Friday 27th November 2015

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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

Pope Francis In Philadelphia . . . Religious Liberty Transcends Places Of Worship

October 7, 2015 Our Catholic Faith Comments Off

PHILADELPHIA (ZENIT) — Here is a Vatican translation of the address Pope Francis gave September 26 in Philadelphia, at a meeting with immigrants on the theme of religious freedom. ZENIT’s transcription and translation of his few off-the-cuff remarks are found in brackets. The Holy Father was in Philadelphia to attend the World Meeting of Families. ZENIT provided the text. All rights reserved. + + + Dear Friends, [good afternoon,] One of the highlights of my visit is to stand here, before Independence Mall, the birthplace of the United States of America. It was here that the freedoms which define this country were first proclaimed. The Declaration of Independence stated that all men and women are created equal, that they are…Continue Reading

A Leaven In The World… Pope Francis’ Visit Leaves Us Blessed And Strengthened

October 5, 2015 Our Catholic Faith Comments Off

By FR. KEVIN M. CUSICK The chair under me is rolling from starboard to port and back as I write to you this week because I do so aboard the USS San Antonio at sea. In my ministry here I am following through on something Pope Francis has asked of all of us: I am seeking souls at the periphery. Our military men and women are very much at the periphery, at the margins of existence, because they are very often without a priest when they deploy. No one is more marginalized than Catholics without the sacraments because they are believers without living sacramental contact with the Savior in whom they have put their faith. The crew was at sea…Continue Reading

An Apologetics Course . . . The Church Of Christ Is Universal, For Everyone

October 4, 2015 Our Catholic Faith Comments Off

By RAYMOND DE SOUZA Part 22 It is true that Jesus came first for the Jews. Many individuals accepted Him, like the apostles, disciples, and their converts, but as a nation they refused Him. So the apostles spread their mission to the Gentiles — that means, to our ancestors. But even if the Jews had accepted Him, the apostles would still have spread their mission to the likes of you and me — Gentiles and their descendants. And why so? Because He gave His apostles a most emphatic command not to confine their teaching to people of any particular race or social status. And they obeyed Him. In December 2013, I was in India, in a series of speaking engagements…Continue Reading

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

October 3, 2015 Our Catholic Faith Comments Off

By DON FIER Thus far in our examination of the vocation of the laity in the mission of the Church, it has become manifestly clear that theirs is a role that is distinctive and indispensable. Characterized especially by their secular nature, it pertains in a unique way to the lay faithful “to illuminate and order all temporal things with which they are closely associated that these may always be effected and grow according to Christ” (Catechism of the Catholic Church [CCC], n. 898). Unlike clerics and consecrated religious, lay persons devote the majority of their time to day-to-day activities in the world. Yet, if true to the faith they profess, they are not of the world. Exemplary lay persons are…Continue Reading

Catholic Replies

October 2, 2015 Our Catholic Faith Comments Off

Q. Recently we got a new pastor who has resumed the holding of hands during the Our Father that our previous pastor had eliminated. Has this now become part of the liturgy? And what is the purpose of the holding hands to begin with? Also, what do you think of “Polka Masses”? — C.G., Wisconsin. A. No, holding hands during the Our Father has not become part of the liturgy. It is not mentioned in the 2011 General Instruction of the Roman Missal, which says only that “the principal celebrant, with hands joined, says the introduction to the Lord’s Prayer. Next, with hands extended, he says the Lord’s Prayer itself together with the other concelebrants, who also pray with hands…Continue Reading

Wisdom Is Worth More Than Gold

October 1, 2015 Our Catholic Faith Comments Off

By FR. ROBERT ALTIER Twenty Eighth Sunday In Ordinary Time (YR B) Readings: Wisdom 7:7-11 Heb. 4:12-13 Mark 10:17-30 In the second reading, St. Paul tells us that no creature is concealed from God, but that everything is naked and exposed to Him to whom we must render an account. We know from the Gospels that our Lord, on several occasions, used money to be able to make a point. Recall that those who had been entrusted with the various talents or gold coins were required to give an accounting to their master upon his return. The unfaithful steward was required to give an account of his work to his master when he was caught in his shenanigans. It is…Continue Reading