Everyone needs support from time to time. Sometimes that support is from the IT department, sometimes that support is from family, and still other times, that support is from friends. Most importantly, we find support from our brothers and sisters in Christ, or at least we should be able to.
Having these kinds of support groups is an important aspect of our spiritual life. Join Father Andy, Vince, Jesse, and special guest Mr. Jack Hewitt.
In the preparation for mass, there are some specific prayers that the priest and deacon should pray as they are vesting. These prayers have a spiritual meaning as well as reminds the priest of his purpose in the celebration of the liturgy. Join Father Andy, Deacon AJ, and Deacon Barnabas as they discuss the preparation for the Sacrifice of the Mass.
A few weeks ago, Vince and Father Andy discussed Baptism in general, but often Catholics are asked why we baptize children, when a child cannot make a decision for themselves really. We recognize in our faith and the scripture and the tradition that the importance of baptism for the protection of all peoples as well as giving the graces of the sacraments and sacramentals.
Join Deacon AJ and Father Andy as they discuss the importance of Baptism in our sacramental life.
If you went to Mass on June 29 and had expected to only hear about Martha, it might have been a surprise to you to hear that we were celebrating Martha, Mary, and Lazarus. Just this past January, Pope Francis decreed that the feast day of Martha would include her siblings with her. This gives us an excellent opportunity to talk about the relationship present with the trio, as well as Christ’s role in their lives. Join Deacon AJ and Father Andy as they took a look at this “Holy Family” that we celebrate in our church.
In Pope Paul VI’s Apostolic Exhortation, the faithful are called to continual growth in the Gospel message, to proclaim the message to the ends of the earth. As we continue to search for The Lord and find Him in our daily lives, it can be difficult to follow through with this command of Christ, yet we must strive to follow after Him. Join Vince, Father Andy, and Deacon AJ as they discuss these issues in our world and our lives today.
In this week’s episode, we journey through the life of Saint Benedict of Nursia. Saint Benedict, better known as the Father of Western Monasticism, is the spiritual father to many religious communities throughout the world. The Encounter Mercy Podcast is lucky to have our own Benedictine monk at our disposal! Join Father Andy and Brother Barnabas as Bro. Barnabas tells stories and opens up the Rule of Saint Benedict for daily life.
After a month hiatus, the gang is back! Between Father Andy moving and starting in a new parish assignment, Deacon AJ starting his summer assignment, Brother Deacon Barnabas settling in for summer at the Monastery, and the changes of life for Mr. Vince Dragone as a father and spouse, we come back together to discuss these transitions in life.
A few weeks back, we had an episode on Fatherhood and raising Catholic Children. This week, we have a close friend of the Encounter Mercy Podcast, as well as a high school friend of Father Andy, Jillian Zaczyk, to speak on the topic of Catholic Motherhood and how she sees herself as a Catholic Mother, Wife, and faith leader. Join Father Andy, Jesse Spanogle, and Jillian Zaczyk as they discuss the faith in today’s episode.
Deacon AJ and Br. Barnabas talk about a favorite book of theirs, He Leadeth Me by Fr. Walter Ciszek, S.J., who was an American missionary to Russia during the onset of the 2nd World War. Ministering in Eastern Poland during the rise of the Soviet Union, Ciszek is captured and is accused of being a Vatican spy. Over the next 25 years, he spends time in prison and labor camps, and endures incredible amounts of suffering. Through his trials, he is able to accept God’s will and learns the meaning of His Providence. In this episode, Deacon AJ and Br. Barnabas share how this book continues to inspire them.
There are many issues and obstacles in the world that undermine Catholic morality and spirituality within our culture. Join Vince and Jesse as they discuss how to raise children in a secular world. Resources: Religious Parenting by Christian Smith
Building bridges between bodies of believers and non-believers is an important task in our role as ministers of the faith. But what does that mean exactly for us in the pews? Join Vince, Jesse, and Father Andy as they discuss this important role in our church today.
Finding the peace we discussed last week can be difficult, especially when we find ourselves in a state of sin. Other times peace can seem elusive when we focus totally on ourselves and our own abilities. Peace is something that we need to seek out each and every day of our lives, yet can be a difficult journey.
Join Father Andy and Deacon AJ Gedney as they search for this peace in today’s episode.
Have you ever encountered someone or something that irritates you, and you’ve wanted to scream? Or maybe a situation that causes you fear or pain? It seems to be a part of our lives, yet there are healthy ways to deal with these situations.
Join Father Andy, Vince, and Br. Barnabas as they discuss how to bring peace to these situations.
Recently, two bits of information hit the public that has caused some members of the church a great deal of worry and fear. These two documents show that there is a great decline in church membership in the United States as well as the state of religion with young people. These two combined show a disheartening reality that faces the church. This reality is that our church is shrinking, and in fact, all of Christianity seems to be shrinking. So, what do we do? Do we fear and hide? Or do we respond with prayer and hard work? But what is this hard work, and how do we reverse this dismal situation?
Join Deacon(!!) AJ Gedney, Jesse Spanogle, and Fr. Andy as they discuss this topic and this situation in our world today.
At the end of our Lenten Sacrifice, the Church calls us into the three most holy days of our liturgical year. On Holy Thursday morning, traditionally Diocese throughout the world will celebrate the Chrism Mass. In this special mass, all priests of the diocese renew their promises made at ordination, and the holy oils for the diocese are blessed and consecrated. On Holy Thursday night, the church celebrates the Mass of the Lord’s Supper, where we celebrate the Last Supper and the first Holy Mass. On Good Friday, we celebrate the Passion of Christ where we read from the Passion Narrative according to the Gospel of John as well as adore the Holy Cross and pray for the world. On Holy Saturday during the day, no liturgies can be celebrated. This day, on Saturday in the daytime, nothing happens as Christ rests in the tomb. At sunset, the church celebrates the Easter Vigil, which includes a special fire, lots of candles, many readings and hymns, and the return of the Great Alleluia! These three very holy days hold so many mysteries and special prayers for the church at large.
Living in a monastery, these three very holy days take on even more of a solemn tone. Join Father Andy, Vince, and Brother Barnabas as Brother Barnabas talks about the celebration of the Triduum in the Monastery at Saint Vincent Monastery in Latrobe, PA.
In life, we often hear about the need to sacrifice, and its importance in the Christian life. Join us as we discuss sacrifices in the Christian’s journey.
Who exactly was Saint Patrick? Was he even Irish? And why does the world seem to worship this man? Join Vince and Jesse as they discuss this saint and his importance.
Have you ever felt that something is taking up too much space in your life? Maybe something that isn’t inherently bad, but needs to be pruned, or changed in a way? In our lives, we often get stuck in ruts and need to work on our habits to better ourselves. Join Vince and Jesse as they discuss detachment and its role in our spiritual life.
Leprosy is a very serious public health concern and shows up regularly in scripture. Leprosy is extremely contagious, causing great concern for the public health. Although we do not encounter leprosy in our world today, we do encounter a spiritual leprosy.
In this week’s episode, AJ and Br. Barnabas look at the words of the Rite of Ordination for a Deacon in light of their upcoming ordinations. They discuss the both the Old and Testament references found in the Rite, as well as their own reflections on what it means to minister as a deacon.
Last year’s Lenten season was definitely a first and a once in a lifetime experience. No one expected our lent to last as long as it did, nor did we expect the public worship to be cut short so quickly. With Lent 2021 upon us, we have an opportunity to make right what we might have promised last year, as well as to take our worship to the next level
Join Vince and Father Andy as they discuss the lenten practices for this year as well as some ideas on how to enter into the spirit of the lenten season.
Pope Francis calls us to what he calls spiritual accompaniment in his Apostolic Exhortation Evangelii Gaudium (The Joy of The Gospel). Below is an excerpt (paragraphs 169-173) where Pope Francis writes about the need for everyone to be initiated into the “art of accompaniment.”
“Go, therefore, and make disciples of all nations, baptizing them in the name of the Father, and of the Son, and of the holy Spirit, teaching them to observe all that I have commanded you.”Matthew 28:19-20a NABRE
In the Great Commission as listed above from the Gospel of Matthew, we hear Jesus give us the command to baptize, and exactly how to do this. Baptism is the first and foremost sacrament in the Church, and is the sacrament from which all other sacraments flow from. Listen today as Vince and Father Andy discuss this very important sacrament and how it impacts our lives.
We may have heard the Gospel parable of the Sower and the Seed before, but have we actually taken time to contemplate this story? Join Father Andy and AJ Gedney as they discuss this familiar story and its importance in our daily prayer lives
Not much is known about the life of Saint Joseph, and no words were ever written being attributed to him in scripture, yet our Holy Father Pope Francis has attributed this Jubilee year to this very important, yet obscure, saint.
Join Father Andy, Vince, and Father Dan Hoffman as they discuss this saint and this important year in our lives.
Saint Thomas Aquinas speaks on virtue and its place in the Christian Life. Join Vince and Father Andy as they discuss virtue with AJ Gedney.
As the Jewish people waited for their Messiah, they were expecting a great military leader to descend from the heavens and lead them into war against the occupying forces: the Romans and their empire. What they didn’t expect was a child king to appear to them, yet that is exactly what the prophets had proclaimed for generations before.
What a strange year we have had! Who would have guessed all that we would have to face one year ago? Join the gang as they discuss this past year and look forward to the next!
“Look Daddy! Teacher says every time a bell rings, an angel gets his wings!” In the classic Christmas movie, “It’s a Wonderful Life,” there are many Christian themes hidden, and sometimes blatantly staring at the viewer. For instance, one very obvious theme is that life is sacred and worthy of protection.
Join Father Andy and Brother Barnabas as they, with the help of AJ, try to convince Vince of these Christian themes, and enjoy this wonderful Christmas classic!
We often hear questions like “if the Catholic Church is the one true church, then how is there corruption in it?” or hear statements like “I love the Church and Her liturgies, but I cannot support a church that permits horrible things from happening.” Both of these statements/questions are feelings that people have, but how can one support an institution that is not perfect?
Join Father Andy and Vince as they discuss these thoughts.
What are those liturgical seasons, and why does the Church have them? Join Father Andy and AJ Gedney as they discuss the Liturgical Seasons of the Church and their purpose.
Entering into Advent can be difficult. Add on the pandemic, and this can just be crazy! In a way, it would be easy just to slip into the secular Christmas season, but there’s so much more that we can do to Encounter Christ this Advent Season.
Join Vince, Father Andy, AJ Gedney, Br. Barnabas, and a new guest, Jesse Spanogle as they discuss Advent and how to enter deeper into this season.
Can you believe it? It’s been a year since we started this journey. We could have never guessed where we would be one year later, but we thank God for the opportunity to share our faith with you!
Join Vince, Fr. Andy, Br. Barnabas, and A.J. as they look back on this past year and plan for the future.
Entering into contemplative prayer can be difficult, but is an important part of our spiritual journey. This difficult journey can lead to a greater peace in our daily lives, and therefore is something we all should try to tackle.
Join Vince and Father Andy as they discuss this journey.
Recently, a survey was taken of all Christian believers on key points to the Christian Faith. This survey is very misleading for a Catholic, and requires some deep thinking. These 35 questions are basically true or false questions, but they can be very misleading.
No, not the awful movie, but rather the reality of angels and their fallen counterparts, demons. What might seem like a scary topic really is an important discussion of our faith. Join Vince, Father Andy, and Father Joe on their discussions of angels, demons, and how it affects our day to day life of faith.
We chat often about prayer on this podcast, and there’s good reason for that. Prayer is the most important aspect of our daily life. We need to make sure that we are spending time in prayer each and every day. But how do we do this?
Join AJ and Brother Barnabas this week as they discuss forming habits that build a healthy prayer life.
How does someone become a Saint, and who can become saints? What is their role and why ask their intercession? Join Fr. Andy and Vince as they discuss the Saints today!
Knowing yourself and who you are is important; it allows for each of us to come to a greater understanding of our motives, and what makes us tick. An old phrase often spoken about this topic is self-knowledge leads to self-acceptance, which leads to self-gift.
Join Brother Barnabas and AJ this week as they journey along the path of self-knowledge.
Our world is currently in turmoil, and the world seems to be falling apart. With that, there have been attacks on our church, both physically and spiritually. What does this mean for us, and what should we do about it?
Join Vince, Father Andy and AJ as they discuss these troubling times in our world.
The Encounter Mercy Podcast with your host… AJ? Brother Barnabas? Wait… What happened?
No, no, don’t adjust your device. Join Brother Barnabas and AJ, now new co-hosts, as they take over the podcast this week!
Let us know what you think! AJ and Brother Barnabas will be co-hosting from time to time, providing some great banter and discussions. Let us know of any topics you would like to have discussed!
Marriage is such an important union, and so taking care of a relationship is number one in our list. But what does that mean? Join Vince and Father Andy as they discuss this very important sacrament.
Death: a topic we are careful to avoid. Have you ever thought about all the ways we allude to death in our speech without ever saying the word “death?” Passed on, fell asleep, went home, went to their reward, departed this earth, passed away, departed, gone, slipped away, lost the battle, succumbed to life, kicked the bucket, went to be with the Lord, went to Heaven, met his Maker, was called home, is in a better place, the list goes on.
But why are we so afraid of saying it? Why are we so afraid of saying people die, and that we all will eventually die? Join Vince and Father Andy as they discuss death in the Christian life, and the importance to discuss death in our lives.
Often we are asked why we are Catholic, or why the Catholic Church. Why not just join a more “hip,” or “up-to-date,” or more “with-the-times” church. Well, lots of good reasons! Join Father Andy, Vince, Brother Barnabas, and AJ Gedney as they discuss the reasons for the Church as they discuss often heard reasons against the Church. And no, don’t adjust your dial! We were experiencing lots of technical difficulties during this recording, so enjoy the random “bloopers” and out-takes.
In this past Sunday’s Gospel reading, we hear Christ proclaim that Peter is the rock, and not only the rock, but the specific rock that HE, Jesus, will build His Church upon. With this deceleration, we find the beginnings of The Catholic Church, and how it impacts us an our faith today.
Join Vince and Father Andy as they discuss the faith, and the importance of this Gospel Passage.
What exactly is service, and what does it mean to offer service? And what exactly does service look in the Christian’s life? Join Father Andy and Vince as they discuss Christian service and service of ones time, talent, and treasure.
Our world is filled with noise, noise, noise, noise, NOISE! Through all this noise, how do we hear God and His Will for our lives? Join Father Andy and Vince as they sift through all this noise.
As members of the human population, and residents of the Earth, as well as creations of God, we have a responsibility to care for our common home of Earth. We have a God-given obligation to care for His Creation, and that includes the world around us.
So how exactly does the Church call out to her members to care for our common home? And what does that mean for us? Join Vince and Brother Barnabas as they discuss the role of Stewards of Our Environment this week.
In the document Sacrosanctum Concilium, promulgated by Pope Paul VI, we are instructed that the faithful are to have full and active participation in the liturgy:
Join us as we discuss some topics around our proverbial campfire. Join Father Andy, Vince, Father Joe Petrone, and AJ Gedney. If you have a topic you would like to suggest, let us know over at info (at) encountermercy.com
Join Father Andy and Vince as they talk with the Newly-Ordained Father Joseph Petrone about his call to priesthood and his current life in pro temporae assignment.
When speaking of Saint Bartholomew, Christ said “Here is a true child of Israel. There is no duplicity in him (Jn 1:47).” What exactly does it mean to not be duplicitous? Why should we strive for such an attribute? Join Vince and Father Andy as they discuss this very important topic and discuss ways to be honest and transparent in today’s world
In all that we do, we are to follow the command of Christ to “go into all the world and proclaim the Good News.” (Mk 16:15) We have set a goal for ourselves to continue this proclamation, and as we move forward, we want your input: we want to know how you plan to continue to proclaim the Gospel in all that you do.
Join Father Andy and Vince as they discuss different ways that they plan on evangelizing in this world as well as some ways that we all can try to continue to spread the Good News.
As we begin returning to our churches and public worship, we may find it difficult, or confusing on what to do. We may want to move faster than our parish or our diocese, but we must be patient. We may also fear returning to our churches or believe that we are moving too fast. In all of this, we must trust in God and His plan.
Join Father Andy, Vince, and AJ Gedney as they discuss prayer and moving forward in this tumultuous time.
If you’ve had the fortune (or maybe misfortune) of watching any television lately, you may have come across this phrase in commercials calling the situation we are in as the “new normal.” This reality we are in is not the new normal, but it does have some things to teach us.
No, it’s not the beginning of a bad joke, it’s Mr. AJ Gedney’s vocation story. Join Vince and Father Andy as they discuss the vocation story and discernment of AJ Gedney, who is a seminarian from the Diocese of Covington, KY.
Have you ever read a really good book, or heard a really good story? Have you ever been able to put yourself into that story? When we can use our imagination, the story usually means something more to us.
Now, how can we use that in ministry? Where do we find that stories work well for evangelization? Some of the best stories for evangelization can be found in the parables that Jesus told us.
Join Vince, Father Andy, and Brother Barnabas as they contemplate the usage of fiction and story telling in evangelization
We all have plenty of time on our hands, so how exactly are we using it? Join Vince, Father Andy, and Brother Barnabas as they discuss leisure time and ways to spend it.
How often have you heard someone say that they are “spiritual” and not religious? Or that religion is bad? And what about people looking for ways to deal with the current affairs?
Join Vince and Father Andy as they talk about this “new” spirituality that seems to fascinate the world.
What is “mercy”? What separates mercy from grace? Where did “Divine Mercy Sunday” come from? There are a lot of questions surrounding this eighth day of the Easter Octave! Join Vince and Father Andy as they chat about their lives and the celebration of Mercy that we had this past Sunday.
Once again, a strange celebration has come upon us. We have celebrated most of Lent at home, all of Holy Week at home, and now Easter, the highest Holy Day in the Christian calendar.
So how are we celebrating these holy days? And how do we make them special? Let’s chat about that!
The holiest week of them all, and of course this week we are stuck at home! Join Father Andy and Vince as they chat about this week and ways that we can make it holy for ourselves!
As is well known, the world around us seems to be falling apart, yet there is hope! Jesus Christ is alive and is calling out to us! Join Vince and Father Andy as they discuss the situation in our world and look for a silver lining.
How does one try to explain the mystery of the Trinity? In our Catholic Faith, we try to uncover this mystery, and yet we fail at its complete comprehension of this mystery, because it is just that: a mystery,
Join Father Andy and Vince as they discuss the Trinity and try try try their hardest to understand the Trinity.
Everyone has a God-given role in this world, and we sometimes call this role our vocation. When we often hear the word vocation, we immediately assume a religious vocation, such as a priest or a nun. Yet, this role can mean so much more.
Join Vince and Father Andy as they discuss vocations and why they are important.
What must we do to live out our faith? How far must we go? Join Father Andy and Vince as they discuss martyrdom and living out the faith in our daily lives.
How in the world could you boil The Mass down into only an hour?? Well, we couldn’t. Enjoy today’s longer episode on The Mass where Father Dan Hoffman joins Father Andy and Vince as they try to undertake the difficult task of explaining The Mass.
In today’s episode, Father Andy and Vince chat with Father Dan Hoffman about the different approved Marian Apparitions. While the apparition of Mary is not a necessity for salvation, there are a few good reasons to believe in and pray for these apparitions. Join us as we discuss these miraculous moments in our church’s history!
In a week, we begin our journey through Lent, a time of Prayer, Fasting, Almsgiving, Penance, and other deeds and prayers to prepare us for Easter. Yet Lent isn’t something that we should just wish away, nor is it a time to get into shape because you might give up sweets. So what exactly is Lent and what should we do or give up for this holy season? Listen to today’s episode where Father Andy and Vince chat about that!
In this episode, Father Andy and Vince discuss mental health, the importance of paying attention to our mental health, and the importance of discussing this publicly.
In our episode this week, Vince and Father Andy talk with Brother Barnabas O’Reilly, a Benedictine monk at Saint Vincent Archabbey in Latrobe, PA.
Learn about Brother Barnabas and his call to the monastery as well as his job at Saint Vincent College as a full-time campus minister and full-time seminary student.
What does it mean to be a brother? Why should men have a sens of brotherhood? How should this look in life?
These are all questions men should be asking themselves. Not only should all men be looking for a brotherhood, we should be looking for authentic relationships, ones where we can be held accountable as well as looking out for each other. In today’s episode, Vince and Father Andy discuss brotherhood as well as ways to be in a brotherhood.
Often the last things are listed as death, judgment, heaven and hell. Today in our podcast Vince and Father Andy discus the Last Things, including purgatory.
Often times, we hear people ask why we need to go to the Sacrament of Reconciliation. So often, people avoid this sacrament out of fear, confusion, or disinterest. Today, Vince and Father Andy investigate the importance of this Sacrament and hope to inspire you to attend this Sacrament regularly.
Through a Pew Research poll in 2019, it was found that only one-third of US Catholics believe in the Real Presence of the Body, Blood, Soul, and Divinity of Jesus Christ present in the Eucharist. This staggering number has caused a mass response (no pun intended) by the Church, her Bishops and priests, and all who teach the faith. Join Father Andy and Vince as they discuss the Catholic Faith and Her understanding of the Eucharist as the Source and Summit of our Christian life (Catechism of the Catholic Church, 1324).
As we begin another New Year, Vince and Father Andy take some time to look back on the last year. There has been so much that has happened in the last year, and it’s important that we look back to see where we have been, as well as to take time to see where we are going.
Vince and Father Andy also take some time to answer some of our listener’s questions. As always, if you have a question, submit it here on our website!
Emmanuel, God IS with us!
Today, we have so much to celebrate. The Savior, who came to feed the nations by sacrificing Himself for our sins was born. He had to become flesh to die for our sins, and so, as all the prophets foretold of Him, and the Virgin Mother longed for Him beyond all telling, He has come to His people to set them free! Our salvation is with us, and this is why we celebrate!
Join Vince and Fr. Andy as they discuss the Manger scene as well as other personal traditions.
In this weekly episode, we talk about spiritual direction, what it’s about, and why it’s important. Vince asks Father Andy about his experience as both a spiritual director and spiritual directee.
Season 1, Episode 6
So, Thanksgiving is over, Christmas music has been playing since October 30, it must now be the Christmas Season, right??? WRONG! We still have a four(ish) week season of preparation to participate in first! So we wait, patiently, in joyful hope for the coming of Jesus Christ during this holy season of Advent.
Advent, being a season of preparation, calls us to prepare our hearts, our homes, our world for the coming of Jesus Christ. He has come once as a child, so now we prepare when He comes again as the King. Listen to our podcast this week as we discuss some of the history and practices of advent both in our church and in the Christian world.
Season 1, Episode 5
Who is Mary and why do Catholics have a devotion to her? The Bible has many correlations between the Old Testament and Mary. Mary is the New Eve. There are many references to Mary as the Ark of the New Covenant. Mary, the Mother of God, intercedes for us. In this episode, we give a brief introduction to Mary and explain why we hold her in such high regard. We wish we had more time to talk about her in this episode, but we promise to go into more detail in future episodes.
Thanksgiving is not a Catholic holiday, however, it is an opportunity to give thanks to God for all that he has given us. It is also a great time to show compassion to your neighbor. What does the Eucharist and Thanksgiving have in common? You’ll find out if you listen.
Evangelization is what all Catholics are called to do. In our modern world the ability to reach people far and wide has never been easier. What can Christians do to evangelize in today’s society? In this episode, we talk about how to spread the faith through the use of podcasts, social media, virtual reality, augmented reality, websites, and much more.
In this episode, we introduce ourselves and our new weekly podcast, Encounter Mercy. We are two young guys (a Catholic priest and a father of two small children) with a mission to bring Christ to the world through the utilization of 21st century means and methods. Join us as we tell you our stories and set expectations for future episodes.