyond our comprehension, he gave it the life-giving power which he has by his very nature. Therefore, the body of Christ gives life to those who receive it. Its presence in mortal men expels death and drives away corruption because it contains within itself in his entirety the Word who totally abolishes corruption.

Author Unknown

Let not your Heart be Troubled

There is a passage which I find helpful when I am feeling anxious. It is from the first few verses of John 14:

Do not let your hearts be troubled or afraid. Believe in God, believe also in me. In my Father’s house there are many dwelling-places. If it were not so, would I have told you that I go to prepare a place for you? And if I go an prepare a place for you, I will come again and take you to myself, so that, where I am, there you may be also.
(vs 1-3)

That was the passage from which we derived the name for My Father’s House, which was a forerunner of the Agape Centre in Saskatchewan. I have always found that if I stop and let that passage minister to my heart, it has a way of dissolving fear and restoring peace to my inner self. Unfortunately, I don’t find that it works instantaneously; I must allow my mind to think deeply about the words Jesus spoke and the promise contained in them. Also, the passage becomes much more effective over time as I open my heart to discover how safe and secure we really are in Jesus.

Mark Fetherston

Unity in the Spirit

With regard to our unity in the Spirit, we may say ... that all of us who have received one and the same Spirit, the Holy Spirit, are united intimately, both with one another and with God. Taken separately, we are many, and Christ sends the Spirit, who is both the Father’s Spirit and his own, to dwell in each of us. Yet that Spirit, being one and indivisible, gathers together those who are distinct from each other as individuals, and causes them all to be seen as a unity in himself. Just as Christ’s sacred flesh has power to make those in whom it is present into one body, so the one, indivisible Spirit of God, dwelling in all, causes all to become one in spirit.

From a commentary on the gospel of John
by Saint Cyril of Alexandria, Bishop


G.K. Chesterton on being Old Fashioned

"As an old-fashioned person, who still believes that Reason is a gift of God and a guide to truth, I must confine myself to saying that I do not want a God whom I have made, but a God who has made me."
-G.K. Chesterton (Illustrated London News, December 31, 1932)

Being called old-fashioned today has all the thrill of week-old bread. No one wants to be seen as “behind the times.” And yet Chesterton extolls the “old-fashioned” life. The real revolution is indeed not in joining the latest rage, but in living a moral, good, old-fashioned life. This life is filled with tending the poor and the hungry, clothing the naked, visiting the sick, burying the dead, and bringing cheerfulness and hope to those in despair. Let’s join the Chesterton revolution and become old-fashioned!

Dear Brother Jesus, help us to conform our lives to Your Father’s and, in imitation of You, give ourselves away in love to our fellow human neighbours — the poor, the sick, the elderly and the children. Amen.
  Gilbert and Frances Chesterton, pray for us.

A Lenten Reflection from the Society of G.K. Chesterton

The Faith of the Magi

In choosing to be born for us, God chose to be known by us. He therefore reveals himself in this way, in order that this great sacrament of his love may not be an occasion for us of great misunderstanding.

Today the Magi find, crying in a manger, the one they have followed as he shone in the sky. Today the Magi see clearly, in swaddling clothes, the one they have long awaited as he lay hidden among the stars.

Today the Magi gaze in deep wonder at what they see: heaven on earth, earth in heaven, man in God, God in man, one whom the whole universe cannot contain now enclosed in a tiny body. As they look, they believe and do not question, as their symbolic gifts bear witness: incense for God, gold for a king, myrrh for one who is to die.

So the Gentiles, who were the last, become the first: the faith of the Magi is the first fruits of the belief of the Gentiles.

From a sermon by St Peter Chrysologus, bishop

Christ is Judge, King and High Priest

The genealogy of Jesus: Fourteen generations were completed three times, under judges, kings and high priests. Now all generations came forth under one Christ who was Judge and King and High Priest. The judges, kings and high priests were always to be understood as anticipatory figures of Christ. Joshua was the first judge; David, the first king; and Jeshua, the son of Josedech, the first high priest.

From the Incomplete Commentary on Matthew

The Sending of the Holy Spirit

He had promised through the prophets that in these last days he would pour out his Spirit on his servants and handmaids, and that they would prophesy. So when the Son of God became the Son of Man, the Spirit also descended upon him, becoming accustomed in this way to dwelling with the human race, to living in men and to inhabiting God's creation. The Spirit accomplished the Father’s will in men who had grown old in sin, and he gave them new life in Christ.

Saint Irenaeus (from a treatise Against Heresies)

How does God answer our Prayers?

Why he should ask us to pray, when he knows what we need before we ask him, may perplex us if we do not realize that our Lord and God does not want to know what we want (for he cannot fail to know it) but wants us rather to exercise our desire through our prayers, so that we may be able to receive what he is preparing to give us. His gift is very great indeed, but our capacity is too small and limited to receive it. [...]

The deeper our faith, the stronger our hope, the greater our desire, the larger will be our capacity to receive that gift, which is very great indeed.

Saint Augustine (from a letter to Proba)

Antiquated Dogmas

So far as a man may be proud of a religion rooted in humility, I am very proud of my religion; I am especially proud of those parts of it that are commonly called superstition. I am proud of being fettered by antiquated dogmas and enslaved by dead creeds, for I know very well that it is the heretical creeds that are dead, and that it is only the reasonable dogma that lives long enough to be called antiquated.

G.K. Chesterton, Autobiography - Chapter IV “How to be a Lunatic”

The Man Born Blind — Commentary from Saint Ambrose:

Touched by Divine Light:  St Ambrose of Milan teaches that the blind man touched by Jesus received more than just his sight. In one instant we see both the power of his divinity and the strength of his holiness. As the divine light, he touched this man and enlightened him. As priest, by an action symbolizing baptism he wrought in him his work of redemption. The only reason for his mixing clay with the saliva and smearing it on the eyes of the blind man was to remind you that he who restored the man to health by anointing his eyes with clay is the very one who fashioned the first man out of clay, and that this clay which is our flesh can receive the light of eternal life through the sacrament of baptism.

You, too, should come to Siloam, that is, to him who was sent by the Father, as he says in the Gospel: My teaching is not my own; it comes from him who sent me. Let Christ wash you, and then you will see.

Saint Ambrose (Adapted from Letter 67)

            I AM

I was regretting the past and fearing the future.
    Suddenly my Lord was speaking.

"My name is I AM." He paused; I waited.
                                                                    He continued.
    "When you live in the past with its mistakes and regrets,
    It is hard. I am not there. My name is not I WAS.

"When you live in the future with its problems and fears,
    It is hard. I am not there. My name is not I WILL BE.

"When you live in the moment, it is not hard. I am here.
    My name is I AM."

Helen Mallicoat

I came across this poem many moons ago in a magazine, but I cannot recall which magazine. I am happy to share it with you here.

Christopher Robinson

Divine Economy of Redemption

This is taken from Life of Christ by Archbishop Fulton Sheen:

In the beautiful Divine economy of Redemption, the same three things which cooperated in the Fall shared in Redemption. For the disobedient man Adam, there was the obedient new Adam, Christ; for the proud woman Eve, there was the humble new Eve, the Virgin Mary; for the tree of the Garden, there was the tree of the Cross. Our Divine Lord in the state of his greatest humiliation, seeing all prophecies fulfilled, all foreshadowings realized, and all things done which were needful for the Redemption, uttered a cry of joy: ‘It is achieved.’”

Christopher Robinson

True followers of Christ

This is taken from The Seven Virtues by Archbishop Fulton Sheen:

The true followers of Christ were meant to be at odds with the world. The pure of heart will be laughed at by the Freudians; the meek will be scorned by the Marxists; the humble will be walked on by the go-getters; the liberal Sadducees will call them reactionaries and the reactionary Pharisees will call them liberals.

Christopher Robinson

A Good Evangelist

The following paragraph is a quotation from Ryan S. Topping, Rebuilding Catholic Culture, Sophia Institute Press, Manchester, New Hampshire (© 2012). The entire book was a delight to read and my heart was filled with great consolation upon reading this paragraph which opens Chapter 4:

A good evangelist is clever as well as forceful. You need to be sharp to discover obstacles and blunt to overcome them. Advertisers understand this well.... Symbols sell. Corporations want their logo to be seen because these create an association between our desires and their products. Bishops, of course, cannot compete with big business. Yet there remains one respect in which the preacher has an advantage over our corporate masters. CocaCola must create a need; the Church need only satisfy one.

Have I tantalized you sufficiently? Good! Now go and read the book.

Christopher Robinson

Have you ever thought about the relationship between the Blessed Virgin Mary and the Holy Trinity?

We know from the Gospels that all of us are children of our Heavenly Father (cf. Matt 5:48); therefore we have a parent/child relationship with God the Father. We also know that we have a sibling type of relationship with Jesus who is God the Son (cf. Matt 12:50); and he told us that he would send the Holy Spirit to be our Advocate (cf. John 14:26). But what about Mary? How does her relationship with God compare with ours — are they the same or are there some significant differences?

Like all of us, Mary is a beloved child of the God the Father. Thus her relationship with the Father is the same as ours.

However, her relationship with God the Son is totally unique in human history — she does not have a sibling relationship with Jesus as we have; rather, since she gave birth to Jesus, she therefore has a Mother/Child relationship with God the Son (Luke 1:31-32)!

From the Gospels we see that Mary also has an absolutely unique relationship with the Holy Spirit — it is by the power of the Holy Spirit that Mary conceived Jesus, God the Son, in her womb and therefore, in addition to the Holy Spirit being Mary’s Advocate, the Holy Spirit also has a spousal relationship with Mary (cf. Matt 1:18 ; Luke 1:35)!

Let me present this in tabular form:

Us Mary
God the Father
⇒ our Heavenly Father

God the Father
⇒ her Heavenly Father

God the Son
⇒ our Brother

God the Son
⇒ her Son

God the Holy Spirit
⇒ our Advocate

God the Holy Spirit
⇒ her Spouse

I am filled with wonder whenever I ponder Mary’s amazing relationship with the Great Creator and compare hers with ours.

Christopher Robinson

Have you heard of the Fruits of the Holy Spirit? Many of us learned them in Catechism lessons as children. You were most likely taught that there are nine Fruits of the Holy Spirit; however, here is an interesting tid-bit which I found in the Catechism — it names nine fruits in Article 736, but twelve fruits in Article 1832! Upon discovering these two lists, I naturally felt compelled to investigate them; herewith are the results of my research.

The differences are found when comparing the Vulgate with the Septuagint. "There are numbered twelve of these fruits in the Latin, though but nine in the Greek text…. The difference may again happen by the Latin interpreter using two words to express one Greek word. It is observed that longanimity and patience are in a manner the same; so are benignity and goodness; and so may be here continency and chastity" (Haydock's Catholic Family Bible and Commentary; reprinted by Catholic Treasures, Monrovia, California, U.S.A., © 1991; p.1541).

Here is a table showing three contemporary lists of these Fruits. You will notice that there are some differences in the order of the Fruits:

Jerusalem Bible NRSV Catechism
Love Love Charity
Peace Peace Joy
Patience Patience Peace
Joy Joy Patience
Kindness Kindness Kindness
Goodness Goodness
Generosity Generosity
Trustfulness Faithfulness Gentleness
Gentleness Gentleness Faithfulness
Self Control Self Control Self Control

In the end, do the differences really matter? All of these Fruits are good things to have in our lives. Let us rejoice when we encounter these Fruits in the people around us!

Christopher Robinson

Q.  What is the origin of April Fool's Day?

A.  In 1582, Pope Gregory XIII issued his Encyclical, Inter gravissimas. This document required that the older calendar be switched to a new one – the calendar which we know today as the Gregorian Calendar. The new calendar changed the day on which the new year should be celebrated from the 1st of April to the 1st of January. According to legend, those who forgot about the switch (or chose not to adhere to the new calendar) were deemed "April Fools."

I found this at

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