Raymond Arroyo

March 23, 2010

ANOTHER NEW YORK TIMES BESTSELLER!

This week THE PRAYERS AND PERSONAL DEVOTIONS OF MOTHER ANGELICA becomes the fourth Mother Angelica book to land on the New York Times Bestseller list. It premiered this week on the very difficult to reach Advice/How To NYT Bestseller List. My thanks to all of you for your support and embrace of this precious book. As so many have already discovered, it is a wonderful Easter gift and one of those books that is sure to be a treasure for years to come. This collection is filled with Mother's original prayers and time tested devotions. For more background on the book check out the Must See Clip on the homepage (raymondarroyo.com).

Here for the first time you'll find:

* A complete prayer journal composed during Mother’s personal dark night of the soul
* Handwritten meditations offered to her sisters
* Two moving versions of the Stations of the Cross composed for her community
* Devotions and petitions from her early religious life

I hope you'll buy your copy today and urge your friends to do the same. And if you are in the DC area I will be at the Catholic Information Center later this week. Come see us, and drop by raymondarroyo.com for the latest.

Yours,

Raymond

February 22, 2010

A Special Lenten Gift

Signed Bookplates If You Purchase The Book Before March 20th

The new Mother Angelica book is now in bookstores everywhere and available for home delivery (click the banner above). As a special gift to those of you who watch the program and have long supported my work, I will send you a signed bookplate for each copy that you purchase between now and March 20th. Simply drop me an e-mail at raymond@raymondarroyo.com. Please write Book Offer in the subject line and include your:

Name

Address

And the place where you purchased the book.

We'll send you a signed bookplate and a special bookmark for your trouble.

THE PRAYERS AND PERSONAL DEVOTIONS OF MOTHER ANGELICA makes a wonderful Easter gift and is one of those books that is sure to be a treasure for years to come. All of Mother's books have landed on the New York Times Best seller List, and we are hoping this newest installment will as well. This collection is filled with Mother's original prayers and time tested devotions. It also includes:

* A complete prayer journal composed during Mother’s personal dark night of the soul
* Handwritten meditations offered to her sisters
* Two moving versions of the Stations of the Cross composed for her community
* Devotions and petitions from her early religious life

I hope you'll buy your copy today and urge your friends to do the same. Here is a beautiful prayer from the book, one of Mother's original compositions, that you will surely benefit from repeating:

FOR AN INCREASE OF FAITH


Lord Jesus, increase my faith.

I want so much to have the kind of faith that moves mountains.

I want to believe with such intensity that only a thin veil separates me from seeing You Face to Face.

I want to see the Father’s Will and providence in everything that happens.

You had such a serene confidence in the Father’s guiding hand as it manifested His Will in the circumstances of life.

Give me that gift, Lord and Master, that I too may have the joy of beholding the Divine Presence in everything that happens to me.


I look forward to seeing you folks in New Orleans, Cleveland and Springfield, Mass in the weeks to come. Check out Raymondarroyo.com for my complete book tour schedule.

I look forward to seeing you folks in New Orleans, Cleveland, and in Springfield, Mass in the weeks to come. Check out my complete book schedule below.

Yours,
Raymond

February 5, 2010

A Prayer for the Saints

I will cast aside all notions of impartiality for this blog. My hometown team, the New Orleans Saints are headed to the Superbowl. I (along with with all native born New Orleanians) could not be more proud. In fact we are ecstatic.
There are firm Catholic roots attached to the New Orleans Saints. When the first owner wanted to name the team, he approached then Archbishop Philip Hannan. The Archbishop had no objection to the name, but warned the owner that in the New Testament "many saints were martyrs." The martyrdom has predominated for more than 40 years. But not this year.

As the Saints head to the Superbowl, a friend from home, Mimi Kelly sent me this prayer composed by Archbishop Hannan. It is a prayer for the Saints. We will all be praying it regularly in the coming days, and a few more supplications couldn't hurt. So join in. Geaux Saints!

(Delivered by Most Reverend Philip M. Hannan at the first Saints and Sinners Banquet, 1968.)

God, we have asked your blessing upon all who participate in this event, and all who have supported our Saints. Our heavenly Father, who has instructed us that the "saints by faith conquered kingdoms. . . and overcame lions", grant our Saints an increase of faith and strength so that they will not only overcome the Lions, but also the Bears, the Rams, the Giants, and even those awesome people in Green Bay. May they continue to tame the Redskins, and fetter the Falcons as well as the Eagles (AND ESPECIALLY THE COLTS!). Give to our owners and coaches the continued ability to be as wise as serpents and gentle as doves, so that no good talent will dodge our draft.

Grant to our fans perseverance in their devotion and unlimited lung power, tempered with a sense of charity to all, including the referees. May our beloved "Bedlam Bowl" be a source of good fellowship and may the "Saints Come Marching In" be a victory march for all, now and in eternity. AMEN.

Let me know what you think at raymond@raymondarroyo.com

January 29, 2010

A Contest to Commemorate the Publication of “The Prayers And Personal Devotions Of Mother Angelica”

This March 2nd, for the first time, we will all have an opportunity to pray the private prayers and devotions of Mother Angelica. This is the third book I have had the honor of editing for Mother and her monastery. You can pre-order your copies HERE. Contained in this brand new keepsake are Mother’s personal compositions and time tested devotions that you can experience and utter-- the very words that have shaped her incredible life.

This treasury, much of it never before published, includes:

• A complete prayer journal composed during Mother’s personal dark night of the soul

• Handwritten meditations offered to her sisters

• Two moving versions of the Stations of the Cross composed for her community

• Devotions and petitions from her early religious life

More than a collection of prayers, this special volume is an intimate portrait of one of the world’s great women of faith. For devoted fans of Mother Angelica as well as for those just coming to know her, this inspiring guide will be a cherished companion along the path to holiness.

The Contest

Over the next few weeks I will be accepting e-mails from anyone who can tell me what devotion to Jesus Mother Angelica prayed before entering the cloister. Send your guess to raymond@raymondarroyo.com. Please type: “Contest” into the subject line and include your name, address and telephone number, so we can contact the winners. The first 100 people who answer correctly will get signed, first editions of “The Prayers and Personal Devotions of Mother Angelica” and a special bookmark.

Looking forward to hearing from you.

Raymond

January 14, 2010

A Religious Conscience Exception In The Health Care Bill – For The Amish

Both the Senate and House Health Care bills have one religious conscience clause. Unfortunately it only applies to the Amish and a few other religious sects. According to the Watertown Daily Times, the exception would allow the Amish to avoid the health insurance mandate and a fine should they refuse to carry health insurance.

So get this straight: the Amish, Old Order Mennonites and possibly Christian Scientists can opt out of the health care plan, with no penalty, while Catholics and other Christians are bound to pay premiums that fund abortion. How is that fair? Hundreds of Christian, pro-life hospitals, doctors and nurses may soon be forced to violate their consciences and offer or perform procedures they consider morally objectionable. The Congress could care less.

If the pro-life community fails to demand conscience clause protections, and loudly, they could find themselves morally compromised by this new health care regime. Even the leading voice for conscience clauses, the US Catholic bishops, have been muted in recent days, preferring to convey their desires via letters and statements issued by their Conference. Now is the time for a full throated, public discussion of this critical issue. The ethical future of health care is being negotiated now in the back rooms of Capitol Hill.

Of course if everyone would rather focus on Harry Reid's comments, I suppose there is the option of riding a horse and buggy to work. Though some Catholic doctors I know will look pretty silly in those straw hats.

Let me know what you think at raymond@raymondarroyo.com

December 11, 2009

Merry Christmas New York City- An Event Not To Be Missed

I'll be MCing a very special Christmas concert at Lincoln Center's Alice Tully Hall in New York on December 19th. You are all cordially invited. All the proceeds benefit The Faith and Family Foundation which offers assistance to families of special needs children. The Irish tenor, Mark Forrest will be performing as will The Broadway Youth Ensemble, and others. I may even warble a tune or three with the musical director, Rich Barretta (a wonderful pianist). It is a fantastic way to welcome in the Christmas season and the theatre could not be grander. All the info is below, and you can buy your tickets on line, direct from Lincoln Center. Bring your friends and family and I look forward to seeing you in New York on December 19th. Merry Christmas.

November 24, 2009

Happy Thanksgiving

First of all a Happy Thanksgiving to you and yours. Amid reports that unemployment has hit 17% in the United States and heartbreaking stories from friends and family (including our viewing family), we have much to be thankful for on this week of Thanksgiving. Try to take some time with family this week to share your thoughts on the many blessings in your lives. We are often so busy running to appointments and meeting deadlines that we fail to appreciate the great gifts all around us. This is a wonderful time out to stop and recognize the blessings we receive throughout the year.

I am especially thankful for all of you, my television and print family. For your support, attention, and passion, I could never thank you enough. As a partial thank you we are working on a couple of special Advent and Christmas specials which will air on EWTN throughout December. To that end:

All of you in New York, Philadelphia, Jersey and all over the east coast are invited to a special concert in New York City on December 2nd:

The Priests, the international sensations will perform at St. Malachy’s Church (the Actor’s Chapel)
239 West 49th Street
New York, New York 10019 at 2:30 PM.

Seating is first come first serve and the concert is free of charge. You all are welcome. Please come if you can, and be part in this special musical event.

September 21, 2009

THE WORLD OVER HONORED BY CABLE INDUSTRY/ WHAT DOES THE CATHOLIC CHURCH REALLY TEACH ABOUT HEALTH CARE?

THE WORLD OVER HONORED BY CABLE INDUSTRY

This week, CableFax, a cable Industry magazine, honored "The World Over" by naming our program "Best Religious Show or Series in Cable Television for 2009." My producer Chris Edwards and I were in New York this week to receive the award.

We are so very thankful to the folks at CableFax and to all our loyal viewers (and listeners) who make the show what it is each week. It is an honor I share with my producer, Chris Edwards, our associate producer, James Faulkner, our Executive Producer, Doug Keck, and all the folks at EWTN who keep the show on the air each week: our directors, editors, and crew. How nice it is to be honored by the cable industry. At the awards luncheon, I kept thinking of Mother Angelica who first asked me to create the show and launch the news division thirteen years ago. Without her, the show (and the network) would not exist. As I told the crowd in New York during my acceptance speech: "It is said you shouldn't talk about religion and politics-- this honor demonstrates that we should talk about both with regularity."

Religion brings peace, causes war, and deeply guides man's every action, yet it is the most neglected area of reportage across the globe. What an honor it is to have the time each week to pull back the veil and examine the faith and teachings that drive so much of the surface news we cover. Thanks to all of you for allowing us to continue to do so.

WHAT DOES THE CATHOLIC CHURCH REALLY TEACH ABOUT HEALTH CARE?

In the midst of the never ending health care debate, partisans have suggested that the Catholic Church's (IE the United States Conference of Catholic Bishops') support of Universal Health Care means, de facto, that government run health care must be adopted. The argument has been advanced that aside from their concerns about abortion funding or conscience clauses, the Bishops support the "public option" making its way through the House of Representatives. Now a growing chorus of Bishops are clarifying exactly what the Church teaches about health care reform--and what She doesn't.

This is critical. Most people don't appreciate the fact that the Bishop's Conference in Washington merely puts forth principles to guide the debate. They do not endorse any one approach, nor do they have any canonical authority where Church teaching is concerned. It is up to the individual bishops to teach and guide their flocks.

On this week's "World Over Live" Archbishop Joseph Naumann and Bishop Robert Finn of Kansas will join us to explain their recently issued joint statement on Health Care. They raise concerns about the perception that Catholics are morally obligated to embrace a centralized bureaucratic approach to health care reform. They write: "The right of every individual to access health care does not necessarily suppose an obligation on the part of the government to provide it ... The teaching of the universal church has never been to suggest a government socialization of medical services." Their complete joint statement is worth reading. It is here:

http://catholickey.org/index.php3?gif=news.gif&mode=view&issue=20090911&article_id=5831

Other bishops have issued similar statements. Archbishop Charles Chaput of Denver writes: "a proper government role in solving the health-care crisis does not necessarily demand a national public plan, run or supervised by government authorities. Real health-care reform need not automatically translate into federal programming."

Bishop Samuel Aquila of Fargo, N.D., is even more blunt, warning that it is wrong to think that "the national government is the sole instrument of the common good."

These are important observations and words worth heeding-- especially as politicians attempt to attach "moral" urgency to their specific plans. Church teaching, at least on health care reform, is a lot broader than some would like to admit.

August 19, 2009

Robert Novak, Requiescat in Pace

My friend and mentor, Robert Novak is gone at the age of 78 and I am deeply saddened. After a valiant struggle, Bob lost his battle with brain cancer earlier today.

Washington and all of America should be mourning-- for Bob Novak was the last of a breed of journalists that we shall not see again. He used his contacts with the powerful to get the story, while never getting too cozy with them. His columns revealed the unseen political motivations beneath the policy tussles everyone else was covering. He didn’t offer opinion, but reportage. He actually broke news in his column. To inform the public, which he considered a crucial calling, Bob would often divulge details that eluded his competitors. He said of his news approach a few years ago: “I am proud of my journalistic philosophy: to tell the world things people do not want them to hear.”

Years ago, when I was working in the office he shared with his longtime partner, Rowland Evans, he confided to me the distinguishing characteristic of his work. “There has to be at least one new bit of information--some new revelation in each column,” he said. “That’s what makes us different.” And different he was.

For 45 years his column was mandatory reading in Washington DC and could drive blood pressure up in both the Capitol and in the West Wing. He relished being on the outside while tweaking the noses of those on the inside.

The man was a dynamo. Tooling around Washington in his black Corvette, Novak kept a schedule that would exhaust a twenty year old. When I worked for him, he was writing a column three times a week, editing a bi-weekly newsletter, producing CNN’s “Evans and Novak” and “Capitol Gang”, as well as co-hosting “Crossfire” each weeknight. Weekends were dedicated to speeches and travel. In between, he wrote articles for the Readers Digest and the Wall Street Journal as well as the occasional book.

Beneath the grumpy exterior and the “Prince of Darkness” moniker, Novak was a very kind man, devoted to his friends, his family, and later in life, to his Faith. In 1998, shortly after his conversion to Catholicism, Bob would only grant one television interview to discuss his new found religion. I had the pleasure of conducting that interview.

Bob told me of his long journey from non practicing Jew to Roman Catholic. It was his wife, Geraldine’s pro-life convictions that first drew his attention to matters of faith. Though not a Catholic, Geraldine Novak would attend Mass in Washington and encourage her husband to join her. After four years of attending Mass neither Bob nor Geraldine had converted, but a speaking engagement in Upstate New York would force the issue. At Syracuse University Bob encountered a young woman wearing a crucifix and casually asked if she was Catholic. The woman turned the question on Bob who had to respond in the negative. The woman told him, “Mr. Novak life is short, but eternity is forever.” These words would haunt him for weeks to come.

That chance meeting and conversations with Fr. John McCloskey and his former source and friend, Msgr. Peter Vaghi, led Novak to begin the process of conversion. He and Geraldine were baptized Catholics in 1998.

His faith was a great consolation to Bob during his battle with brain cancer in the last year of his life. He fought to the end, enduring invasive surgery and repeated chemotherapy. The last time I saw him, in the middle of his treatments, he was bent by his illness but by no means overcome by it. With Geraldine at his side, he possessed a joy and a determination to keep on fighting. That is the Bob Novak that I will long remember.

I will most miss Bob’s relentless inquisitiveness. In his three piece suit, over dinner or at a cocktail party, he would probe you, seeking your impressions of a news event or a person. He wanted to know everything you had heard. He was like a sponge. And God did he love chasing a story. A true journalist, Bob spent time and considerable shoe leather gathering facts, and never lost his soul doing it. In one of his last interviews with Washingtonian Magazine, in the midst of his cancer struggle, he said:

“Nobody wants to die. I certainly don't. But all Christian faiths, and certainly Catholicism, hold that there's an afterlife, that we are not just dust to dust. And that's comforting, particularly now that I have an illness and there's very little chance I will recover. A priest who visited me told me I've been given a chance to prepare myself. So I began to think about my life and what I've done right and not done right and to prepare myself for the last days. I've found that reassuring.”

In typical Novakian fashion, Bob knew how to finish the story well.

May Robert Novak rest in peace.

July 7, 2009

The Necrophiliac Complex

We have become a world of necrophiliacs. We love the dead. It is the living we have problems with.

This week’s outpouring of affection for Michael Jackson only reminds me of this irksome trend. It is worth recalling that only minutes before his untimely death, Jackson was routinely referred to as “Jacko” (a fusion of Jackson and wacko) by the world’s media. His record sales had been sliding for years. And on June 25th, he had all the cultural relevance of Duran Duran or Pat Benatar.

Jackson’s long history of bizarre behavior: wearing masks in public, draping his children in blankets, the horrific plastic surgeries that reduced his nose to something akin to a letter opener, his peculiar relationships with young children, and the erection of a personal Neverland made him the constant subject of scorn and ridicule. The Moonwalk, “Thriller”, and his trademark sequined gloves were long forgotten. Jackson had become a sad shadow of the multi-talented child he was in the 1960’s or even of the man who later left such a mark on the 1980’s.

Then he died.

The tributes began pouring in and the lionization reached full zenith. Suddenly his music started flying off the shelves and Jackson’s friends and acquaintances filled the airwaves with heartfelt tributes to his talent and “genius.” Jamie Foxx and Rev. Al Sharpton were soon raising him up as a black leader who broke down walls of racial separation and attracted legions of white and black fans. This cultural amnesia is a bit much.

As I watched the rise of the Jackson cult and listened to the social changes attributed to him, it made me think of those living musical icons that did in fact break the color barrier. If we are looking for artists who attracted white and black fans in a time of racial strife we have to go back decades before Michael Jackson. What about Little Richard? Diana Ross? Chuck Berry? Chubby Checker? Fats Domino? If we could step away from the media induced Jackson hysteria for a moment, perhaps we could find time to pay tribute to these iconic singers who truly instigated social change. All of these artists, incidentally, are still performing.

Why do we wait until people die before we honor them or show them how cherished they are? A friend recently suggested to me that watching beloved performers age only reminds us of our own mortality. Too bad.

It is easy to love the dead, particularly a dead singer. All we have at that point is the music (and we can be sure that they won’t commit any new embarrassing acts in public or disfigure themselves further). The image of that person can be safely fixed, set on the shelf of memory, and recalled in the happy haze of nostalgia. Reality is always a messier business.

No one is saying that we shouldn’t remember the dead or even honor them-- Jackson included--but as my great grandmother used to say: “Thank me now. After I’m gone, I won’t care.”

So as the world says goodbye to Michael Jackson, my thoughts wander to the many men and women on whose backs he stood. They should be saluted for their talent and their willingness to keep sharing it with us today. Memorials are nice, but gratitude in the present is better.