We’re fast approaching the Halloween season, which many people see as a distinctly “American” holiday despite the fact many of the Halloween traditions originated in England or Ireland. The Midwestern region of the United States is no exception for getting into the Halloween spirit, as the city of Chicago tourism website points out that “Halloween is more than a day in Chicago; it’s an entire season.”
From a Catholic perspective though, the church has never been too keen on the celebration of Halloween. It’s partly because of its pagan origins from the autumn festival of Samhain, and partly because it is a corruption of genuine Christian holy days. After all, the name “Halloween” derives from “All Hallows Eve”, namely the night before All Saints’ Day (November 1st) in the Roman Catholic calendar. All Saints’ Day is immediately followed by All Souls’ Day on November 2nd, and is a Holy Day of Obligation in the Latin Rite of the Catholic Church. During CCD classes this Monday, the 8th graders responded with their own moans and groans (of the earthly rather than the unearthly variation you get on Halloween) when they were informed that they’re supposed to be in church on that day. It seems many Catholic kids are far more focused on dressing up as Freddy Krueger and getting candy than venerating the great saints of Christianity and praying for the souls of the departed.
There’s another Halloween related twist in Chicago though – the day BEFORE Halloween, October 30th, is traditionally known as “Devil’s Night” in this region of the United States, chiefly because of the serious acts of vandalism and arson that arose in Detroit, Michigan from the 70s to the 90s because some juvenile delinquents took the “trick” part of Halloween far too seriously. This year, Chicago area Catholics are observing “Devil’s Night” with an actual presentation on the Devil! Well, sort of.
No, it’s not a presentation on the ironic sports mascot of Chicago’s DePaul University, the Blue Demons, if that thought crossed your mind (yes, we do have a Catholic university in Chicago that has “Demons” as their mascot, but that is not what this article is about). Rather, this weekend will feature talks from Zachary King; a former satanic cultist turned “Catholic Warrior for Christ”. King is visiting Chicago to discuss his descent into darkness when he became a Satanist at age 15 and the amazing story of his conversion when an experience with the Miraculous Medal and intercession from the Virgin Mary changed his life and turned him around on a path towards redemption. There is no charge or registration required to attend this presentation, all you have to do is show up.
King’s story will be presented at separate events in the north and south suburbs, so no matter where you are in Chicago you will have an opportunity to see this event.
For those on the north side, there will be a far more detailed 2-day conference featuring Zachary King. This event, sponsored by Come Holy Spirit Conferences (www.comeholyspiritconferences.org), is called “Put on the Armour of God”. It takes place from October 28-29 2011, at the Forest View Educational Center located at 2121 S. Goebbert Road, Arlington Heights, Illinois. The event features conference speakers Fr. Anthony Gramlich, Fr. Christopher Crotty and Zachary King; with Master of Ceremonies Deacon Martin Henry. The subject matter is appropriate for families to attend as a group. If you haven’t heard about this event in your parish bulletin, the full schedule is:
FRIDAY, OCT 28:
- 6:00 p.m. Doors & Bookstore open
- 6:30 p.m. The Prayer of the Holy Rosary
- 7:00 p.m. TALK #1 – Fr. Anthony Gramlich, M.I.C., Martins of the Immaculate Conception, Stockbridge, MA, “St. Faustina & her encounter with angels”
- 8:15 p.m. TALK #2 – Rev. Christopher Crotty, C.P.M., The Fathers of Mercy, Auburn, KY “Therefore take unto you the armour of God” (from Ephesians 6:13)
SATURDAY, OCT. 29:
- 8:30 a.m. Doors, Coffee Shop & Bookstore open
- 9:00 a.m. The Prayer of the Holy Rosary
- 9:30 a.m. The Holy Sacrifice of the Mass
- 11:00 a.m. TALK #3 – Fr. Anthony Gramlich, M.I.C. Martins of the Immaculate Conception, Stockbridge, MA, “I want to teach you about spiritual warfare” – The Diary of St. Faustina #1760
- 12:30 p.m. Lunch Break
- 1:30 p.m. TALK #4 – Rev. Christopher Crotty, C.P.M., The Fathers of Mercy, Auburn, KY “The Immaculate Heart of Mary & Spiritual Warfare”
- 3:00 p.m. The Chaplet of Divine Mercy
- 3:14 p.m. TALK #5 – Zachary King, Former Satanist turned Catholic Warrior for Christ “For our wrestling is not against flesh and blood” (from Ephesians 6:12)
- 4:30 p.m. The Miraculous Metal
- 5:00 p.m. Dinner Break
- 6:30 p.m. Night of Healing
If that’s a bit too long or overwhelming for you (or if you just live in the south side and can’t make it out for the event), you’ll be pleased to know a much more low-key and straightforward version of Zachary King’s presentation will occur on the actual “Devil’s Night” – Sunday, Oct. 30th, at Annunciation Byzantine Catholic Church (located at 14610 S. Will-Cook Road in Homer Glen, Illinois). There, King will speak at 1 p.m. followed by a Q&A session with the audience. This event is likewise free of charge and open to the public.
King’s story is quite compelling, he was a self-described “average American kid” in a Baptist home, but strayed from the path of righteousness. He began practicing magic at 10 years old, joined a satanic coven at 13 years old, and had broken all 10 Commandments by 15 years old. After 26 years of involvement with the occult King’s story of his redemption occurs in January 2008. While working as a jeweler, he received a message from the Virgin Mary that changed his life. King will discuss how that one day in the middle of the mall, he “experienced a peace that surpasses all understanding”, thanks to the power of the Miraculous Metal. Zachary King turned his heart towards Jesus Christ, started going to St. Francis Xavier Catholic Church in Vermont and in May 2008 (the month of Mary), he entered into the Catholic faith. Today Zachary King is living in Florida with his wife, and has authored a number of books, DVDs, and CDs warning young people about the dangers of Satanism. His CDs/DVDs include: “Satan’s Plan Exposed”, “Pyramid Scheme- New Age vs. Satanism”, and “The Tale of Halloween”. Two of the books he is currently writing include “Satan Loves Me, He Loves Me Not” and “Abortion is a Satanic Sacrifice”
I have never heard Zachary King speak, so I cannot give my opinion of his message and his conversion story until I listen to it for myself. That is why I will be attending King’s presentation this Sunday at Annunciation parish. I would urge my readers out there to also check this one out in person. All Hollow’s Eve is more than just dressing up as imaginary demons and watching The Exorcist on TNT, it’s also about saving souls and exorcising the human race from the real demons that walk among us.