Our Evening with Evangelist Tom Balboa Reprise

Gentlemen, it is with great sadness that I write this update to this posting. A great friend and mentor to the Covenant Keepers, Tom Balboa has passed from this world. Though we only met with Tom on a few occasions, as a group, each meeting had a significant impact on our faithwalk as brothers. Ernie of course had a deeper relationship with Tom as he had mentored to Ernie for several years. I thought it would be appropriate to revisit a previous posting from our last group visit with Tom Balboa. This event took place in September of 2006, and since that time Tom's health had been diminishing. We'll all miss him dearly, as Tom often said "we are all pilgrims, travelers, and strangers". Fare well dear Tom, may you be with your dear wife again, praising our Lord.

Peace be with you,


What a blessing it was to spend with, Catholic evangelist, Tom Balboa last night. The St. Patrick Covenant Keepers paid a visit to Tom'sHeadquarters for the Catholic Society of Evangelists in Grand Terrace,CA.

Ten men from the group enjoyed chicken, pizza and Tom delivering a talk that would rival any lecturer on the speaking circuit today. He spoke and entertained questions from us without the use of note cards, a script or a teleprompter. It just came from the heart.

Tom has been ailing from a nagging cough that has slowed him down physically, has increased his spiritual work and prayer life. He used his malady to remind us that in order to increase spiritually, we must decrease in some other area of our life.

We must die to ourselves in order to live our lives for the Father. When we deny ourselves in fasting we depend more on God and less on our own devices. In doing so we can then unite our will to that of the Father and receive all He wants for us.

He also reminded us that this place we now dwell is not home. Our home is with the Lord in heaven. This is just the passage way to the next life, where we want to go. We should not try to make ourselves too comfortable here or we might not want to move on when the Lord calls for us. Worse yet, we might not seek the Kingdom of God if life here is too easy.

All our discomforts, ailments, sufferings and losses are in Gods plan for us and we should be thankful for those as much as we are the pleasant things in life.

"No pain, no gain" is what Tom said. Another way to put it is, the joys in life are much sweeter when you live through a little suffering.

Well there is much more than I could write in this posting about our visit with Tom Balboa, but I hope you got a feel for what I received from his discussion. I know everyone in attendance came away with something special for themselves.

I hope we can invite Tom to speak to our parish soon so that all may avail themselves to the wisdom and spirit-filled discourse of a humble ordinary man living his life forChrist.

Goodnight my brothers. Peace and Love to all

Brother Ed

Tom's website can be found at the following link, it's well worth the visit.

Our Mission Statement

Here's the Mission Statement of the St. Patrick's Men's Ministry

~ To give men an opportunity to share in a relaxing atmosphere and grow through spiritual bonding with other men.

~To support each other during difficult times that may occur in our lives. We will do this by prayer, scripture readings, communication and networking together.

~ We will sponsor gatherings for all men to grow in the following areas, living as better husbands,fathers,grandfathers and Brothers in Christ and family through spiritual life.

~ To promote, support,strengthen and help maximize the spiritual growth of men of St. Patrick's Catholic Church.
Join us every first and third Wednesday, 7 pm, at the Upper Room, St. Patrick's House.

"So, who made you boss?" Wed., February 13, 7 pm

Next meeting is February 13, 2008
7:00 pm
Topic: "So who made you boss?"

Join us in the upper room of St. Patrick's House for an evening of prayer and sharing exclusively among Catholic men. Bless us with your presence, thoughts and prayers. And walk away blessed by the presence, thoughts and prayers of other like-minded men of our parish. We start with an opening prayer at 7:00 pm.


For Nina

After the recent passing of my aunt Bea, I had the privilege of serving as a
pallbearer and lector for her services. Although, I'll always have fond memories
of my aunt Bea, my cousin Zeke will always refer to her lovingly as "Nina". The
following is Zeke's final message at aunt Bea's grave site service, in which he
served as a lead member of the bereavement team of Holy Family Cathedral in Orange.

For Nina

John 12:23-26
And Jesus answered them, "The hour has come for the Son of man to be glorified.
Truly, truly, I say to you, unless a grain of wheat falls into the earth and dies,
it remains alone; but if it dies, it bears much fruit. He who loves his life loses
it, and he who hates his life in this world will keep it for eternal life.
If any one serves me, he must follow me; and where I am, there shall my servant be
also; if any one serves me, the Father will honor him.
"With the passing of our loved ones often comes an important time of grace. A time of examining our own lives, a time of growth, a time for families to mend their differences, but most importantly a time of great clarity and TRUTH!" You may ask as Pilate did "what is truth?" There is only one truth and it resounds in all mankind hearts.
Mark 8:34-37
And he called to him the multitude with his disciples, and said to them, "If any
man would come after me, let him deny himself and take up his cross and follow me.
For whoever would save his life will lose it; and whoever loses his life for my
sake and the gospel's will save it. For what does it profit a man, to gain the
whole world and forfeit his life? For what can a man give in return for his life?
"Amazingly trustful words for us to contemplate
at this time of grieving. Do not let this "beloved grain of wheat" which has
fallen into the earth pass us by without it bearing much fruit in all us standing here!"

"I went to take my Nina the Holy Eucharist often, my sister Jo Anne one day and I the next, and one day towards the very end of her suffering, I spoke with her about our faith and all the external signs of our faith. I said, "Nina you were Baptized, made your first Communion, and were Confirmed, you were married in the Church, you went to Confession and had the Anointing of the Sick, and of course received our Lord in the Holy Eucharist. You did all these things over the course of your life and made sure your children did as well. Now it is time to trust the Lord and accept all these external signs into your heart and soul." I told her, "do not be afraid, you belong to God." She thought about it for a second and gave me a look of strong resolve, she grabbed my hand tightly and shook her head yes! I knew then that she was ready to accept her passing.
"Nina, may you be in the presence of God's love. My love and prayers will always be with you, till I see you again. This is the day the Lord has made, let us rejoice and give praise. Amen.

Love Your Godson,


My brothers , let us all grab hold of the external signs of God's love for us, the Sacraments. The gifts our Lord left for us, so we may take up our cross and follow Him. In, receiving His Sacraments, we receive His Grace, and in receiving His Grace we can cultivate that single grain of wheat that has fallen in each of us. So we may bear much fruit. I know my Aunt Bea bore much fruit and I believe Our Lord is saying to her "Well done my good and faithful servant." What about you, are you ready for the harvest?

Peace and Blessings


Thanks Zeke for a inspiring message.


Covenant Keepers Annual Fish Fry

The Covenant Keepers of St. Patrick Parish will be hosting their annual Fish Fry on Friday, March 14, 2008. The event takes place after the conclusion of the Stations of the Cross, which begin at 7:00 in the ministry center. Tickets will be available after all Masses beginning Saturday, February 23, 24, March 1,2,8,9, and after the Stations of the Cross on March 8th. Last year the fish and shrimp taco combo were a hit among all attending. Ticket prices will remain $4 for kids 10 and under, and $6 for adults. The proceeds will benefit the Covenant Keepers Men's Ministry. The Covenant Keepers are a spiritual fellowship of men seeking to grow in their faith so they may come to know God, love God and serve God, in the home, the parish and the community. In the past they have supported the Mission Ministry, the building fund, military families and others. They plan to provide support for the Churches call to evangelize to all. They have sponsored two men's conferences in 2007, which featured lay evangelist Jesse Romero and theologian Paul Dion, they look forward sponsoring future events. They meet on the first and third Wednesday of each month in the "Upper Room", St. Patrick House at 7:00 p.m.