IMG_1093This past weekend, I had the absolute honor of visiting with the parishioners of my fellow Diocese of Fresno parish St. Joachim's in Madera, CA.  One of their priests, Fr. Rafael Lavilla, OSJ, kindly invited me to give the introductory remarks for their screening of The 13th Day: The True Story of Fatima. Fr. Rafael, an amazing young priest, struck upon the idea of presenting the film as a fundraiser for the parish's wonderful Theology of the Body group.

I teased Father Rafael that he should go into the car sales business - when he first invited me to speak, I must admit that I doubted how many people would show up to church on Saturday night to watch a black and white film about Our Lady of Fatima.

Well, Fr. Rafael and the families of St. Joachim's proved me wrong!  Over three hundred tickets were sold and the parish hall was packed  to capacity to watch this amazing movie.  After the film, we were treated to a very informative question and answer session by another of the Oblate priests from the parish.

IMG_1107If you haven't already heard Catholic Moments Podcast #129, be sure to check out a press conference that provides a tremendous overview of the making of The 13th Day.

I love visiting parishes and must say that my trip to St. Joachim's gave me an even greater desire to do more of this in the year ahead.  I want to congratulate Fr. Rafael and his TOBers on an outstanding event.  You managed to raise funds while providing a fun, inspirational, and educational evening for your entire parish family.  I hope I'm invited to your next Movie Night!

To contact me about speaking at your parish or organization, email