Frank Friar Fridays
By Fr Patrick Baikauskas OP
Frank Friar FridaysMay 26, 2023
What do you with all the gifts you have received?
God has given us a lot - maybe we don't notice. Do we keep them to ourselves - or share them? Easy question.
Go out and share the good news!!
Jesus asks all of us - commissions all of us - to share what he has given each of us.
Jesus commands us to pray - why does he have to command us?
And a special Mother's Day column from Erma Bombeck (my absolute favorite!)
What great things will you do today?
We are all called to do amazing things, and with the help of God, we can do them. Are you ready?
Are YOU a good shepherd?
On Sunday we hear the familiar story of the good shepherd - a beautiful story that images Christ as our good shepherd. But there's more to the story. The story asks for something from each of us.
Stay with us, Lord. Stay with us.
Where are you on your journey of faith?
Where do we find Jesus in our lives?
This week we hear the story of the doubting Thomas. Do we let Jesus into our lives - or do we try to keep him out or contained to Sunday?
What does Easter joy mean for you - for each of us?
Yes, two episodes in one weekend - but it's Easter and I can't let that pass without a special reflection for this Easter Sunday.
Part 2 of my interview on "A Veiled Response"
I was interviewed by Our Sunday Visitor as part of the Eucharistic Revival initiative of the USCCB. The subject? Why do some women wear veils, and how are we called to respond?
A veiled response. Veils! Are the for all women?
I was interviewed recently by OSV as part of a project of the Eucharistic Revival that includes interviews with the preachers involved with the revival. I cannot say I am an expert on the topic, but it provided for an engaging conversation.
What are the ties that bind us?
How do we let our afflictions and fear keep us from living out our lives fully?
What blinds us to what we need to do and how we are called to live?
Maybe we already know the whats? What are the hows?
What will satisfy your thirst?
In the famous story of Jesus' encounter with the Samaritan woman at the well, we get a chance to reflect on what we need in our own lives to satisfy our desires.
What does it mean to be transfigured?
And is it something we can explain to others?
A letter from Kiev
Today, February 24, markes the one year anniversary of the Russian invasion of Kiev. I share with you a letter written by one of my Dominican brothers in Kiev reflecting on the past 12 months there.
Lying - if everyone does it, what's the big deal?
Is our culture buying into the notion that lying is okay - because, well, everyone does it.
Is it ever permissible to tell a lie?
What if no one is harmed? What if it is to save someone from danger? What does it even mean to be permissible? To whom, or. to what? What the heck is a lie anyway? Find out the answers to these questions and so much more in our interview with moral theologian, Dr. Stewart Clem, PhD.
We are called to be salt and light.
What's that mean, and how do we live our lives to be the salt of the earth and a light to others?
How do we live the beatitudes?
And what lessons can we learn from our children?
Are you a light to the world?
And if not to the world, to your neighbor, or your family? At the very least?
Let’s talk about what it means to be an evangelized.
How good are we at putting Christ at the center of our lives?
What do the Magi and the response of King Herod say about us?
New Years' Resolutions
No telling where a New Year's resolution might lead us.
How does Christ come to us at Christmas?
The beginning of the Gospel of John is not what we might think about at Christmas - the word of God - darkness - but it is very much how God enters into our lives.
Fourth week of Advent
What do our dreams tell us about ourselves?
Third Sunday of Advent
Are you ready for Christmas? Rejoice, be patient, and be a messenger.
Do I really need to change?
There's a lot of bad stuff happening in the world. How do we change our world? "Let there be peace on earth, and let it begin with me."
Wow! It doesn't get any better than this!!
My almost famous story about waiting in line at Ted Drewes - and waiting for Christ to enter our lives.
Who do we call our king - our ruler?
We have just had elections. There have been elections in other countries - new rulers chosen. Who do we consider our ruler?
We are motivated by fear or love?
The choice is ours - let Jesus and his way be our guide.
What is heaven like?
We think a fair amount about heaven - not a bad thing - but why do so many of us fear getting there?
An interview on thoughts about how we help to bring others back to the faith
This interview with my fellow Dominican Br. Bernard Wierdak discusses his own journey of faith and gives some important insights into how we are each called to live out our faith life.
What does Church Lady from SNL teach us?
Church Lady and the gospel reading this weekend both want us to look into our own hearts before we judge others. A tough thing to do.
Pray - pray - pray - don't give up.
We are told to persevere in prayer - but some times we can't seem to wait for God's response.
I say "thanks be to God!" a lot. Why?
It comes from an experience I had in Oaxaca.
Increase our faith
The apostles ask Jesus to increase their faith - and his response is astounding.
What do I do when I encounter a poor person on the street?
This can be a constant challenge for us. How do we, who live in the richest country in the world, live out the gospel message to love our neighbor?
How do we address that ongoing challenge - how to be the face of Christ?
Despite the economic challenges Americans face, we are well off compared to others we encounter in our lives. What's our response?
Are you the lost sheep or the prodigal child?
Whatever you might consider yourself, we have a merciful God that is waiting for us.
What do the Beatles and Earth Wind and Fire have to offer us on coming together in harmony and peace?
How do we let our pride prevent us from giving our best?
The parable that we hear on Sunday calls us to put others first - and if we do, we will find ourselves leading truly fulfilling lives.
Part two of our interview with Br. Joseph Cullen Hilliker OP
Don't miss the fascinating conclusion to Br. Joseph's account of his summer in Kenya.
An interview with a Dominican student brother about his summer in Africa
You won't want to miss my interview with Br. Joseph Cullen Hilliker and his insightful experiences in Kenya. Part one of two parts.
What is the greatest gift you have ever received?
And would you share that gift with everyone you know?
What is going to bring us peace and joy in our lives?
Is it the material things we seek, or something else?
Today's reflection begins with one of my favorite humorous anecdotes
Do we need to pray? Do you feel sometimes like God isn't listening?
Are we a Martha or a Mary?
Do we let the busy-ness of your day keep us from what is truly important?
What is truth?
We continue our conversation with Dr. Ann Garrido. Today we hear Ann talk about how we manage conflict within our lives, with our families and friends and how and where do we find the truth and have those difficult conversations?
Does my Catholic faith have. anything to offer me in the day-to-day decisions of life?
We often compartmentalize our lives, thinking our faith is helpful only in spiritual matters. Catholic writer and teacher Dr. Ann Garido provides some invaluable insights into what thousands of Catholics across the country have to say about the challenges of their daily lives and how our Catholic faith can guide us.
Does your yes mean yes?
The challenges of making commitments.
Why go to church?
Maybe today's reflection provides ONE of the answers.
My summer reading suggestions
These are the books I mention in this episode - IN NO PARTICULAR ORDER:
1. The Lincoln Highway by Amor Towles
2. The Sweetness of Water by Nathan Harris
3. Cloud Cuckoo Land by Anthony Doerr
4. The Reading List by Sara Nisha Adams
5. Deception Cove by Owen Laukkanen
6. Leave the Gun, Take the CAnnoli by Mark Seal
7. The Last Bus to Wisdom by Ivan Doig
8. The Distant Dead by Heather Young
9. Evidence of Things Unseen by Marianne Wiggins
10. Happy Go Lucky by David Sedaris
Reflecting a bit on my trip to Rome and how we are called to be "Church" to one another
Maybe too often we get overwhelmed by the beauty of our churches and fail to recognize what those churches symbolize.
How to we respond when we have lost someone close to us?
The Feast of the Ascension is when we experience Christ's leave-taking from his disiciples. We experience losses in our own lives all the time - sometimes quite unexpected - like the tragedy of children being murdered. There is no easy. way - but the way of Jesus can ease those losses?
Where is Jesus?
As we approach the Feast of the Ascension next week, we may wonder like the disciples of Jesus, is Jesus still with us?
How do we love like Jesus?
It is not easy, but it is not complicated either and yet it is what each of us is called to do, not only with those around us but with anyone we meet.
Mothers - Our Good Shepherds
This Sunday is Good Shepherd Sunday - and it is also Mother's Day. Let's remember our moms and the sacrifices our parents have made for us.
Do you love me?
Jesus asks Peter three times, "do you love me?" Why? What does Jesus' questioning mean for us?
This podcast was recorded today from the Basilica of San Clemente in Rome and features an interview with Fr. Vivian Boland, OP - a Dominican Friar, author and teacher
Fr. Vivian Boland wrote a book recently entitled The Spirit of Catholicism. We talked about this book has to contribute to the ongoing synod of the Church, what the idea of spirituality v. religious means, and what our Church has to say to our 21st Century world.
What does Easter mean for us?
Have you accepted Jesus Christ as your personal Lord and Savior? I have a different response to that question than you might expect.
The Arrest and Trial of Jesus Christ
Today you can hear another dramatic presentation. This podcast is the arrest and trial of Jesus Christ. I am rather excited to show case this production. The actors are alumni of Providence College (the only Dominican college in the country under the direction of the friars). Fr. Matthew Powell, O.P., is an associate professor emeritus of theatre and is the director. I hope you enjoy it as much as I did.
Do we let ourselves get consumed by all the "what ifs" in our life?
The message of the gospel this last week before Holy Week is that we have a loving, merciful God that forgives all our sins and wants us to focus on the gift of this day. Every day!!
The prayer for Consecration of Russia and Ukraine
Our Holy Father, Pope Francis, has asked all people to pray this prayer today to consecrate Ukraine and Russia to the Blessed Virgin Mary. As the Holy Father stated, "This Act of Consecration is meant to be a gesture of the universal Church, which in this dramatic moment lifts up to God, through his Mother and ours, the cry of pain of all those who suffer and implore and end to violence, and to entrust the future of our human family to the Queen of Peace."
I dedicate this podcast today to that prayer.
Broadcasting from Bayamón, Puerto Rico on a spring break mission trip.
Are you ready to be transformed?
We leave today for a mission trip to Puerto Rico. It can be a life-changing experience, but many of the things we do day-to-day can transform us - if we are open to the power of the Holy Spirit.
As we begin our Lenten journey, let's think about the temptations we experience in life, and how our loving God has equipped us to overcome them - and the models God has given us.
Is that a splinter in your eye I see?
As we approach Lent, what do we need to see in ourselves - how do we know what to say - how are we called to act?
Where in the world is Fr. Patrick?
Saint Thomas Aquinas can teach us about hope in times of despair
This interview with Professor Christopher Beem of Penn State University looks at how the teachings of Thomas Aquinas on the theological virtues can teach us to have hope in the challenging times we face in our country.
Episode 72 - We hear Jesus calling his disciples to be fishers of men and women.
Does that apply to us too!!!??? What do you think? Are you called to be holy? Are you called to be a saint? Is there a difference?
The readings this weekend call each of us to do something very difficult
It sounds easy - Jesus knew it wasn't. His neighbors hated what he had to tell them - love your neighbor as yourself.
Reflecting on the deaths of my brother David and my cousin Sharon
How do we grieve? Do we trust in the love of God to help us in accepting our losses?
What does the wedding feast of Cana have to say to us in these difficult times?
David Brooks has an op-ed piece in today's New York Times that talks about America coming apart at the seams. That essay and this weekend's readings spoke to me about how we can be the source of what can provide a stitch or two to prevent our country from splitting apart - it begins with us. Here's a link to that essay: https://www.nytimes.com/2022/01/13/opinion/america-falling-apart.html#commentsContainer
Books I read in 2021 - and I recommend them all
I got to do more reading than ever in this year of challenges. Here are some suggestions that came from me by way of my listeners.
As we reflect on the end of the year, how have we changed?
Can we look back on the year and see any changes? Have there been any epiphanies - moments when we have come to understand something that is very important to us?
The Man Born to be King - a radio play by Dorothy L. Sayers
The Dominican brothers perform a radio play written by the acclaimed British mystery writer Dorothy Sayers, author of the Lord Peter Wimsey novels. Fourteen Dominican brothers participated in this effort. We perform the first two scenes in her radio play, in the court of King Herod when the kings tell of their journey to find the messiah, and in the shepherd's home when the three kings visit Jesus, Mary, and Joseph.
When I met Bob Dole and what that has to do with Advent
Back in 1997, I met Senator Bob Dole for the first time, and it impressed me in ways that stick with me to this day - and yes, it has something to do with Advent.
Part two of my interview with author of the Crisis of Bad Preaching - Fr. Josh Whitfield
This is an interview for everyone who preaches and cares about good preaching.
The Crisis of Bad Preaching - an interview with the author - Fr. Josh Whitfield
Former Master of the Dominicans, Fr. Timothy Radcliffe says of Fr. Whitfield's book, "He pulls no punches. This book offers just the challenge that we need to hear. It is beautifully written and full of wisdom." Whether you are a preacher or sitting in the pews, you will want to listen to this podcast.
Episode 62 - Recollections of past Thanksgivings
I share memories of previous Thanksgiving days in my life.
Episode 61 - A reflection on the readings for this Sunday - The Feast of Christ the King
Which kingdom will we choose?
Episode 60 - Carpe diem! How are we at "seizing the day?"
This reflection on the readings for this Sunday - the 33rd Sunday in Ordinary Time - can inspire us to examine how are we doing in recognizing that we have this moment to live life to the fullest!
Episode 59 - How do the readings about two widows this Sunday call us to examine our own calls to love one another?
The readings this Sunday and the past two Sundays can be very challenging to us. What keeps us from truly loving our neighbor as ourselves?
Dealing with mental health issues as a Catholic
This interview with Fr. Nick Monco, OP, now a chaplain at the Benedict Institute of Hope College, reflects on a TED Talk that Fr. Nick gave that aired this week on mental health issues and specifically what do our Catholic faith traditions have to offer in dealing with mental health challenges. (NB -IT LOOKS ON THE SPOTIFY LINKS THAT THIS PODCAST IS OVER 40 MINUTES LONG - IT IS NOT - IT IS ABOUT 23 MINUTES LONG)
Interview with missionary doctor working in Haiti
Dr. Ellen Lawson is an emergency room physician who began her career as a religious sister working in Congo. Dr. Lawson and I both serve on the board of the St Dominique Foundation that administers an orphanage in Titanyen, Haiti founded by a Dominican priest. Dr. Lawson provides her first-person account of the difficult conditions of serving in Haiti - now!
A review of Sue Monk Kidd's The Book of Longings
Best-selling novelist Sue Monk Kidd provides a creative setting for the life of Jesus - as a married man.
Remembering Charlotte Scarcelli
Sort of a little break from the normal program to remember a devoted parishioner and friend of St. Tom's.
September 30 was the birthday of my mother AND father. Today's podcast is a reflection on them.
I offer some reflections on the events of September 11, 2001 and the challenges they present. Here's a link to another podcast I mention in the broadcast. https://podcasts.apple.com/us/podcast/a-bit-of-optimism/id1515385282?i=1000527216316
Remembering events on the occasion of my 50th high school reunion.
Episode 51 - the conclusion to my travelogue on Africa
I'm out of quarantine and ready to finish my account of my trip to Africa.
Announcement about my COVID status
I've test positive. No episode this week.
Episode 49 - Into Africa - part one
Hear about my trip to Kenya - my first to Africa - and my safari experiences.
Episode 48 - Part two of our conversation with Jim McElroy
Prayer simply must be a part of our life if we hope to grow spiritually. There are many forms. Jim and I talk about that need we all have to take care of ourselves and how prayer is a vital way to do that.
Episode 47 - Part one of two parts - interview with Jim McElroy
Jim McElroy talks about his own experience with centering prayer as an acolyte of Fr. Thomas Keating. If you're interested in centering prayer or know someone in recovery that might be helped by this ancient form of prayer of the Catholic Church, you won't want to miss this fascinating conversation with Jim McElroy.
The last segment of our three-part interview with nationally syndicated speaker and best-selling author Dr. Walt Larimore.
Part two of this amazing interview with Dr. Walt Larimore who gives us valuable insights on what it means to be truly, totally healthy.
We begin a three-part series with Dr. Walt Larimore, physician and author of more than 40 books, including the best seller Fit Over 50. Dr. Walt has appeared on many 360 with Anderson Cooper, Good Morning America, and many other news broadcasts based on his medical expertise and engaging conversation.
Episode 43 - Part 3 of our interview with author Gary Schmidt
The conclusion to our interview with award-winning novelist and teacher Gary Schmidt.
Episode 42 - Part II of my conversation with award winning author Gary Schmidt
Listen to author Gary Schmidt provide some fascinating insights to his writing, inspiration and motivation.
Episode 41 - Part one of interview with Gary Schmidt
Award-winning author - (National Book Award finalist and Newberry prize winner) - former Yankees (now Mets fan) - teacher - medievalist - UofI grad - what more can I say? A great storyteller. Listen to the first of our three-part interview with this fascinating man.
Listen to part two of our conversation with author, composer, singer, spiritual director, Steve Givens, as he discusses his personal experience with chemotherapy and a usually fatal disease.
I talk with Steve Givens who has written widely on spiritual direction and his own battle with a rare disease.
Stories of best friends.
"We are what we eat." - St. Augustine. Oh my goodness!! Do I look like gelato and no one has mentioned it??
An interview from Houston where Dominican friar Br. Greg Dunn will profess his solemn vows on May 28. Hear how this young man, who once aspired to be a shortstop in the major leagues, journeyed to become a vowed religious.
Part two of our conversation with seminarian Mark Hellinger
We begin a break from our format and have an interview with seminarian Mark Hellinger
More memorable moments from my time at St. Tom's and Purdue.
Some of my most memorable moments at St. Tom's - Part I
How we began St. Tom's mission trips to Titanyen, Haiti.
Mission trips and pilgrimages - unique encounters with our faith.
How do we keep our young people engaged? The St. Tom's way!!!
My first years at St. Tom's and a little of the inspiration.
I begin my time at St Tom's with my ordination and then my installation as the pastor. What a whirlwind experience! And a blessed one!!
The episode that was difficult to get to: after a lifetime of waiting to answer God's call, my ordination, but not without some bumps in getting there.
I have my first experience of ministry at St. Tom's and Purdue (Boiler Up!) and finish up my time and studies in St. Louis.
I begin my studies in Saint Louis and as an outcome of the Boston scandals, we are visited by representatives from the Vatican.
My life as a Dominican friar begins in earnest - my first year as a novice in Denver.
Chicago - an end to one journey and the beginning of a new one.
My time in Springfield Illinois posed some unique challenges and new opportunities.
The beginning of a new journey.
Homily for the Feast of the Presentation
"I'm going to Charleston where there's still some grace and charm." -Rhett Butler
My years working for Big Jim Thompson - and the second inauguration of Ronald Reagan - and my last days in DC - at least for a little while.
My days working for Big Jim Thompson - the second Reagan inauguration - and my last years in DC - at least for a little while.
Further reflections on the events in the U.S. Capitol and I begin my time with working for the State of Illinois in Washington and Governor Jim Thompson.
Reflections on this week and my experiences of working in the Capitol and on the Hill.
So where were you on January 1, 2000? It was a big night for me!!
The voice of Christmas past and present.
So now you get to hear what the rest of my first trip to Italy was like.
Patrick goes to Italy for the first time. Mamma mia!!
Homily from the Feastnof the Immaculate Conception
Hear about my first full years in Washington DC.
My first full year in Washington DC - a year of many changes - great highs and lows.
When Fr. Patrick makes his podcast singing debut.
Some thoughts about the election which provides a nice segue to the beginning of my career in Washington DC.
College comes to an end - and I begin the journey in the "real world"
So we continue with my college experiences and a variety of firsts for me.
Another weekly reflection from Fr. Patrick Baikauskas, OP.
I talk about the end of my high school life and move on to college.
Further reflections of Fr. Patrick on his early life.
My First Podcast! | Sept 25, 2020
As I begin my podcast journey, I decided to speak about something in which I have some expertise - me. I will spend the first few podcasts giving you a brief biography so that the future reflections will have some context. How exactly did I get to the place where I am now - a Dominican friar?