Saturday 18th April 2015

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The Church’s Origin, Foundation, And Mission

April 18, 2015 Our Catholic Faith Comments Off

By DON FIER Sacred Scripture reveals a rich and diverse tapestry of images to describe the Church. Each of these symbols enables one with faith to gain additional insights into the various complementary aspects which are present in this great mystery which the Fathers of Vatican Council II refer to as the “universal sacrament of salvation” (Lumen Gentium, n. 48 § 2). As we saw last week, these biblical images “are drawn from pastoral life (sheepfold, flock, sheep), from agriculture (field, olive grove, vineyard), from construction (dwelling place, stone, temple), and from family life (spouse, mother, family)” (Compendium of the Catechism of the Catholic Church, n. 149). New Testament symbols of the Church most often link her in some way…Continue Reading

Catholic Replies

April 17, 2015 Our Catholic Faith Comments Off

Q. In the second reading on Good Friday (Heb. 5:8-9), there is a phrase toward the end of the epistle that says: “Son though he was, he learned obedience from what he suffered; and when he was made perfect, he became the source of eternal salvation for all who obey him.” I am puzzled by the words “when he was made perfect.” I have always believed that Jesus was God eternal and was so from the moment of His conception. Why did He need to be made perfect? — R.H.T., via e-mail. A. Yes, Jesus was God eternal from the moment of His conception, but He was also truly human, and it was His humanity that was made perfect. In…Continue Reading

The Good Shepherd

April 16, 2015 Our Catholic Faith Comments Off

BY FR. ROBERT ALTIER Fourth Sunday Of Easter (YR B) Readings: Acts 4:8-12 1 John 3:1-2 John 10:11-18   In the Gospel reading today we hear our Lord telling us that He is the Good Shepherd. We have all heard this many times and, in our minds, we have our own notions of what that means. We can think about being led into pleasant meadows, we can think about being protected, we can even think about being known and called by name as our Lord says that He does. However, none of these things is what makes Him the Good Shepherd. Of course, we also know that He is the Good Shepherd because He lays down his life for the…Continue Reading

Catholic Heroes… St. Catherine Of Siena

April 14, 2015 Our Catholic Faith Comments Off

By CAROLE BRESLIN St. Catherine of Siena lived in the 14th century, a century of great upheaval and confusion in the Church. The Church celebrates her feast on April 29. She not only was a great saint, but her writings and her example were so extraordinary that she is one of the few persons who have been given the title “Doctor of the Church.” From the day of her birth on March 25, the Solemnity of the Annunciation, she seemed to be a special child, being the 23rd of 25 children. At the age of six, Catherine saw a vision of Christ during which she promised herself to Him. Although her family and friends recognized her holiness, when she became…Continue Reading

A Leaven In The World… We Worship The Easter Christ In The Eucharist

April 13, 2015 Our Catholic Faith Comments Off

By FR. KEVIN M. CUSICK “Christ is risen, Alleluia! The Lord is truly risen, Alleluia!” A blessed Easter full of joy in the graces of our risen Lord to you and your families. During the “three days” of the sacred Triduum, this year I received an email note from a parishioner: “I went to church with my mother on Holy Thursday and it felt so odd to not kneel to receive the Eucharist. I just wanted to share that with you. I had not knelt for so long to receive Holy Communion until I attended St. Francis de Sales.” This wonderful affirmation of the reward of instilling a strong eucharistic identity in our faithful souls expressed in Catholic reverence for…Continue Reading

Did Jesus Christ Found A Church? If He Did, How Can She Be Identified?

April 12, 2015 Our Catholic Faith Comments Off

By RAYMOND DE SOUZA, KM Part 1 Did Jesus Christ, Son of God and Redeemer of mankind, found a visible Church? Simple logic indicates that either He did, or He didn’t. He could not have founded a visible Church for some and an invisible church for others. It cannot be both ways. It is irrational to accept the relativistic idea that for Catholics He did found a visible Church, but for non-Catholics He did not, and He just gave away the Bible and let them organize their congregations as they see fit. But what do we mean by a visible Church? Something like a building upon a hill? No, that would be a simplistic view of a visible Church. What…Continue Reading

Names, Images, And Symbols Of The Church

April 11, 2015 Our Catholic Faith Comments Off

By DON FIER When Jesus Christ ascended into Heaven after His Passion, death, and Resurrection, He did not leave us orphans. Rather, He promised to send the Holy Spirit after His return to the Father. On Pentecost Sunday, He fulfilled that promise by sending the Spirit of truth and establishing the one true Church, which is “his body” (Eph. 1:23; 5:23; 1 Cor. 12:27; Col. 1:18). As a profound mystery of our faith, we firmly believe that Christ is the head and that in the Church, “we, though many, are one body in Christ, and individually members one of another” (Romans 12:5). As we saw last week, then, the word Church “refers to the people whom God calls and gathers…Continue Reading

Catholic Replies

April 10, 2015 Our Catholic Faith Comments Off

Q. I have been told that for a Mass of cremation, the body needs to be present and then cremated. I have been to three Catholic funerals lately and the ashes were there, but the body was already cremated. Which is the true situation? Also, for your Catholic Heroes saint column on the same page, please feature St. Jude Thaddeus. Why is he called the patron saint of hopeless causes? What about his life and how he became the saint of the hopeless? — G.P.M., Arizona. A. The body no longer needs to be present for the funeral of a person who is to be cremated. At their November 1998 meeting, the Catholic bishops of the United States voted to…Continue Reading

Our Call To Holiness

April 9, 2015 Our Catholic Faith Comments Off

By FR. ROBERT ALTIER Third Sunday Of Easter (YR B) Readings: Acts 3:13-15, 17-19 1 John 2:1-5a Luke 24:35-48 In the readings today, we can see the struggle that the first members of the Church had to endure as they went from doubt to faith, as they went from not understanding to understanding. Sometimes we think of these heroic people as a bunch of bumbling fools. Of course, the reason for that is that we have the advantage of the perspective of 2,000 years of history. The apostles and the disciples of our Lord were trying to make sense of the things Jesus said and did. People walked away from the Lord because He told them He was God and…Continue Reading

Homily Of His Holiness Pope Francis . . . Holy Thursday Chrism Mass: “I Will Give You Rest”

April 8, 2015 Our Catholic Faith Comments Off

(Editor’s Note: Below is the text of the homily Pope Francis delivered the morning of April 2, Holy Thursday, for the Chrism Mass, where the oils used for the Sacraments of Confirmation, Holy Orders, and the Anointing of the Sick are blessed. (The Holy Father counseled the clergy there about the forms of weariness that can weigh on the priestly life. (The priests, bishops, and cardinals at the Chrism Mass renewed the promises they made on the day of their Ordination. (Vatican Radio provided the text; all rights reserved.) + + + “My hand shall ever abide with him, my arms also shall strengthen him” (Psalm 89:21). This is what the Lord means when he says: “I have found David,…Continue Reading