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About Fr. John Bartunek, LC

Fr. John Bartunek, LC, S.Th.D, received his BA in History from Stanford University in 1990. He comes from an evangelical Christian background and became a member of the Catholic Church in 1991. After college, he worked as a high school history teacher, drama director, and baseball coach. He then spent a year as a professional actor in Chicago before entering the religious Congregation of the Legionaries of Christ in 1993. He was ordained a Catholic priest in 2003 and earned his doctorate in moral theology in 2010. He provided spiritual support on the set of Mel Gibson’s "The Passion of the Christ" while researching the 2005 Catholic best seller, "Inside the Passion"--the only authorized, behind-the-scene explanation of the film. Fr. John has contributed news commentary regarding religious issues on NBC, CNN, Fox, and the BBC. He also served as the English-language press liaison for the Vatican’s 2005 Synod of Bishops on the Eucharist. His most widely known book is called: "The Better Part: A Christ-Centered Resource for Personal Prayer". His most recent books are "Spring Meditations", "Seeking First the Kingdom: 30 Meditations on How to Love God with All Your Heart, Soul, Mind and Strength", and "Answers: Catholic Advice for Your Spiritual Questions". Fr. John currently splits his time between Michigan (where he continues his writing apostolate and serves as a confessor and spiritual director at the Queen of the Family Retreat Center) and Rome, where he teaches theology at Regina Apostolorum. His online, do-it-yourself retreats are available at RCSpirituality.org, and he answers questions about the spiritual life at SpiritualDirection.com.

9. Jesus Goes Public (Matthew 4:12-17)

January 18, 2017 by  
Filed under Fr. Bartunek, The Better Part

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“God is faithful: he made himself our debtor not by accepting anything from us, but by promising us such great blessings.” — St Augustine Matthew 4:12-17 Hearing that John had been arrested he went back to Galilee, and leaving Nazareth he went and settled in Capernaum, a lakeside town on the borders of Zebulun and Naphtali. In this way the prophecy of Isaiah was to be fulfilled: ‘Land of... Read More

Be Not Afraid: A Retreat Guide on St. John Paul II

January 12, 2017 by  
Filed under Fr. Bartunek, Retreat Guides

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Be Not Afraid: A Retreat Guide on St. John Paul II   The latest Retreat Guide from RC Spirituality, Be Not Afraid: A Retreat Guide on St. John Paul II, is now available at www.RCSpirituality.org. When Karol Wojtyla, the Archbishop of Krakow, Poland, emerged onto the balcony of St. Peter’s Basilica in Rome after being chosen by the conclave of cardinals as Pope John Paul II, he made history. Not... Read More

241. The First Step (John 1:29-34)

January 11, 2017 by  
Filed under Fr. Bartunek, Meditations, The Better Part

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“Today the Holy Spirit floats over the waters in the form of a dove, so that by this sign it might be known that the world’s universal shipwreck has ceased, as the dove had announced to Noah that the world’s flood had subsided.” St. Peter Chrysologus John 1:29-34   The next day, seeing Jesus coming towards him, John said, ‘Look, there is the lamb of God that takes away the sin of the world.... Read More

3. The King is Coming (Matthew 2:1-6)

January 4, 2017 by  
Filed under Fr. Bartunek, The Better Part

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“Christ abode for nine months in the tent of Mary’s womb; he abides until the consummation of the ages in the tent of the Church’s faith; he will abide for ever and ever in the knowledge and love of the faithful soul.” Blessed Isaac of Stella Matthew 2:1-6 After Jesus had been born at Bethlehem in Judaea during the reign of King Herod, some wise men came to Jerusalem from the east. ‘Where... Read More

Guidance for Assessing the Arts: The “Silence” Movie

January 2, 2017 by  
Filed under Discernment, Entertainment, Fr. Bartunek

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Guidance for Assessing the Arts: The “Silence” Movie   There is a movie coming out of Martin Scorsese called, Silence. It was screened by The Vatican, I think. It is about how the Jesuits were evangelizing Japan, and all the socio-economic and cultural challenges, related to trade etc. occurring at that time. Since it is about Faith, do you have a resource that analyzes where the... Read More

Dangerous Habits – Serious or Mortal Sin?

December 26, 2016 by  
Filed under Addiction, Challenges, Fr. Bartunek, Spiritual Direction

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Dangerous Habits   Dear Father John, What if someone has a habit which is a grave sin (say, porn, masturbation, gambling, alcohol, fornication, etc.) so there is probably not full consent. Can they receive communion, or do they have to go to confession before communion in each instance? Or is that something the priest should address on an individual basis in Confession? Your instinct here seems... Read More

Is it a Sin to ask for Death?

December 5, 2016 by  
Filed under Challenges, Darkness, Death and Dying, Fr. Bartunek, Sin

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Is it a Sin to Ask for Death?   Dear Father John, When I am in great despair the temptation is to ask for death. Is that not a sin if despair drives me? I think you may have an incomplete or inaccurate idea about the nature of despair. When understood as a sin and not simply an emotional experience, despair consists of giving up on God, of freely concluding that “I am such a horrible sinner... Read More

Understanding Dreams

December 1, 2016 by  
Filed under Demonology, Fr. Bartunek, Spiritual Warfare

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Understanding Dreams   Dear Father John, I have a question and seeking an explanation. If any I’m a recovering addict and have spiritually renewed myself. Gave myself to God and my chains have been broken. Since then I have had two dreams or nightmares (if that’s what you call them) but they were both battling and fighting demons. The first dream I awoke feeling scared and a little... Read More

Do I Need a Savior? An Advent Retreat Guide on the Prophet Isaiah

November 23, 2016 by  
Filed under Advent, Fr. Bartunek, Retreat Guides

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DO I NEED A SAVIOR? AN ADVENT RETREAT GUIDE ON THE PROPHET ISAIAH The newest Retreat Guide from RC Spirituality: Do I Need a Savior? is now available at www.RCSpirituality.org. Advent is about new beginnings. The Church year, also known as the liturgical year, starts afresh on the First Sunday of Advent. And the whole season is dedicated to preparing ourselves for the celebration of Christmas, the... Read More

Fire of Mercy: A Retreat Guide for All Saints’ Day and All Souls’ Day

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FIRE OF MERCY: A RETREAT GUIDE FOR ALL SAINTS’ DAY AND ALL SOULS’ DAY   The newest Retreat Guide from RC Spirituality, Fire of Mercy, is now available at www.RCSpirituality.org. When was the last time you thought about what happens after we die? Certainly, you already know what happens—we all learned it in Catechism class: first comes death, unavoidable for all of us, then comes judgment,... Read More

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