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An Apologetics Course… Christ’s Church Is One, Not A Collection Of Churches

October 18, 2015 Our Catholic Faith Comments Off

By RAYMOND DE SOUZA In the previous article, the characteristics that identify the Church founded by Jesus Christ were made clear for all to see: His Church is One, Holy, Catholic, Apostolic, Imperishable, Infallible, and Visible. Let us take a look at the kind of churches claiming to be the Church of Christ in existence today, and assess their claims in the light of the seven marks, and not according to the individual interpretations of the Bible chosen by their founders or by the majority opinion of their members. The first mark of the Church of Christ is that she must be one in faith, worship, and government to the end of time, because her divine Founder has promised to…Continue Reading

The Consecrated Life

October 17, 2015 Our Catholic Faith Comments Off

By DON FIER So great is the dignity and vocation of the lay faithful that they are able to participate in the priestly, prophetic, and kingly offices of Christ. They share in His priestly office “especially in the Eucharist by offering as a spiritual sacrifice ‘acceptable to God through Jesus Christ’ (1 Peter 2:5) their own lives with all of their works, their prayers, their apostolic undertakings, their family life, their daily work and hardships borne with patience, and even their consolations of spirit and body” (Compendium of the Catechism of the Catholic Church [CCCC], n. 189). By gathering up all their activities and spiritually uniting them to Christ’s sacrificial offering on Calvary, “the laity consecrate the world itself to…Continue Reading

Catholic Replies

October 16, 2015 Our Catholic Faith Comments Off

Q. I noticed that when the priest was celebrating benediction at the end of eucharistic adoration, he wrapped a vestment around his hands before he picked up the monstrance to bless the people. Why did he do this? — T.S., Massachusetts. A. The vestment is called the humeral veil and the priest covers his hands with it before elevating the monstrance to show that it is Jesus Himself who is blessing the people and not the priest. Q. In a column some time ago, you said that lay people should not anoint others with blessed oil. But I am sending you a packet of St. Anne’s blessed oil from St. Anne’s Shrine in Cleveland, Ohio. The card accompanying the oil…Continue Reading

Redemption From Slavery

October 15, 2015 Our Catholic Faith Comments Off

By FR. ROBERT ALTIER Thirtieth Sunday In Ordinary Time (YR B) Readings: Jer. 31:7-9 Heb. 5:1-6 Mark 10:42-56 In the first reading today we hear the Prophet Jeremiah proclaim that the Lord has delivered His people. In this context it implies the deliverance of the people from their exile and the return of the people of Israel to their own land. They were freed from slavery and were allowed to live, once again, as God’s own Chosen People. More than being freed from slavery on a natural level, the freedom to worship and serve the Lord is the far greater freedom granted to these people. There are so many people today who have given into the worldliness and the sinfulness…Continue Reading

Cardinal Erdo’s Address to The Synod . . . The Demanding Teaching Of Christ On Indissolubility

October 14, 2015 Our Catholic Faith Comments Off

VATICAN CITY (CNA) — On October 5, the opening day of the 2015 Synod on the Family, Peter Cardinal Erdo of Esztergom-Budapest — who is the synod’s relator general — gave an introductory speech to the synod fathers. Drawing from the working document for the synod as well as recent magisterial documents, Cardinal Erdo surveyed the work the assembly is called to do. The full text of his prepared remarks was published in Italian on the Vatican’s website. Below are excerpts from Catholic News Agency’s English translation of his remarks. All rights reserved. To read the full text of Erdo’s lengthy address, please visit www.catholicnewsagency.com. Also, see this week’s News Notes column to read about the controversy that followed his…Continue Reading

Mexican Exorcist Moves Toward Sainthood

October 12, 2015 Our Catholic Faith Comments Off

By ELISE HARRIS VATICAN CITY (CNA/EWTN News) — Among the eight causes for sainthood advanced by Pope Francis is a Mexican exorcist who lived during the time of the Cristero War, and was mentored by a bishop who has since been canonized. The Pope gave the green light to move the causes on to the next step in a private September 30 audience with Angelo Cardinal Amato, prefect of the Congregation for the Causes of Saints. Fr. Juan Manuel Martin del Campo was one of five priests recognized for heroic virtue, and who have now received the title of “venerable,” only two steps away from canonization, which takes place after the requirement two miracles has been fulfilled. Born in in…Continue Reading

An Apologetics Course . . . The Church Of Christ Is Visible, Imperishable, And Infallible

October 11, 2015 Our Catholic Faith Comments Off

By RAYMOND DE SOUZA, KM From the 15th century onward, there have been some novel doctrines about the nature of the Church of Christ. In order to avoid obedience to the pastors of the Church, especially the Pope in Rome, those creative little minds came up with the idea that the Church is not visible: That is, she has no organization as a society, but exists in the souls of the believers, spiritually united by Baptism. It is an individualistic understanding of Christianity, whereby it consists of the personal relationship between God and the individual, and everything else can be disposed of. Unfortunately for those minds afflicted with itchy creativity, Jesus established His Church very much visible: The people worshipped…Continue Reading

Mission Of The Catholic Laity: Priest, Prophet, And King

October 10, 2015 Our Catholic Faith Comments Off

By DON FIER Part 2 As baptized Christians, as we saw last week, each member of the lay faithful participates in the life and work of Jesus Christ and thus in His threefold office of priest, prophet, and king. As expressed by the Catechism of the Catholic Church (CCC): “The whole People of God participates in these three offices of Christ and bears the responsibilities for mission and service that flow from them (cf. Pope St. John Paul II, Redemptor Hominis, nn. 18-21)” (n. 783). Moreover, as pointed out by St. John Paul II on December 15, 1993 during his series of general audiences on the Church, the Second Vatican Council “does not merely describe the laity as sharing in…Continue Reading

Catholic Replies

October 9, 2015 Our Catholic Faith Comments Off

Q. We recently celebrated the Feast of the Archangels Michael, Gabriel, and Raphael. But aren’t there other groupings of angels and what are they? — A.C., Florida. A. Based on the writings of Saints Dionysius, Gregory the Great, and Thomas Aquinas, the Church has taught that there are nine choirs of angels. Beginning at the highest level, they are Seraphim, Cherubim, Thrones, Dominions (or Dominations), Virtues, Powers, Principalities, Archangels, and Angels. In his Modern Catholic Dictionary, Fr. John Hardon, SJ, said: “Angels in art are represented with a variety of articles, musical instruments, thuribles, shields, scrolls, and in a few instances emblems of the Passion, though they are usually represented in worship before the Blessed Sacrament on earth and before…Continue Reading

Choose To Serve Rather Than To Be Served

October 8, 2015 Our Catholic Faith Comments Off

By FR. ROBERT ALTIER Twenty-Ninth Sunday In Ordinary Time (YR B) Readings: Isaiah 53:10-11 Heb. 4:14-16 Mark 10:35-45 In the Gospel reading today our Lord tells us that He came, not to be served, but to serve, and to give His life as a ransom for many. This is our hope for eternal salvation and, obviously, it is our hope for mercy. Without mercy and the forgiveness of our sins, we certainly would have no means of be able to attain eternal life. While we are all very grateful for our Lord’s humility and charity in serving us and offering His life for us, it is astounding that so few have any real desire or inclination to follow His example.…Continue Reading