Beliefnet
The Smoking Priest
Bio

Father James Farfaglia is the founding pastor of Saint Helena of the True Cross of Jesus Catholic Church. He is presently the new pastor of Our Lady of Guadalupe Catholic Church. Both parishes are located in Corpus Christi, Texas. You can learn more about Father James, read his homilies and purchase his books by visiting him on the web at www.fatherjames.org.

During my years in Spain and Mexico, it would be inevitable that interesting conversations with either Spaniards or Mexicans would take place regarding the differences between their countries and ours.  One man put it bluntly: “Look, the difference between us […]

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“We hold these truths to be self-evident, that all men are created equal, that they are endowed by their Creator with certain unalienable Rights, that among these are Life, Liberty and the pursuit of Happiness” (The Declaration of Independence, July […]

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St. Augustine was once confronted by a pagan leader who showed him his idol and said, “Here is my god; where is yours?” Augustine replied, “I cannot show you my God; not because there is no God to show but […]

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A number of years ago I was invited to give a retreat to a group of lay people in New York City.  A seminarian graciously accompanied me in order to help with the practical details.  Prior to the evening retreat, […]

What is Heaven?  Without a doubt, Heaven is a place difficult to describe.  We cannot begin to understand it because Heaven belongs to the mystery of faith. In the Gospels, Jesus speaks of this mystery through images.  He calls it the […]

Recently I began to reflect on the first time I was on a plane.  It was 1980 and I had just finished my first two years of seminary training for the Catholic priesthood and now I was being sent to […]

“They call you Christ, Vishnu, Buddha, Jehovah, Our Lord.  You are Govindam, Bismillah, Creator of All.  You are the One, no matter what.”  These are the words that George Harrison sang in his 1981 song “Life Itself” recorded on the […]

Getting directions from someone when you are lost can be a frustrating experience.  Perhaps you scramble for a piece of paper to scribble a few indications like “go right at the light and then take your first left”.  Maybe the […]

There is something in the Gospel of Saint John that I never understood.  Why did Mary Magdalen think that the Risen Jesus was the gardener?  Gardener?  What’s the deal?  “Supposing him to be the gardener…” (John 20: 15). Think of […]

Had Jesus of Nazareth been a Roman or a Greek, certainly his contemporaries would have left behind statues in his honor.  However, because the Jews had a strict understanding of idolatry, their interpretation of the Mosaic Law did not allow them to make […]

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