I’m really excited to announce that All Saints Museum is proud to present the Dear Saints Podcast, available on Spotify November 28th. I will be reading entries from my Dear Saints book series. The podcast will begin with my Christmas devotional, taking you through Advent, Christmas, and into the New Year over 40 days. The Dear Saints books are written in the voice of the Saints, and they incorporate plenty of Scripture and practical advice to inspire you through each day. Although I highly recommend purchasing your own copy of the Dear Saints books, my wife really urged me to do this podcast for those who don’t necessarily like readying, or may not have time to read – but who would be more apt to listen to a podcast while commuting, etc. I really hope you will enjoy.
Where to even begin? This is a dream. And like dreams, I’ll just lay it all out here without any order, unsure of the beginning, and even less sure of the end.
If you’ve ever seen Hotel Transylvania, it’s a cute family film about Count Dracula building a hotel for monsters, so they can be themselves without fear of humans – very top level summary… ha! This is my dream for All Saints Museum. A place where people can enjoy their faith without fear. It just so happens that I also really love the hotel that Dracula builds – a castle, with trap doors, hallways, secret rooms. I’d make All Saints Museum the same – a place where people can wander around and get lost – and yet actually want to get lost! I’d model it after St. Michael Castle (St. Michaels Mount – in Mount’s Bay, Cornwall England). I really want it to be in the Bay Area, because I do believe that California, with such a rich Catholic past, needs to be brought back to the faith – I’m thinking Santa Cruz would be ideal (Santa Cruz meaning Holy Cross – after all, it was St. John of the Cross who I wanted to honor originally).
I want this Museum to include four (4) integrated yet unique “parts” for lack of a better word. I want it to be a theme-park, hotel, basilica, and conference center – collectively All Saints Museum (of course the church would be distinct).
The theme park (more properly the museum) will be dedicated to St. John of the Cross (since he recognized the importance of ordering our senses toward God). It will be an interactive park (mainly indoors) and include combination of rides, displays, shows, and presentations. While it may include pictures and art, I want it to be virtually indestructible – so that kids of all ages can enjoy the displays, etc.
Imagine flying with Saint Joseph of Cupertino on a sky-line across the top of the museum to have a view from above. Taking a relic-coaster tour of the Catacombs, or around the Museum – like the Disneyland train that goes around the park, dropping off guests at different areas. There could be a St. Pio “bilocation” ride. Gladiator ride on chariots around an arena. A boat ride of course – after Noah or Jonah, or with the Apostles when Jesus was walking on the water. An ascension ride. There are so many great ideas around the Saints that lend themselves to rides and entertainment.
Walk with Adam and Eve through the Garden of Eden. Or come face to face with Daniel in the Lion’s Den. Walk the Villa Dolorosa while saying the sorrowful mysteries of the Rosary. This can be done by an actual physical sets and props, or using Virtual Reality (VR), which is the wave of the future. I do want to have all the Saints life-size in a wax museum – or throughout the park. There would be displays of the Saints in their most famous moments – perhaps an exhibit with St. Stephen on knees about to be stoned with caption on the bottom – last words “Lord, do not hold this sin against them.” Or St. Catherine of Siena advising Pope Gregory XI. St. Joan of Arc. The Annunciation. Have fun in the St. Teresa of Avila’s “Interior Castle” escape room, where guests have to answer trivia about saints to unlock the clues and doors. Again, there are so many things that could be done.
Experiencing an IMAX theater view of the Creation account in Genesis. Planetarium for viewing and researching the solar system. Learn about the lives of the Saints with holographic images of the Saints (like in Jurassic World). Catholic movie presentations for seasons (like the Passion of the Christ on Holy Week, etc.).
There are many ways the Museum could be organized – by type of Saint (Married, Widowed, religious, Virgins, Martyrs, etc.). Could also have one side of museum be the Old Testament and the other side the New Testament.
The Hotel would be dedicated to St. Martha (although maybe St. Andre Bessette since he was the humble door keeper). It would be themed so that rooms are dedicated to Saints and include time-period appropriate décor, etc. St. Philomena Room, St. Dymphna Room, St. Gerard Majella Room.. etc. The Saint name instead of room numbers ?
The Basilica would be dedicated to St. Gemma and St. Francis. I’d model the church after St. Dominic’s Church in San Francisco (highly recommend visiting if you’re in the area). I want it to have various niches with altars for different Saints. Would love to have Relics displayed throughout for veneration and devotion. Mass on Sundays of course with a bell tower to let visitors know when Mass is going on. – Park would shut down Sunday during Mass to make sure all guests do not miss their Sunday obligation. This is a MUST!
Conference Center dedicated to St. Francis de Sales or St. Thomas Aquinas – one of the Drs of the Church – since it will be state of the art and devoted to studying, research, and exploring the faith, etc. This Conference Center will include a retreat house, a library, a lecture hall / auditorium for speakers and shows, and perhaps work with Rome to have “US” divisions of the Pontifical Academy of Sciences, the Vatican Museum, and other Pontifical Committees so that research and partnering can be easier for those not able to travel to Rome
I want an enclosed parking structure that is seamlessly integrated to the Castel. Parking, therefore, would be part of the experience of visiting the Museum. Would have levels similar to Dante’s levels, where the base level would be themed like hell, up to the very top level that would be themed as heaven, and all the various levels – there would be a spiral turn up the middle for traffic to enter and exit, and the center spiral would have giant statues of Angels ascending and descending. Outside walls would have stained glass so that from the outside you wouldn’t know it was a parking structure, and from the inside you would have the beauty of the light coming through.
The Road Ahead:
I’m a family man, with a beautiful wife of 20 years and three (3) lovely daughters. I’m devoted to my family, and I do have a day-job that I’m quite loyal to as well. Therefore, as much as I really want to just dive into this Museum project, it does actually scare me a bit. I want to make this happen, but I don’t quite have the support I need to really make a go at it yet. I know God wants me to manage my domestic church first. And so until I know what God really wants the next step to be, I’m at least casting this net out.
Our core goal and motto is – Venerating Saints of the Past, Inspiring Saints of the Future. No matter where I’m at in this project, this is what I hope to do. Day by day, brick by brick, I pray that one day this dream Museum will become a reality.
Dario Sattui built his dream castle – he used real authentic Italian stone (like 1300 century building materials). I would like to do the same. I want All Saints Museum to be built with noble materials, and as much as possible not simply pre-fabricated and raised up quick. I think an awesome fundraiser would be to sell the building blocks for the Museum, literally. And each stone / block would have the donors info on it – kind of like the central walk-way of Disneyland that has pavers with names on it. The structure of All Saints Museum would be a monument to those who contributed to building it.
If you want to reach out with any words of encouragement, any prayers (or prayer intentions I can pray for), any thoughts or ideas you’d like to share – please reach me at [email protected].
I’ve put out a few books, and sales go toward All Saints Museum – as well as future book projects. You can check out the Dear Saints book collection on Amazon (Dear Saints: Lenten Edition, Dear Saints: Christmas Edition, Dear Saints: Catechesis on Saints, and I’m currently writing Dear Saints: Catechesis on Sacraments to be released next year).
Financial or other contributions are tax-deductible. All Saints Museum is a 501(c)(3) charitable organization. Funds will go toward our mission, and ultimately to fulfilling this dream.
Either way, please reach out, we need each other as fellow workers in God’s Vineyard.
Thank you so much, and God bless!
I was blessed to take stewardship of a relic of St. Homobonus recently. His relic arrived in Saint-like fashion on All Saints Day!
Saint Homobonus lived in the 12th century. He was a married layman and became a tailor and merchant, having taken over his father’s business. Therefore, he is considered the Patron Saint of business people. He died on November 13th, 1197, while attending Mass. The name Homobonus is derived from Latin homo bonus, which means “good man”. Indeed, Saint Homobonus was a good man, spending much of his wealth in helping the poor. His fellow citizens petitioned the Pope for his canonization, and he was raised to the altars as a Saint less than two years later.
Today, November 13th, we celebrate his feast day.
Saint Homobonus, Pray for us!
As All Saints Day approaches, I wanted to offer some thoughts on why we as Catholics believe in the Communion of Saints (Communio Sanctorum), and why in particular we believe that our prayers to them and friendship with them is efficacious.
There are a couple arguments against these uniquely Catholic beliefs, which I would like to address in their honor:
Why pray to the Saints if we can go directly to God?
The better question to ask is: Why has God used Angels (messengers), Prophets, and Apostles, family and friends, to relate with us throughout the entire history of human existence if He can go directly to us Himself? And the response to this is very simple…. He wants to.
This is the same response to why we work with the Saints and Angels in a similar way to communicate with God. – He wants us to.
Granted, we do go directly to God as well, and He does communicate with us directly at His discretion (like when he talked with Moses face to face Exodus 33:11). This is not a strict either / or. Our relationship with God and His family is both / and.
Sometimes we don’t know why God chooses to do things certain ways, because “His ways are higher than mine” (Isaiah 55:8-9). But even when we don’t understand, we believe that He knows what is best for us. He has our best interest in mind.
It is evident in Scripture that God wants us to work with each other and for each other. Take for instances when Jesus was still just a baby:
(Matthew 2:13) When they had gone, an angel of the Lord appeared to Joseph in a dream. “Get up”, he said, “take the child and his mother and escape to Egypt.”
God could have done things a lot different to get the Holy Family to go to Egypt. He could have sent the angel to Mary, as He had just sent the angel Gabriel to her before. Why Joseph? Or why did He use an angel? God could have talked directly to Mary (like He did with Moses). But we can see that God LOVES to use His creation in this way. He wanted Joseph to be an integral part of His Holy Family. God always uses His angels as messengers. And He always uses people in the same way. He wants us connected and working together. That’s why Saint Paul refers to us as the Body of Christ (1 Corinthians 12:27). We are a Body with different members able to do different things to all help in achieving the same goal – the sanctity of our human race!
God created the earth as a reflection of what Heaven is like. And so we know that Heaven isn’t too far from earth. Family is family. Jesus is our brother through Baptism. God is our Father. We are not orphans, but Children of God. God created us to work with each other. When God made Adam, He said “It is not good for man to be alone” (Genesis 2:18). So, how we relate to our mothers and fathers, our sisters and brothers, our friends, etc. That is not different than how we should relate in Heaven to God and the Angels and Saints. But just all in their proper order.
We have a different relationship with our dads as we do with our brothers. And the same is true with God and the Saints. I would never worship a Saint. I only worship and praise God. But Jesus wants us to have relationships with His family, His mother Mary, His friends the Saints. God wants us to know the Angels also. They are given to us by God for our help(Matthew 18:10). All of these things God has given to us to work together in order to Glorify Him through Christ Jesus.
Once a person dies, how can we communicate with them since they cannot hear us?
We believe that death does not separate us from our family and friends in Christ. On the contrary, we believe that when we die in a state of Grace and friendship with God, then our ability to pray for each other only increases!
Saint Paul says (Romans 8:38) “For I am convinced that neither death nor life… will be able to separate us from the love of God that is in Christ Jesus our Lord.” As humans, we are both body and soul. When we die, our soul still exists. Only our physical body is gone, but the “person” is still alive. Especially for those who have died in the Grace and friendship of God. So when Jesus said, “the Kingdom of God is among you”, He is saying that if we order our lives in Christ now, then this is how Heaven is.
Additionally, Jesus admonishes the Pharisees when He tells them “He is not the God of the dead, but of the living” speaking of Abraham, Isaac and Jacob (Mark 12:27). So we know that the Saints in Heaven are living in this same way.
In all of this, our greatest desire is to Love God. This is the first and greatest Command – “Love the Lord your God with all your heart”. If we accept Christ and what he did for us (the Cross), and we do our best to Love Him, then really everything else falls into place. “Seek ye first the Kingdom of God, and His righteousness, and all these things will be added unto you”. (Matthew 6:33)
Meditating on the Transfiguration of Jesus (Mark 9, Matthew 17, and Luke 9). This is where we can see the meaning of Jesus being God and man. Because He brings Heaven to earth for our benefit. This was His primary mediation. Jesus takes His best friends, Peter, James and John, with Him up a mountain. Then Jesus is transfigured before them, and His clothes became dazzling white, and He was with Moses and Elijah talking with them. It is like God introducing His Old Testament friends to His New Testament friends. Moses and Elijah represent the Law and the Prophets. Moses brought the Law (the Commandments) and Elijah was one of the greatest Prophets (even John the Baptist came in the spirit of Elijah). So these two figures represent together the Love of God – because Jesus says the Law and the Prophets hang on the Love of God. When Jesus was asked what the Greatest Command was He replied “’Love the Lord your God with all your heart and with all your soul and with all your mind.’This is the first and greatest commandment.And the second is like it: ‘Love your neighbor as yourself.’ All the Law and the Prophets hang on these two commandments.”
So we see that in Loving God with all our hearts, just as He commands, it is a fulfillment of the Law and the Prophets (Moses and Elijah). The Transfiguration, therefore, was a demonstration of the Kingdom of God, the union of earth and Heaven. The Law and the Prophets meeting the New Church. You could think of the Transfiguration as God lifting the veil a little, to give us a peak at what He sees. Heaven is where are hearts are – (Matthew 6) “For where your treasure is, there your heart will be also”. And although Moses and Elijah had lived long ago, they were still alive in Christ, and fulfilling their mission through the Love of God.
Jesus told us to pray – “Thy kingdom come, Thy will be done, on earth as it is in Heaven”. This is what Jesus meant, that in the Love of God, the Kingdom and the Will of God will be done on earth just like in Heaven.
As members of the Body of Christ, the Saints still actively participate in helping us to make it to Heaven with them! Our relationship with God is much more complete and better when we work with His friends. Jesus comes closer to us, the closer we are to His friends. . Jesus is the Bride-Groom and we are His Bride. The Saints are the wedding guests. If we truly love our Lord Jesus, then it is important to know and love His friends.
So I hope that this helps to explain why we pray to the Saints. If I pray to the Saints, it is only in addition to my prayers to God. I love God with all my heart. I am relating to them like I would with my brother and sister. I love my dad more and differently than my siblings. I treat my dad differently – with more respect, etc. But I know he would be hurt if I didn’t have a relationship with my other family members also. Together we make my dad even happier… sometimes. Haha! Sometimes we cause more trouble together also. But everything has its time. Sometimes I do just think of God and pray only to Him. (Alone time with my Father). But when it is appropriate, God sees it as a beautiful thing to have me thinking of Moses and Elijah, or St. Francis and St. Therese. Sometimes it helps to talk with them also. And just like you and me writing each other. That leads me to think of God more, and in new ways. To the Glory of God through Christ!
Therefore, I want to urge you to consider saying a prayer to the Saints this All Saints Day. They are sure to bring you closer to Our Lord Jesus. May His Kingdom come, and His Will be done, on earth as it is in Heaven. Amen!
Happy All Saints Day.
-Your Family in Christ at All Saints Museum
Today being the First Friday of the month, I had an idea I’d like to share.
If you are a parent or know a parent with children in a Catholic School, I suggest contacting the school leadership to have them offer First Friday Mass throughout the year. If started in October, this would be exactly 9 First Friday’s before school ends in June.
Our Lord appeared to St. Margaret Mary Alocoque (1647-1690), a French nun in the Visitation Order, and gave her the special task to spread devotion to His Most Sacred Heart.
He said: ““I promise you, in the excessive mercy of my Heart that my all powerful love will grant to all those who receive Holy Communion on the first Friday for nine consecutive months, the grace of final repentance; they shall not die in my disgrace nor without receiving the sacraments; my divine Heart shall be their safe refuge in that last moment.” — Our Lord to St. Margaret Mary
Our Lord made several other promises, among which are that “Tepid souls shall become fervent” and “Fervent souls shall rise speedily to great perfection”.
What an incredible gift to give to our children! Please prayerfully consider this.
Here is more info about the devotion:
Happy Feast of the Assumption of the Blessed Virgin Mary. Today we celebrate when Mary, at the end of her earthly life, was taken up body and soul into her new home in Heaven.
Thank you, Mother Mary, for always saying YES to our Lord. Help us to imitate you, to make God the center of our lives. Help us to love Jesus like you did.
By the power of God, please bring all the holy souls in Purgatory to their final resting place in Heaven. Amen!
All Saints Museum has an On-line Exhibit dedicated to Mary. Please visit it in honor of her. Thank you!