I've noticed when I go to Mass at different parishes, sometimes people say and do different things. Why is that?

02-17-2019Why do we do that?

The Mass in its current form has taken shape over the course of 2,000 years. Over time, traditions, structures, and prayers have been put into place. There are certain rubrics for the Mass that are normative wherever you go. This means you could attend Mass in Malawi or Thailand or Italy and still watch the same basic liturgy unfold, even if you don't understand the language. There may be some cultural differences from place to place, things that aren't specifically listed. For example, in the United States, most people go up for Communion in a nice neat line. In Europe, everyone gets up around the same time. It's a bit of a free for all!

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Is there any particular document I can read about the church's position on life issues? I am looking for something that gives me more than just a list of issues and where the church stands on them.

02-10-2019Why do we do that?

In the mind of many people, life issues are the defining social, political and theological issues of the twenty-first century. Hunger, homelessness, health care, gay rights, economic justice, abortion, and euthanasia are debated and discussed from all angles and perspectives.

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My neighbor is just beginning to explore the Catholic faith but was raised agnostic. I grew up believing in God, praying, and attending Mass. How does one start from scratch as an adult to develop a relationship with God?

02-03-2019Why do we do that?

Start on a personal level! How did you and your neighbor become friends? How did you begin to discuss such a personal topic as faith? Communication, spending time together and getting to know each other are essential to forming the bonds of a relationship.

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This month, we had the March for Life and the Week of Prayer for Christian Unity. What does the Church have to say about having respectful conversations between people who disagree?

01-27-2019Why do we do that?

The Christians are not removed from the world and its conflicts. Indeed, Jesus sends us "to the ends of the earth" (Acts 1:8). Due to the complex nature of the human experience, the pressures of cultures that don't share Christian values, and the difficulty of living the Gospel, even people of good will have conflicts! The Church has disagreements within herself. This has been the case from the beginning. In the letters of Paul, we see him writing to churches who disagree on how to best live the Gospel in everyday life. And different teachers went to cities after Paul and sometimes preached conflicting messages on who Jesus was.

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January 25th is the feast of the Conversion of St. Paul and the end of the Week of Prayer for Christian Unity. What does one have to do with the other?

01-20-2019Why do we do that?

The Week of Prayer for Christian Unity consists of eight days beginning Jan 18, the feast of the Chair of Peter, and ending on Jan 25, the feast of the conversion of St. Paul. The Franciscan Friars at the Atonement, founded in the early 20th Century in Graymoor, New York, sought to promote unity among Anglicans and Roman Catholics. Paul James Wattson, a former Episcopalian priest, founded the community, which was formally accepted into the Catholic Communion.

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If Jesus didn't sin, why did he need to be baptized?

01-13-2019Why do we do that?

From the earliest of days of St. John the Baptist, baptism has been a sign of repentance and forgiveness of sins. Now Jesus has instituted it as a sacrament, with real power to cleanse us from original sin and adopt us as children of God. But if Jesus wasn't affected by original sin, nor did he willingly choose sin, why would he need to be baptized?

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In our church, on the feast of Epiphany, we write initials over the doorway. (ie: 20 +C + M + B + 19) What does this stand for or mean?

01-06-2019Why do we do that?

Epiphany, like Christmas, is celebrated in various ways by different nationalities and cultures. The customs and traditions surrounding these daysgive them a distinct feel and meaning.

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