Monday, October 26, 2009

Catholic Speaker Spotlight: Deacon Ralph Poyo

When I first heard Deacon Ralph Poyo speak at a Steubenville Youth Conference, he was in a gymnasium with approximately 1,000 girls. He read us a love letter from God, and from that moment on he became one of my favorite speakers. Through his words the Holy Spirit touched each and every one of our hearts. Deacon Ralph does not speak for himself, he is a spokesman for God.

In his talks, Deacon Ralph is energetic and humorous, calling himself a hobbit because of his short stature. More importantly, he is passionate about what he speaks on and his passion engages his audience. He has a deep love for Jesus and he wants to bring Jesus to the hearts of all those who hear his words. His message for everyone is how to be a follower of Christ and that we must be willing to die for him. Jesus loves us so much and gave his life up for us, and we, too, were created to love.

Deacon Ralph is not afraid to share about his own life story in his talks. He came to accept and know Christ his senior year of high school, but that does not mean his life was picture perfect after that. He openly admits his addiction to pornography and the challenge of finding and living a life of purity after that experience. He also shares stories of his family; he is a father to five girls. He is, literally, the man of the house, asked to fix things and kill bugs. I can certainly relate to that: asking others to kill/get rid of insects for me. :)

Today Deacon Ralph Poyo continues to speak at many Steubenville conferences in the summer and he also runs New Evangelization Ministries, a parish program to renew evangelization and convert hearts. You can also listen to the deacon speak at different conferences and retreats on the Newsletter and Media link at the top of his website. He is definitely worth checking out!

Want to find out more about other Catholic speakers? Check out Fallible Blogma's Support a Catholic Speaker Month here.

Thursday, October 15, 2009

The 13th Day

This week I was able to see a screening for The 13th Day, a new movie about the apparitions of Our Lady of Fatima. To be honest I was a little skeptical and almost did not go to see it, but I am glad I did! I thought it would be a super long and boring film, but Catholic film makers finally know what they're doing! The 13th Day is very unique because most of the film is in black and white. With the lack of color they do a phenomenal job of using shadows and different lighting.

Many Catholics today have probably heard of "Fatima," and what The 13th Day does is make it come alive. There was a miracle in 1917 that 70,000 people witnessed, but we do not hear about it anymore. Have we lost our faith in miracles?

I think they played up the children, the three seers, and downplayed the messages Mary gave them. The secrets of Fatima have all been revealed, but I think people could see this movie and be confused on the messages. Of course, the main message is clear: Pray the rosary daily! I can't say that I do, but seeing this film made me think a little bit more on my devotion to our Blessed Mother and the importance she has in our lives.

The 13th Day film - available from Ignatius Press!