Tag Archives: audio

When the Wolves Came; Fr. Francis Pfeifer dodges the bullets of the drug pushers

I’ve been cleaning and tidying and listening to Al Kresta’s interview with Fr. Francis Ted Pfiefer OM whose memoir When the Wolves Came is to be made into a DVD.

He faced the powerful and violent drug cartels of Mexico and tried to continue to serve the people he had been sent to shepherd. He admits he was very much afraid and having been shot at went to kneel before Our Blessed Mother in the Shrine of Our Lady of Guadalupe. Crying with fear he said he needed an immediate answer. Could he leave? Instead of God giving him permission to get away and find somewhere safer to live, Our Blessed Mother asked him to stay and trust her Son.

In his interview with Al Kresta he mentions in passing that as he was also a trained paramedic he had delivered most of the children of his parish.

Kindle UK book

It is good to see the stories of some of our brave priests being told. I can’t get the book just yet, but if any of you read it let me know what you think.

Audio stories for children

I am still finding reading aloud a bit challenging so the children are listening to more audio stories.

Light Up Your Brain has a few good’uns as does Story Nory, but the place the children seem to like best at the moment is Readings from Under the Grapevine at Ancient Faith Radio. You may remember that Dr Chrissie Hart had read the Narnia books, which are still available. She has a good reading voice and there’s the added joy of not having to check the stories are suitable.

I wish EWTN did something similar.

Books Should Be Free has a lot of Librivox recordings but you’ll need to listen a bit first. Some are really well read and some are just awful – poor sound quality and grating voices.  You will find some gems there though.

And of course there’s always Strega Nona

And perhaps this little story might be added. Tikki Tikki Tembo – a folktale from China


I’ve discovered some more audio resources.

I have recently discovered a couple of radio stations from Eastern Rite Catholics.

Annunciation Byzantine Catholic Church has links to Light of the East and Body of Truth. There is great information on the plight of our Eastern Rite brothers and sisters under persecution in places like Iraq. The Chaldean Catholics have been brutally treated and many are martyred.

There’s information too on Divine Liturgy and some of the different practices of Eastern Rites compared to the Latin Rites.

Catholics of the Eastern Rite get justifiably irritated with the general western view that the Catholic Church is “Roman” alone, when in fact she has two good lungs.

If you want some good easy to listen too talks on Church History from the beginning to the Threshold of Hope then try Fr. Michael J Witt’s great site. His talks are very good and straight forward enough that I think older children would get a lot from them.

I also recommend Fr. Seraphim’s Catholic Under the Hood. He’s recently talked about the story of Fr. Gereon Goldman the German Franciscan who had a colourful war experience. If you’ve never read Shadow of His Wings I recommend it. I think Fr Goldman was a brave man, but he was also a bit …how shall I put this?…badly behaved at times. But times were extreme, so I suppose it’s difficult to say how he should have behaved.

Enjoy and fill your brains.

Home Education Freebie: The Catholic Laboratory Podcast. and Catholic Under the Hood

Like most Home Ed mums I’ve been asked on more than one occasion how I intend to teach my children science. (You know the one, it always comes hot on the heals of the “Waddabout socialisation? question).

Well, there is a lot of books and curriculum, especially from Anerica and most of us parents have a secret stash of test tubes and strange chemicals from one or more of those science kits so easily available on the internet.

For older children and adults I really recommend The Catholic Laboratory Podcast.  Eaxh episode has a set of links and resources on the page. You can download the podcasrs from itunes, but I prefer to do so from the site as I can then more easily see what resources go with eaxh episode.

Mr Maxwell, who does the podcasts covers a lot of different aspects of science and its history.

The other podcasts I really recommennd, which I have only discovered recently is Catholic Under the Hood fronted by the rather wonderfully named Father Seraphim Beshoner who is a tutor for the Austrian based school of Franciscan University. His podcasts cover a whole range of topics on history and science.

Fr. Seraphim also offers videocasts via itunes which I haven’t had a chance to look at yet.

So fill up your MP3 player or Kindle or whatever you have – and fill up your brain.

Kindle up on Jimmy Akin and C.S.Lewis

I listen to Catholic Answers quite a bit, and I think it’s fair to say that Mr. Jimmy Akin has an amazing talent as an apologist. He always answers questions clearly, so that even when I’m scrubbing the loo I can get what he’s on about. He has a BLOG and he has a number of books which look very interesting.

I have bought the Kindle edition of The Father’s Know Best which is a good read and not too dense for people like me to understand. As the teachings, writings and activities of the Church Fathers can, and indeed has, filled many volumes this is a short overview but a good one and to help get more depth he has set up The Fathers Know Best website where you will find videos answering various questions and myths surrounding the Father’s.

If that’s not enough Akin for you then he has started his own podcast series in which he answers questions sent in.  They are also available on itunes.

When you plug the Kindle into the computer via the usb you will see three folders marked Documents, Audio and Music. The documents are for books obviously. The audio will take audio books and other mp3 files, so I drop and drag or save directly the files I want to listen to into that. It means you can see what you are listening to and are able to pause, rewind or fast forward as you like.

If you drop the files into music you can listen and read at the same time, but the files are played in the order you dropped them and there’s no way of controlling them once they start.

I have wondered if I could use the music folder for read alouds for the children where they can read and listen to the book at the same time.

That brings me to the C.S. Lewis audio.

First of all there is this fantastic freebie being offered from Ancient Faith Radio. Mp3 recordings of all the Narnia books being read. (h/t Freely Educate) you might also like their podcasts from an Orthodox pov.

If that’s not enough C.S.Lewis for you there is All About C.S.Lewis podcasts to pack into your Kindle (or mp3 player) (h/t Freebie of the Day) These podcasts look at many of the books of C.S.Lewis.

I also recommend the wonderful insights of Peter Kreeft who has free lectures on his site covering Lewis’s writings. I particularly recommend his lecture on “‘Till We Have Faces” and I really do recommend reading the book (although I can’t seem to find a Kindle edition unfortunately)

So there you go. Quite a bit there for all ages. (I think Dr. Kreeft is particularly good for young adults)


home education book basket and kindle

I’m sorting out some holiday read alouds and self-reading books for the children, as well as some audio books for long journey’s ans days out.

Light up Your Brain has some lovely tales such as The Velveteen Rabbit and The Emperors New Clothes. There are a couple of Beatrix Potter stories too – but I really don’t like her stuff so can’t face it on long journey’s. (Yes I am a very bad home eductor).

Heleyna has asked for Dinosaurs Love Underpants and Chicken Lickin’ She is reading Can You See Me and some Starfall books

Avila is reading Danny’s Secret Fox and The Twelve Dancing Princesses.

Ronan is finishing off Detectives in Togas with me reading some and him reading some so we can finish before the end of term.  He is also reading a tatty old copy of Usborne’s Mysteries of the Unknown.

Finally, what is on my Kindle? Lots of stuff.

If you plug the Kindle into your computer and open the files you will see you have three files folders; documents where all the books go, music where apparently you can store and listen to music while you read. I haven’t tried that. I’m not sure I can read that well with something like that going on- but if it works for you, it’s a nice little feature.

Finally there’s a folder marked audible. This is where you can put mp3s and audio books. The speakers on the Kindle are pretty good considering and there’s an audio jack hole at the bottom.

Jimmy Akin has started his own podcasting which you can get with itunes. You can also download Catholic Answers with lots of Akin wisdom and knowledge.

The first Outline of Sanity podcast is available. The Distributist Review also has a list of distributist authors and their books, some of which are free.

I am not 100% sure of what I think of The Distributist Review, but there are some good articles.

And I have tons of  Cath Lab to listen to so that I can get my head around Science and Ethics and all that jazz.

Book wise I have just finished reading The Necromancers by R H Benson and I am reading his biography titled “Hugh” written by his brother. It’s a gentle story but it is clear that the brothers did not really understand each other. They come across as a loving but strangely separate family. Their father became Archbishop of Cambury in 1883 and was succeeded by the famous Archbishop Temple.

I enjoyed the Necromancers. It’s an easier read than “Come Rack, Come Rope,” which was the first of his books I ever read.

The Necromancers delves into the world of spiritualism that was so fashioable among certain people in those days. I think it was spiritualism that caused poor old Conan Doyle to loose his way somewhat (the Cottingely Fairies springs to mind.) Benson looks hard at the underbelly of this “light entertainment” and shows the very real damage that messing with that sort of stuff can cause. It’s a ghost story with a strangely even handed approach, treating the psychology od the situation, rather than ecto-plasm.

I recommend Lord of the World by Benson which is a piece of disturbingly accurate prophecy of the ‘future’.

Frugal Friday Freebies – more audio.

It seems there are a lot good free audio places.

There’s Robinson Crusoe from Homeschool Radioshows but I think they are time limited so grab it when you can. I also liked this audio on Fire fighting and ice  from Freebie of the Day.

There is also these very good audio lectures via Sonitus Sanctus from Ave Maria Uni. I like hearing in depth studies from people who really do know the subject on which they speak. I highly recommend Rosalind Moss. Her conversion story is an amazing journey from her Jewish roots, through Messianic Judiasism to Evangelicalism (pretty anti-Catholic end) through to entering the Catholic Church is well worth hearing. I always remember with some astonishment how her pastor at her evangelical church warned her against reading the Early Church Fathers because he knew that would make her Catholic! If he knew that – what was he doing?

Her astonishment when her brother David took her to Mass for the first time because it was so Jewish is a touching reminder of where we Christians have really come from.

Finally check out That Resource Site blog for all your Lentern needs

Anyway – enjoy.

Alice von Hildebrand

Over the Christmas holidays I have run out of Catholic Answers and my beloved Dr Ray to listen to Bug Eyed . What was I to do? The kitchen needed cleaning and the washing needed doing and the toys needed tidying and I had run out of programmes for my MP3 player.

Fortunately I have back up programmes. I am now listening to a whole load of Alice von Hildebrand.vonhildebrand.jpg I downloaded everything I could find of hers from EWTN‘s audio library and I have also bought a few programmes from Keep the Faith. They are only $1 each which seems reasonable to me.

Thanks to my regular visits to Sonitus Sanctus I have downloaded SWITCH -you will note the page offers others including the new software that allows you to convert Youtube stuff to MP3. I have used switch to convert a whole load of realaudio from EWTN so I can listen to it on my MP3 player.

Dr von Hildebrand has a wonderful series from EWTN about her husband Dietrich who I do not doubt will one day be a saint and maybe even doctor of the Church. Her knowledge of how Hitler came to power and how it was for both Jews and Catholics during the war is deep and personal. Her husband knew St Edith Stein and one of the programmes I have yet to listen to is about St Edith Stein and her martyrdom.

She has done programmes explaining how Luther came to do what he did and what Kierkegaard finally understood about Luther the more he studied him. I have often wondered if Luther has not been so full of pride and so dishonest, if he could have been a great saint and reformer-but Dr von Hildebrand’s full assessment of this terribly damaged man would indicate otherwise. He is a tragic figure in many ways.

Kierkegaard had the makings of a similar tragic figure, but through his humility and search for God he actually comes out of it at the end looking like a good man who is genuinely pointed towards the Kingdom.

Of course I have her talks on feminism. She is no-body’s fool and sees right through the whole debacle. I have her book “The Privilege of Being a Woman”

51crsyr01kl__aa240_.jpgI really recommend it and want my girls to read it-perhaps for Iona in a year or two. It’s a small book but it is so packed with thought that I think she might get swamped if she reads it too soon.

pope_benedict_avh_march_26_2007.jpg Alice and the Holy Father are friends. She mentions how her husband first met the newly ordained Fr Joseph Ratzinger, so their friendship goes back a way. Interestingly they are also close friends with the von Trapp family and I think I remember hearing that Dr von Hildebrand is godmother to some of the von Trapp children.

I love her voice-that gentle Belgium accent that has a hint of steel to it. She is a wise and obviously holy woman (not obvious in an “I’m so holy” way-but you can see she is holy). I don’t imagine she suffers fools gladly but I would love to have been a student of hers. In fact I recently discovered that the estimable Dr Ronda Chervin a completed Jew and member of the Association of Hebrew Catholics was one of her students. She is really is part of a jewelled tapestry it seems.

Back to Dr Ray next week though 🙂