Category Archives: Kozak’s Corner

Recommended Reading from Brother Michael P. Kozak

Recommended Reading from Mike K.

Kozak’s Korner – Recommended Media

Posted by Leon Shadowen on Sep 14, 2017 08:51 pm
Need some tips for how to learn and teach the Catholic faith? go to:

To Light a Fire on the Earth: (Thanks David)

March 4, 2017-Lenten Pilgrimage to The Shrine of the Immaculate Conception

Here is our schedule for Saturday’s Lenten Pilgrimage to the Shrine of the Immaculate Conception (the largest Catholic Church in the United States) and the Shrine of Saint Pope John Paul II.

Pilgramage to DC
Pilgramage to DC


As always, all of these components are optional and you can always spend your time visiting the bookstore, gift shop, or in private prayer in the Shrine or on the grounds.

Please be on time, we need to leave on time so as not to be rushed.  We are welcoming 5 men from St. Edward’s on the trip this year!

6:15-6:25 Meet at St. Bridget front parking lot

6:30 Departure

8:30 Coffee, etc. in Shrine cafeteria

9:00 Guided Tour

10:00-11:00 Confessions ( Immaculate Heart of Mary Chapel with Fr. Stefan or Confession Chapel on Crypt Church level); private prayer

11:00 Mass celebrated by Fr. Stefan in Immaculate Heart of Mary Chapel

11:45-12:50 Side trip to St. John Paul II Shrine to visit temporary exhibit of The Life and Legacy of St. Thomas More

1:00-2:00(approx.) Stations of the Cross in the Crypt Church at The Shrine

2:30(approx.) Lunch @ The Dubliner

Return to Richmond

Please email Mike K. to reserve your spot

Here are some links:

Catholic Men’s Conference Updates | Diocese of Richmond

Saturday, January 16, 2016

Registration opens at 8:00am
Conference begins at 9:30am
Vigil Mass for Sunday begins at 4:00pm

There is new information on our website so check it out now. Don’t delay! 


Who are the speakers?

Mark Hart is our keynote presenter this year. He is inspiring, funny, and will have you on the edge of your seat. You don’t want to miss it.

Father Dan Beeman hails from our own diocese. He’s a tremendous preacher with a great sense of humor and poignant insights into what it takes to be a true man of God.
What’s new this year?

We have a full conference for Spanish-speaking men featuring John Fredy Jiménez Montenegro, Comunicador Social y Periodista Católico, Especializado en Comunicación Organizacional, Universidad Central de Colombia. Joining him will be Daniel Villar from the Office for Hispanic Ministry at the diocese.


Want the schedule? Get it here.

Bishop Olmsted issues apostolic exhortation on masculinity | The Catholic Sun

From Brother Mike:
For the entire article Visit this Link: 

Bishop Olmsted issues apostolic exhortation on masculinity | The Catholic Sun

Home family on top of each otherCatholic men must reclaim and live the virtue of Christian masculinity, says Bishop Thomas J. Olmsted in his apostolic exhortation, “Into the Breach.”

Promulgated on the Feast of the Archangels, Sept. 29, Bishop Olmsted issued “Into the Breach: An Apostolic Exhortation to the Catholic men, my spiritual sons in the Diocese of Phoenix” as a charge for Catholic men to be prepared for spiritual battle for their souls and the souls of their families.

The name of the exhortation is taken from the Prophet Ezekiel, “And I sought for a man among them who should build up the wall and stand in the breach before me for the land…” (22:30).

Are you ready to step ‘Into the Breach’?

Citing statistics about the decreasing involvement in parish life and participation in the sacraments, the bishop notes that “While we know that Christ welcomes back every repentant sinner, the truth is that large numbers of Catholic men are failing to keep the promises they made at their children’s baptisms — promises to bring them to Christ and to raise them in the faith of the Church.”

In defining what it means to be a Catholic man, Bishop Olmsted says that Jesus, fully God and fully man, is the perfection of masculinity. “Only in Jesus Christ can we find the highest display of masculine virtue and strength that we need in our personal lives and in society itself.”

Bishop Olmsted offers the saints as models of masculinity, recommending male saints such as St. Joseph, St. Francis of Assisi, St. Thomas More, Blessed Pier Giorgio Frassati and others as examples.

Bishop Olmsted then leads into the second question of his exhortation: how does a Catholic man love? The bishop describes the types of masculine love: as friend, husband and father. Stressing the importance of men finding a “band of brothers” to join in Christian fraternity, he offers examples in the diocesan Men’s Conferences, the Knights of Columbus, the That Man Is You program and the Cursillo movement.

“We see that Jesus called His disciples to Himself in such a way that they would form deep bonds of friendship and brotherhood,” he says. “I am convinced that if men will seek true brotherhood, the adversities we face today will solidify bands of brothers who will be lauded in Heaven!” added the bishop.

In describing how a man loves as a husband, he challenges young men to prepare for marriage before meeting their future brides. “Such training in sacrifice is to love your bride before you meet her, so that you may one day say, ‘Before I knew you, I was faithful to you.’”

Speaking to those called to be husbands, he reminds them of St. Paul’s exhortation for husbands to love their wives as Christ loves the Church. “This is the glory, men! Called to marriage, you are called to be as Christ to your bride.” When proclaiming this truth, he says, “you radiate the light of Christ in an area of society so darkened by what has always threatened spousal love.

“We need to see masculine chastity for what it is, whereas too often, this virtue is seen in negative light, as something weak,” adds the bishop. “Chastity is strength and a rejection of slavery to the passions. Christians have always believed that chastity, whether in marriage or celibacy, is a freedom from the enslavement to sin and our passions.”

Tackling the sins of pornography and masturbation, he says that while the culture wrongly encourages these “narcissistic” habits, they do nothing more than teach men to use others.

“Think of pornography as just as serious and no less grave than adultery,” he says. “To attempt to love another person while engaging in this practiced narcissism, without being transformed by mercy, will surely bring grave harm.”

By considering the contexts of temptations, we are able to invite God to send His grace, says the bishop, adding that in the Sacrament of Confession is found “superabundant grace and support.”

“Through building purity of heart, men, you will not only see God in the women in your lives but also in yourselves, also the ‘image of God’! Even if the darkness seems insurmountable, Christ never abandons us.”

Moving into the final section of his exhortation, Bishop Olmsted notes that the number of children born to unmarried homes has increased 700 percent since 1950, adding that there are those in the culture who don’t see fatherlessness as a problem.

“Do not be fooled by those voices wishing to erase all distinctions between mothers and fathers, ignoring the complementarity that is inherent in creation itself,” he says. “Step up and lovingly, patiently take up your God-given role as protector, provider, and spiritual leader of your home. A father’s role as spiritual head of the family must never be understood or undertaken as domination over others, but only as a loving leadership and a gentle guidance for those in your care.”

Fatherhood, whether in a family or through the priesthood, reflects imperfectly the Fatherhood of God, Bishop Olmsted says.

“To fully live, all men must be fathers and live out their fatherhood!” says Bishop Olmsted. “If you do not embrace the spousal and fatherly vocation God has planned for you, you will be stuck in the impotence of the ‘seed’ that refuses to die and refuses to give life. Don’t settle for this half-life! The question for every man is not, ‘Am I called to be a father?’ but rather, ‘What kind of father am I called to be?’”

In a special section to grandfathers, Bishop Olmsted remembered his own grandfathers, who passed along to him faith, the value of hard work and a respect for all other people and for God’s creation.

Bishop Olmsted also encouraged those whose fathers were absent in their lives. “There are many reasons why men abandon their responsibilities, or even if they remain, stay distant, as a result of the lack of positive experience of fatherhood in their own lives,” he says. “This wound in your heart may not yet have healed. … Allow Christ to show you the Father who never abandons his children, but rather offers his only begotten Son.”

To those who have failed in their roles as fathers, he also encouraged them to ask God the Father to guide them and to seek renewal in prayer and the Sacrament of Reconciliation.

The bishop concluded his exhortation with a call to action — that the men of the diocese go forward confidently in their vocations as men and to embrace the authentic freedom offered by Christ.

“We need to get off the sidelines and stand up for life on the front lines. We need faith like that of our fathers who defended the children of previous generations and who gave up their own lives rather than abandon their faith in Christ. My sons and brothers, men of the Diocese of Phoenix, we need you to step into the breach!”

Tony Gutiérrez is editor of The Catholic Sun. He has worked in Catholic media for a number of years, most recently as associate editor for the North Texas Catholic, the news magazine serving the Diocese of Fort Worth. He is a fourth degree Knight of Columbus and most recently was the social media chair for the Texas State Council. In September 2014, he and his wife, Tiffany, welcomed the birth of their daughter Katie.

Respect Life Update

St. Bridget Catholic Church > Parish Groups > Councils and Committees > Respect Life Committee


October is Respect Life Month

October is “Respect Life Month” as observed by U.S. Catholics. It marks the beginning of a year-long program for Catholics to learn more about respect for the dignity of human life, as well as encouraging prayer for a greater respect for life.  Please read the Statement by Cardinal O’Malley.


The theme for the 2015 Respect Life Month is “Every Life is Worth Living.” The U.S. Bishops’ Respect Life Program has provided reading materials for Catholics on topics like abortion and end-of-life care.


Upcoming Respect Life Events for Parishioners

Rachel’s Vineyard Retreat, October 2nd to 4th

Retreat for post-abortion healing.  More information on Rachel’s Vineyard is at  More information about the retreat, confidentially contact Maggie Carlson at


Abortion and Mercy: Responses to Pope Francis’s Remarks Read more at:

You can read the entire article at the following LINK: 


September 2, 2015 4:00 AM

What did Pope Francis say Tuesday in his statement about abortion and mercy? Is it any different from what the Church has always taught? National Review Online consults experts in theology, medicine, and post-abortion ministry.

Iraqi archbishop reflects on persecution of Christians during visit

Iraqi archbishop reflects on persecution of Christians during visit

Chaldean Catholic Archbishop Bashar Warda of Irbil, Iraq, concelebrates an Aug. 23 Mass at SS. Peter and Paul Cathedral in Indianapolis. The archbishop visited several U.S. cities and discussed his experience with the flood of Christian refugees to Irbil following the Islamic State's capture of Mosul and the Ninevah Plain. (Photo by Sean Gallagher)

Chaldean Catholic Archbishop Bashar Warda of Irbil, Iraq, concelebrates an Aug. 23 Mass at SS. Peter and Paul Cathedral in Indianapolis. The archbishop visited several U.S. cities and discussed his experience with the flood of Christian refugees to Irbil following the Islamic State’s capture of Mosul and the Ninevah Plain. (Photo by Sean Gallagher)

By Sean Gallagher

Chaldean Catholic Archbishop Bashar Warda of Irbil in northern Iraq pauses and places his face in his hands when asked how his faith has been challenged and spurred on in the crisis that he has helped manage over the past year.

In the summer of 2014, Islamic State militants conquered the nearby city of Mosul, with its large and historic Christian community. Later, they took a series of historic Christian villages in the Plain of Nineveh north of Mosul.

The Christians of Mosul and the villages were told to convert to Islam, pay a religious tax, die or leave with nothing.

Some 125,000 Christians, including three bishops, 50 priests and 90 religious sisters, chose the last option. Many of them flooded Irbil to the east as refugees.

Archbishop Warda spoke about his experiences of caring for the suffering faithful, his gratitude for the support that Catholics across America and around the world have given to the Church in Iraq, and his hopes for its future in an interview with The Criterion when he visited Indianapolis recently.

Earlier in the month, he took part in the 133rd Supreme Convention of the Knights of Columbus in Philadelphia on Aug. 4-6. The Knights of Columbus has contributed much to support persecuted Christians in Iraq. He came to Indiana to visit Archbishop Joseph W. Tobin. Both were previously Redemptorist priests before being chosen to serve as bishops. During his visit, he also was a concelebrant at the archdiocese’s annual Golden Wedding Jubilee Mass on Aug. 23 at SS. Peter and Paul Cathedral in Indianapolis. (See related story here)


FOR THE COMPLETE STORY, visit this link:


Where does our callous disregard for the dignity of human life end?

Beres: Planned Parenthood videos are about the horror

Posted 2 days ago

“I remember holding him in my hands and thinking, God, what am I doing? … It’s really hard knowing that you’ll be the only one who is ever going to hold that baby.” It is difficult to listen to Holly O’Donnell describe what happened as she took part in the dissection of a fetus delivered in a Planned Parenthood facility.

The heartbreaking interview is part of the seventh video in the exposé of the nation’s largest abortion provider by the Center for Medical Progress (CMP). While only 10 minutes, 37 seconds long, it is the probably the most difficult to watch of all the videos.

If even a fraction of what the videos have revealed about Planned Parenthood is true, whether laws were broken is not the issue.

The former employee of StemExpress (a company that supplies human blood, tissue and other body parts to biomedical researchers) relates the experience she had with a co-worker at the abortion clinic in San Jose, Calif.

According to O’Donnell, the co-worker told her: “I want you to see something kinda cool. This is kinda neat.” O’Donnell says what she saw flabbergasted her: “This is the most gestated fetus and the closest thing to a baby I’ve seen. And she is, like, ‘Okay, I want to show you something.’ So she has one of her instruments, and she just taps the heart, and it starts beating. And I’m sitting here, and I’m looking at this fetus, and its heart is beating, and I don’t know what to think.”

O’Donnell then describes how she is instructed to remove the brain from this child — while the heart is still beating.


This video, together with the others released by CMP, has placed Planned Parenthood under a harsh light. Pro-life groups maintain that the videos prove that the women’s health care organization has been illegally harvesting and selling fetal organs. Planned Parenthood staunchly maintains it has done nothing wrong.

By the letter of the law, that may well be true. But if even a fraction of what the videos have revealed about Planned Parenthood is true, whether laws were broken is not the issue.

It is the cold, indifferent inhumanity of the organization’s procedures and actions that are so offensive: Planned Parenthood appears to be as morally bankrupt as an organization dealing with human life could possibly be.

The idea of cutting up and selling baby parts is disturbing enough — but to watch the grisly business arrangements being lightly discussed over a glass of wine and a salad is stunning.

The detached indifference of several Planned Parenthood staff members when discussing best practices to deliver an intact fetus or when talking about the going prices of infant parts is stunning in its disregard for human life.


The Center for Medical Progress, a California-based group of citizen journalists dedicated to monitoring medical ethics and protecting human dignity for all, began its Human Capital project nearly three years ago. The videos are the result of hundreds of hours of research, undercover footage and eyewitness testimony. From the first video to the eighth, the obvious lack of compassion felt by Planned Parenthood for these unborn children is troubling.

Our culture seems to give more attention and show more humanity to animals than to the unborn. To date, CMP’s videos seem to have generated far less national outrage than did the death of Cecil the lion last month.

While many commentators railed against the murder of the African lion, much of the mainstream, left-leaning media has apparently chosen to ignore a video that discusses the killing of a live human fetus with a beating heart — something that could possibly be considered a homicide in many states.

Josh Earnest, President Obama’s spokesman, told reporters a couple of weeks ago that no one at the White House had bothered to watch the videos. And apparently the complicit silence is paying off. According to Ian Tuttle in National Review, 68 percent of Americans say they have heard nothing about the Planned Parenthood videos.

That much of the mainstream media has long played defense for pro-abortion groups is nothing new, of course. Annual coverage of the 42-year-old March for Life in Washington has been incredibly underwhelming for years. Rarely does the media show footage of or mention the hundreds of thousands of pro-life supporters of all ages — some old, but mostly young teens and adults — who converge on Washington every Jan. 22 to protest the 1973 Roe v. Wade decision — and remember the nearly 58 million lives lost to abortion.


The book of Genesis tells us that God created humans in His image. Most Christians are taught that life is a precious gift from God and, as such, only He has the right to determine when it shall end. Today’s more humanist-centered society may choose not to believe that — but where does our callous disregard for the dignity of human life end?

Hopefully, the average person still believes that intentionally taking an unborn life for the purpose of harvesting and selling its body parts is, quite simply, evil. If we don’t believe that, how are we any different from the monstrous doctors of the Holocaust? What have we become?

(804) 649-6305

Twitter: @RobinBeres





Identity is a theme to which Pope Francis has returned often in his daily preaching. He speaks of Catholics, metaphorically, as having a certain “identity card,” as valuable and consequential as a passport or a driver’s license. Our legal documents record important details such as our eye color, hair color, and home address. These details matter to us, but they are superficial; they can change over time. Pope Francis, however, speaking from the Catholic tradition, is more concerned, as we are in this letter, about an identity that is essential, enduring, and true. We must talk about the identity we receive in baptism. It cannot be taken away from us. It is permanent. Indeed, it is all we can hope to keep at the end of our earthly life.

Please visit this link for the entire publication: 

Thank you brother Mike Kozak for sharing this information!