As we celebrate the Solemnity of the Annunciation… image

“As the Father saw Eve disappoint Him, He saw Mary prefer Him; she was truly His obedient daughter.”
– Mother Angelica, the foundress of EWTN 

Dear Friends, 

Today the Church celebrates the Solemnity of the Annunciation of the Lord. 

The Annunciation recalls the day when the Archangel Gabriel appeared to Mary and revealed God’s will that she become the Mother of the Son of God, and she accepted. At that moment, the “Word became Flesh and dwelt among us” (John 1:14). 

We have a special page dedicated to the Solemnity of the Annunciation. We answer questions such as:

What were the five things that the archangel told Mary about her Son?
Why is Mary’s “yes” to God so important to us?
How does Mary serve as the new Eve in our salvation story?

On the page, we also offer a free eBook, Marian Novenas. This eBook features several of the most beloved novenas to the Blessed Virgin Mary. Each one of these prayers reminds us of her love for her spiritual children (see Revelation 12:17). 

We hope these resources help you draw closer to Our Lady and, in turn, to Our Lord. May God bless you on this day! 

In Christ,

Your EWTN Family  EWTN logo        EWTN 5817 Old Leeds Rd Irondale AL 35210  

Praying for a Baby – The Good, Clean Funnies List

Photo by Pixabay on

A small boy badly wanted a baby brother, so his dad suggested he pray every night for one. The boy prayed earnestly, night after night, but his prayers seemingly weren’t answered. After a few weeks, he didn’t bother to ask anymore.

Some months later, his dad said they were going to see Mom in the hospital and he was going to get a big surprise. When they got to the room, the little boy saw his mother holding two babies.

“Well, what do you think about having twin brothers?” his dad asked.

The little boy thought for a moment and replied, “It’s a good thing I stopped praying when I did.”

– From Cybersalt

Received from Doc’s Daily Chuckle.


image from

AFRICA/CENTRAL AFRICA – Father Norberto, a Carmelite missionary injured by a mine, had already escaped three road ambushes
Bangui (Agenzia Fides) – Father Norberto Pozzi, born in 1952, Discalced Carmelite missionary from Lecco, injured in the north-west of Central Africa by a landmine on February 10 (see Fides, 13/2/2023), was the victim of road ambushes by bandits three times. This was reported to Fides by Father Federico Trinchero, confrere of the injured missionary, who works in the Carmel of Bangui.
“In the first ambush, the bullets lodged in the headrest of the seat, in another the bullets reached the gearbox and, in yet another, he was robbed and risked being kidnapped”, says Father Frederico. This time it was a land mine that struck. As Father Federico indicates, in 2022, 19 people, mainly children, were killed in Central Africa because of mines.
“Like almost every weekend, on the afternoon of February 10, Father Norberto left the Bozoum mission to go to one of the twenty-five villages he has been following, for many years to celebrate the Eucharist”, continues Father Federico. “The destination is Bokpayan, 55 km from Bozoum, where he plans to stay for a few days. Father Norberto is accompanied by Father Igor and four workers because there is a school to be repaired. After crossing a small wooden bridge, and before crossing a second one, the car driven by Father Norberto suddenly hits a mine. The workers, seated in the back, are thrown into the air and the car, completely destroyed at the front, crashes, immobilized in the ditch by the side of the road”. Father Norberto’s condition seemed serious. He was rescued by two young men on a motorbike and transported to the hospital in Bozoum, 22 km away. He then had to wait overnight to be transported by a helicopter from the United Nations Mission in Central Africa to the United Nations hospital in Bangui, then transferred to Entebbe, Uganda, where he was admitted to intensive care at the Nakasero Hospital in Kampala. There, unfortunately, the doctors were forced to amputate his left foot. He was transferred to Bologna (see Fides, 24/2/2023).
Father Norberto was almost thirty years old when, almost by chance, he was informed that the Discalced Carmelite Friars were looking for a volunteer to work in their mission in Central Africa. Norberto, who had just left his fiancée, also quit his job and in 1980 he arrived in Bozoum. He begins to build churches, schools, dispensaries and a seminary. After eight years, he decided to enter the Carmelite Order. He then went to Italy for his novitiate and his theological studies. Ordained a priest in 1995, Father Norberto returned to Central Africa, devoting himself above all to the evangelization of villages in the savannah, schools and the sick, announcing the Gospel in the churches he had built as a young layman. (L.M.) (Agenzia Fides, 23/3/2023)
AMERICA/PERU – “She ended her life praying for everyone”. Sister Maria Agustina Rivas, killed for being a peacemaker
by Stefano Lodigiani

La Florida (Agenzia Fides) – “A missionary nun killed for having been a peacemaker”, this is the title of the news in which Agenzia Fides reported on the tragic death of Sister Maria Agustina Rivas, missionary nun of the Congregation of Our Lady of Charity of the Good Shepherd, September 27, 1990 in La Florida, in the Apostolic Vicariate of San Ramon, Peru. “You are sentenced to death because you sow peace, promote the social condition of people and give them sweets” was the accusation, reported by Fides, read before a group of armed men from Sendero Luminoso killed the nun and five other people with gunshots.
AMERICA/HAITI – The priest of the Clerics of St. Viator who had been kidnapped at Croix des Bouquets has been released
Croix des Bouquets (Agenzia Fides) – Father Jean-Yves Medidor, priest of the Clerics of St. Viator, parish priest of Christ-Roi le Meilleur in Port-au-Prince has been released. The news was announced by Father Nestor Fils Aime, CSV, Provincial Superior of Canada and Father Dudley Pierre, CSV, Superior of the Viatorians in Haiti.
“We learned that our brother was released last night,” they said. We thank all those who accompanied and supported us with their prayers during these twelve days of hell. We will continue to pray for all those who are being held hostage and awaiting the day of their release. We wish Father Jean-Yves a safe return. May the Lord strengthen him and help him to turn this painful page”.
Father Medidor was kidnapped on March 10, 2023 in Croix des Bouquets, on the outskirts of Port-au-Prince, (see Fides, 14/3/2023). (AP) (Agenzia Fides, 23/3/2023)
AFRICA/NIGER – “We have joy in our hearts despite the violence” write the catechists from the Niger-Burkina Faso border area
Niamey (Agenzia Fides) – “We have come to tell you that we have joy in our hearts despite the prevailing security situation in the area; we always have faith in Jesus Christ”, write the catechists from Makalondi, Bomoanga, Kankani and Torodi, areas between Niger and Burkina Faso that have been hard hit by attacks by jihadist groups.
“We have relatives arrested, killed or kidnapped during moments of prayer, but Jesus gives us words that comfort us”, continues the message sent to Fides. “We live with fear in our stomachs, but we move forward together with Christ who gives us his word that consoles us every day. Despite the situation, our faith is increasing, our churches are full every Sunday for prayer.
Whatever the situation, we always continue to pray in the chapel as in families according to the realities of each environment.
We continue to announce the good news, with the faith that Jesus himself left us without getting discouraged despite the situation we live in every day”.
In the last two days alone, five women, one man and five army volunteers were killed in a series of attacks in eastern Burkina Faso. The women died on March 20, when the body of a man killed the previous day and stuffed with explosives exploded in the central-eastern part of the country, where jihadist raids are frequent.
Despite the level of perfidy shown by the above episode, the authors of the message emphasize that it is possible to live the beatitudes in a context of suffering, by adapting the Gospel message to their situation.
“We have the joy of listening to the word of God every day, which gives us advice on how to overcome the security situation in our different environments. We have the joy of being Christians whom Jesus himself has prepared to be ready for all situations that happen to us in his name, he is with us throughout our lives.
All those who have left their villages because of insecurity affirm their contentment to be driven out for nothing.
Blessed are all those who live in areas where peace is totally absent, and who cannot bring the good news to the poor.
Blessed are all those who are isolated due to insecurity in the area and have no more food and no acceptable situation.
Blessed are those whose priest has been removed and who continue to pray.
Blessed are those who no longer have means of transport, nor the network to communicate but who continue to announce the good news.
It is a “Gospel” that comes to us from the border areas between Niger and Faso, where the Gourmanché people experience the test of faith. It is written by catechists/animators on the “sand” of our Sahel. It is intended, in this time which prepares us for Easter, for Christians elsewhere, for all of us! It is good news that brings and shares the flavor of the beatitudes”, Father Mauro Armanino, missionary of the Society of African Missions, who works in Niamey, told Fides. (L.M.) (Agenzia Fides, 22/3/2023)
AFRICA/MALAWI – More than 400 dead and 200 thousand displaced: the situation continues to worsen in the area of the Archdiocese of Blantyre
Blantyre (Agenzia Fides) – Roads and bridges swept away, entire communities isolated, unable to receive aid. Houses and infrastructures, thousands of families are without shelter, exposed to bad weather. These are the first results of tropical cyclone Freddy, which hit the African region twice in a few weeks.
The Episcopal Conference of Malawi (ECM) has called on everyone to “send all kinds of contributions made on behalf of the Catholic Church through church structures such as small Christian communities, peripheral churches, parishes and diocesan administration offices, which will send donations to diocesan and national Caritas offices
“Let us try to be guardians of each other”, the bishops said. In the statement issued on March 14, 2023, the ECM called on everyone, especially in flood and disaster prone areas, to move to safer places, to remain vigilant and to pay heed to official warnings from meteorological experts.
The President of the Bishops, Archbishop George Desmond Tambala, also decreed that the Sunday collection for March 19, 2023 from the 46 parishes in the metropolitan area will be sent directly to the ECM Malawi Flood Emergency Response.
On March 13, 2023, the President of Malawi, Lazarus McCarthy Chakwera, declared a state of emergency in the southern part of the country following the disasters caused by the tropical cyclone in the most severely affected districts. These include Blantyre, Mulanje, Phalomba, Chikwawa, Nsanje, Chiradzulu, Thyolo, Mangochi and Zomba districts. A total of 172 camps have been set up in the region to accommodate some 88,312 displaced Malawians.
According to information released by the Department of Disaster Management Affairs (DODMA), 19,676 households have been affected, 225 deaths have been recorded, 41 people are still missing and 707 have been injured. Many farm animals were also decimated and the water supply, electricity and internet were badly damaged. (AP) (Agenzia Fides, 18/3/2023)

Lot’s Wife – The Good, Clean Funnies List image

Mrs. Frobisher, a Sunday School teacher, was telling her students about the time when Lot’s wife looked back at Sodom she turned into a pillar of salt.

Little Dewey interrupted. “My mommy looked back once while she was driving,” he announced, “and she turned into a telephone pole.”

– From A Joke A Day

Received from Steve Sanderson.


Catholic League president Bill Donohue comments on justifications for Drag Queen Hour events:

What does it take for the defenders of Drag Queen Hour events to raise an objection to the sexualization of children? After reading the March 20 news story in the Miami Herald, it is clear that the dumbing-down of these indefensible shows has reached a new low.

In the last week of 2022, the Plaza Live theater in Orlando hosted “a Drag Queen Christmas” that is just now receiving attention. Children were in attendance. The defenders say nothing happened that was problematic, and this includes the reporters for the newspaper. Those who objected, led by Florida Gov. Ron DeSantis, found much that was disturbing.

No one denies what happened.

The performance featured “shimmying, bare-chested men who wouldn’t have been out of place at a Madonna concert.”

Question: What kind of men shimmy half naked in front of children? Wouldn’t pedophiles find this attractive? Furthermore, to compare an event, whose target audience is children, with a Madonna concert, is intellectually dishonest.

The performance featured men in “outfits [that were] provocative (bikinis and short shorts).”

Question: Why is it that these men like to parade around in public wearing the equivalent of a jock strap in front of kids? Is there something wrong with them? Pictures of them “performing” show them almost entirely naked.

The performance did not show “exposure of genital organs.”

Question: Why would this even have to be said if this were truly a typical children’s event? Are we to celebrate their “modesty” for not exposing themselves? Normal men don’t go to the grocery store dressed this way. Why is it okay at a children’s event?

The performance showed a male actor, Jimbo the Clown, “giving birth to a log of bologna and throwing slices to the crowd.” The scene was described by state agents, who have it on video, as a “graphic depiction…of childbirth and/or abortion.” Also, there was a display of “an image of a finger penetrating a wreath.”

Question: Why are these freaks bent on putting sexual ideas, of a crude sort, into the heads of children? Do they have that little respect for childhood?

The performance included lyrics to their sick version of “Rudolph the Red-Nosed Reindeer” that were patently vulgar, even for adults, never mind kids. “You know Dasher and Dancer and Prancer and Vixen/Vomit and Stupid and Dildo and Dicks-in/But do you recall the most famous reindeer of all?/Screwdolph the Red-Nippled Reindeer had a very shiny bust.”


What would possess men to act this way? Are they mentally ill? Or just plain evil?

Children as young as six were in attendance.

Kudos to Gov. DeSantis for putting the welfare of children ahead of any alleged “artistic” expression. He stands in stark contrast to Hillary Clinton, who just this week said it was “absurd” to put any restrictions on Drag Queen Hour performances, comparing these obscene antics to “Shakespearean” entertainment.

This is child abuse. Not to call it that is to enable more of it.



Catholic League president Bill Donohue comments on how China and Nicaragua are attacking Catholicism:

Virtually every privately funded and publicly funded report on Christian persecution finds that communist and Muslim-run nations are the worst offenders. Conditions in the Middle East remain dire, and communist nations such as North Korea are just as vicious, but what is currently happening in China and Nicaragua commands out immediate attention.

North Korea makes plain that Christians have no rights, but, as Thomas D. Williams explains in his new book, The Coming Christian Persecution, matters are more insidious in China. It “offers a veneer of religious freedom but only on the communist party’s terms, and the state employs advanced surveillance methods to be sure that the content of Christian worship coheres with the ideology of Maoist socialism. Children under the age of 18 are not allowed in church for any reason.”

Williams does not exaggerate. They have a “Smart Religion” app that requires the faithful to register with the government as a condition of  attending services. In other words, church attendance is not a private affair—it is the business of the communist government. Surveillance is ubiquitous.

According to China watcher Gordon Chang, the government is “moving in the direction where there will be no religious ceremonies or services ever permitted in China, because Beijing does not want religion in any place in China, even if it’s controlled religion.”

President Xi, the Chinese dictator, has instituted “Sinicization,” a policy  where the government seeks to bring religious entities under his control, mandating eventual assimilation under the communist party’s rule. Those who are seen as resisting this forced compliance are punished. In fact, Christians are told they must display “enthusiasm, fervor and love for the party.” They must abide by what the Communist Party mandates, “Love the Party, Love the Country, Love Socialism.”

Xi chose to single out Cardinal Joseph Zen, the 91-year old former archbishop of Hong Kong, for a public display of his iron rule. Zen was arrested last year on trumped up charges of “colluding with foreign powers.” Zen’s layman counterpart in Hong Kong, Jimmy Lai, was sentenced to jail before Christmas last year for challenging the increasingly tyrannical rule; it is a reflection of Hong Kong’s subordinate status vis-à-vis China.

Nicaraguan dictator Daniel Ortega has been cracking down on the Catholic Church for the past five years. Priests have been arrested, missionaries expelled, and Catholic institutions have been shut down. A human rights organization, Nicaraguan Nunca Más, estimates that dozens of religious leaders have fled since 2018, and that Church personnel have been deported. In 2019, the regime blocked entry of international donations.

Bishop Roland Álvarez was sentenced to 26 years in prison last month and stripped of his citizenship. He was falsely charged with treason and undermining the regime. Pope Francis blasted his imprisonment, comparing what Ortega did to the Bolsheviks in 1917 and Hitler in the 1930s. In response, Ortega closed two Catholic universities and Caritas Nicaragua, the Church’s aid organization. More important, Nicaragua has recently suspended relations with the Holy See, and on March 18 the Vatican’s diplomatic headquarters in Nicaragua was forced to close.

All totalitarian regimes fear internal threats to their power. Old-fashioned authoritarian regimes, such as Franco in Spain or the Czars in Russia, didn’t care what anyone believed in, just so long as they were in control. They are examples of political dictatorships. Totalitarian regimes are political, economic, social and cultural dictatorships, and as such they are very much concerned about what its people think. Thought control is their signature.

Religion and the family stand in the way of totalitarian rule, and that is why they must be crushed. China and Nicaragua are nervous about Christianity, and Catholicism, in particular, because they divert allegiance of the people away from the government. Hence, the move to force fidelity to the state.


For reasons not completely understood, Pope Francis has taken a hard stance against Nicaragua and a soft stance against China. Catholics living in both countries deserve the strongest possible rebuke from every nation-state, and that includes the Holy See.

A Large Hole in the Sun’s Atmosphere

Space Weather News for March 20, 2023

A LARGE HOLE IN THE SUN’S ATMOSPHERE: A large hole has opened in the sun’s atmosphere, and it is turning toward Earth. Solar wind flowing from the hole should reach our planet later this week, potentially igniting a display of equinox auroras at high latitudes. More about this — and a remarkable solar tornado — at

Instant Solar Flare Alerts: Subscribe to our Space Weather Alert Service and you’ll receive instant text messages when strong solar flares are underway. Above: This large coronal hole is spewing a stream of solar wind toward Earth.

Why do we celebrate a Solemnity of St. Joseph?

Holy Family with the Holy Trinity by Murillo, 1675–1682 image

Dear Friends, 

Today the Church celebrates the Solemnity of St. Joseph, Spouse of the Blessed Virgin Mary. 

After the Blessed Virgin Mary, St. Joseph is the greatest of the saints. He is the one “into whose custody God entrusted His most precious treasures,” Jesus and Mary. The Church honors St. Joseph for his faithfulness to God and his vocation as Custodian of the Redeemer. 

We have a special page dedicated to the feast of Saint Joseph. We answer questions such as:

Why do we celebrate a Solemnity of St. Joseph? 

Why is St. Joseph the patron saint of a happy death?  

Why is St. Joseph the sleeping saint?

On this page, we also offer a free eBook, Prayers to St. Joseph. This eBook contains a collection of special prayers in honor of the spouse of the Blessed Virgin and the guardian of Our Lord, Saint Joseph. This eBook will teach you how to pray with humble St. Joseph, who knew and loved Our Lord and Our Lady best. 

We pray that these resources will help you grow closer to St. Joseph and be strengthened by his holy example. 

May God bless you on this day! 

In Christ,

Your EWTN Family  EWTN logo   
  EWTN 5817 Old Leeds Rd Irondale AL 35210  


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Insert picture description
Dearest St. Joseph,
at the word of an angel,
you lovingly took Mary into your home.
As God’s humble servant, you guided
the Holy Family on the road to Bethlehem,
welcomed Jesus as your own son
in the shelter of a manger,
and fled far from your homeland
for the safety of both Mother and Child.
We praise God that as their faithful protector,
you never hesitated to sacrifice
for those entrusted to you.
May your example inspire us also
to welcome, cherish, and safeguard
God’s most precious gift of life.
Help us to faithfully commit ourselves
to the service and defense of human life
—especially where it is
vulnerable or threatened.
Obtain for us the grace
to do the will of God in all things.
Order Prayer Card