Seeking Christ by Reading

The master of the spiritual life, Dom Mary Eugene Boylan, wrote a chapter in his book This Tremendous Lover on study and reading. It falls very much in line with Brother Francis’ vision for forming the lay apostles who will sanctify themselves in truth and work for the conversion of America. For the edification of our students, we provide the chapter here. It’s a rather large PDF file (6062 k).

The Heart of SAI: Brother Francis’ Lectures

The Saint Augustine Institute was the brainchild of Brother Francis. His lectures pass on the essence of the program. They will inspire, inform, and motivate the apostolic Catholics we need to convert America. For your convenience, we now have centrally located in one flier, a 424 k PDF file, a list of all of Brother Francis’ available lectures. Each title on the flier is hyper-linked to the longer descriptions on our store web site. Those preferring to order products by more traditional means (not on the Internet), will find the necessary information provided.

First Sunday of Advent — November 29th

Recommended Reading

Religious Customs in the Family — The Radiation of the Liturgy into Catholic Homes by Rev. Francis Weiser

Many beautiful, traditional religious customs that will give Catholic homes a truly Catholic spirit year round: blessing of children, name days, feast days, Advent and Christmas customs. Great reading for all. Essential to help every Catholic family overcome secularism. Shows the religious source of even such common things as pretzels, hot cross buns, the Easter ham, Thanksgiving Day, and Spring Cleaning. What parts of the Christmas Tree are Catholic, and which ones came from secular influence. Very interesting and useful!

For more information, click here.

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The Year and Our Children by Mary Reed Newland

Learn how to make an Advent wreath – and how to make it more than just a pretty ornament. Teach your children about the real Santa (the one who was a bishop) and how to celebrate all twelve days of Christmas, giving them a holy wonder that will continue long after all the presents have been opened and the wrapping thrown away.

When Lent comes, read Newland’s simple secrets to helping your kids embrace their sacrifices with enthusiasm. Then, let her show you how to make your home a place where Holy Week and Easter are duly treated as the highest, holiest days of all the year.

Mary Reed Newland wrote numerous beloved books for Catholic families, but The Year and Our Children is her undisputed masterpiece. Read it, cherish it, share it, put it into practice – and give your kids the gift of a fully lived faith, every day and in every season.

For more information, click here.

Graces we can gain for the Holy Souls in Purgatory

Q. What benefits can flow from a visit to a Catholic cemetery?

A. It must first be recalled that a Catholic cemetery is a holy place, being consecrated ground, especially blessed by the Church to receive the bodies, temples of the Holy Ghost, that will rise up to meet Our Lord, the Supreme Judge, on the last day. It is for this reason that it was always considered obligatory for the bodies of faithful Catholics to be buried in Catholic cemeteries (Canon 1205, 1 of the 1917 Code).

A visit to a cemetery is consequently an act of religion, as is the special care of the cemetery and of the tombs of those who are buried there. It inspires a Catholic with reverence, awe for God’s judgments, respect for the souls of those whose bodies are buried there, with an awareness of the brevity of this earthly life, and of the union of the Church militant with the Church suffering in the mystical body of Christ. Special graces are consequently attached to silent and prayerful visits to cemeteries. It can easily be understood why Church law prescribes that each parish have its own cemetery (Canon 1208), and why it is the traditional custom for it to be physically adjoining the parish.

However, if Catholics love to visit cemeteries, it is especially out of a motive of charity. We long to assist the suffering souls in purgatory by our prayers, sacrifices, and Masses, given that we are united as members of the same mystical body. A physical visit to a cemetery is a great help in inciting us to this duty of charity. It is for this reason that the Church has generously enriched with her indulgences visits to cemeteries. During the eight days from November 1-8, any of the faithful can, simply by visiting a cemetery and praying for the poor souls, obtain a plenary indulgence, applicable to the poor souls in purgatory, under the usual conditions. At other times of the year this is a partial indulgence.

Let us consequently be generous and regular with our visits to Catholic cemeteries, and let us never pass one by without stopping to recite a short prayer for the poor souls there, or at least reciting such a prayer as we go by.

V. From the gates of hell,
R. Deliver their souls, O Lord.

V. Eternal rest give to them, O Lord,
R. And let perpetual light shine upon them.

V. May they rest in peace,
R. Amen.

V. May the souls of all the faithful departed through the mercy of God rest in peace,
R. Amen.


The souls in purgatory need our help. They are no longer able to merit for themselves, and it is only through the prayers of the Church Militant that they can be released from their torments. We are assured by our Holy Faith that they will be eternally grateful to those who pray for their release. But few Catholics pray for them in this time of weakening faith, so the responsibility to help them falls more heavily on the shoulders of those of us who will accept it.

The holy souls can be one of our secret weapons. We must remember that their prayers for us are heard by God, so they can be very powerful allies while we yet struggle in this valley of tears. In addition, to pray for the dead is one of the spiritual works of mercy.

The whole month of November is dedicated to the holy souls. The novena begins on the first day of the month, the feast of All Saints, and ends on November 9th, the feast of the dedication of the Basilica of Saint John Lateran in Rome, which is also known as the Basilica of the Holy Savior. It follows almost immediately after the Novena to Christ the King and is the last novena of the liturgical year.

The intention of the novena: We pray for the early release of holy souls from their sufferings, and their entrance into the Beatific Vision. This intention is stated in the prescribed prayers.

The form of the novena:

1) Prayer of Saint Gertrude (see below)

2) Say the prayer of the Church for the deceased:

V. Eternal rest grant unto them, O Lord.

R. And let perpetual light shine upon them.

V. May they rest in peace.

R. Amen.

V. May their souls and the souls of all the faithful departed through the mercy of God rest in peace.

R. Amen.

3) Our Father – Hail Mary – Glory Be

Prayer of Saint Gertrude

Eternal Father, I offer Thee the Most Precious Blood of Thy Divine Son Jesus in union with the Masses said throughout the world today. I offer them for all the holy souls in purgatory, and for sinners everywhere; for sinners in the universal Church, for those in my own home and within my family. Amen.