Catholic Family News

Honor the Giants on Whose Shoulders We Stand

November 2021 Edition Now Available — Preview HERE

Month of the Holy Souls

Dear Friends of Catholic Tradition,

We stand on the shoulders of giants. The Church is comprised of three elements. The Church Triumphant and the Church Suffering are those who have come before us, the Church Militant, and who have merited eternal reward (even if the Suffering are still waiting to receive it). The Church has been built up over the years by those who have gone before us. We owe them a great debt.

Those giants who went before us that are in Purgatory are unable to help themselves in any way to reach their goal and they must rely on our generosity. It is a great act of charity to pray and sacrifice for these poor souls who cannot help themselves. It is so great that the Church dedicates an entire month to encouraging us to focus our attention on the Holy Souls.  We can obtain special indulgences throughout this month of November and in particular during the first eight days that we can use to liberate these souls from their prison of waiting and purification. 

One of the great souls on whose shoulders we stand is John Vennari (1958-2017), who is now among either the Church Triumphant or Suffering. John gave decades of his life to the apostolate of Catholic Family News. His involvement was so extensive in building up Catholic Family News that, for many, John was Catholic Family News. John gave the CFN apostolate the character we strive to maintain today. He fearlessly called out the abuses of power in the Church that have produced the crisis in the Church, but he did so with due respect for the Church and with a refreshing sense of humor. Many who deal with the tragedy of the crisis in the Church can become bitter and angry. John never succumbed to this danger and always maintained a lively sense of humor. He was one of the most joyful people I have ever known.

We at CFN try every day to honor the gift John has left us by remaining faithful to the mission he developed for CFN. Although we continually add new aspects of the apostolate (e.g., audio podcasts, the Weekly News Roundup, video interviews), they are developments of what John did himself. John was always looking for new ways to reach more souls. He traveled the country lecturing and meeting Catholics. Technology now gives us opportunities to reach more people around the world. We hope John looks down on what we have continued to build and is proud of what we are building. I can only imagine what he would have said about how insane the world has become over the past 18 months or so, but I imagine he would have made up a satiric song about mask-wearing!

The major source of funding for CFN is subscription revenue from the newspaper. These funds, together with some generous donations, fund all of the free content we distribute via our website, podcasts, and videos. As the world and Church fall deeper into crisis, we are seeing more people interact with our free content than ever before. When you buy a subscription to the monthly newspaper, you are not only buying something for yourself. You are also contributing to our ability to produce this free content — you become our partner in reaching lost souls.

I urge all of you, in addition to subscribing or renewing your subscription to CFN, to offer a prayer for John’s soul. Even if he has passed into the Beatific Vision, God will apply your payer to another needy soul. I still remember what one of the IHM nuns in my now-closed parochial grade school told me: pray for a holy soul and add, “or if he is in Heaven, for the most abandoned soul in Purgatory.” It is a beautiful sentiment.

In Christo Rege,

Brian M. McCall
Editor-in-Chief

Brian McCall

Brian McCall

With degrees from Yale University, the University of London, and the University of Pennsylvania, Mr. McCall is a member of the faculty of the University of Oklahoma College of Law. Mr. McCall became Editor-in-Chief of Catholic Family News in 2018. He is the author of numerous books and articles on law, politics, and Catholic Social Teaching and has made frequent speaking appearances at academic and Catholic conferences on these topics. He and his wife are the parents of six children.

Brian McCall

Brian McCall

With degrees from Yale University, the University of London, and the University of Pennsylvania, Mr. McCall is a member of the faculty of the University of Oklahoma College of Law. Mr. McCall became Editor-in-Chief of Catholic Family News in 2018. He is the author of numerous books and articles on law, politics, and Catholic Social Teaching and has made frequent speaking appearances at academic and Catholic conferences on these topics. He and his wife are the parents of six children.