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Category Archives: Q&A

Why do we offer Mass for the repose of souls?

The practice of offering the holy Mass for the repose of the soul of the deceased originates in the early church. The catechism teaches, “From the beginning the church has honored the memory of the dead and offered prayers in suffrage for them, above all the eucharistic sacrifice, so that, thus purified, they may attain










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How does the Last Supper relate to Passover?

Q: During Holy Week, I read the Passion stories of Jesus’ Last Supper, Crucifixion and Resurrection. It seems confusing: The Gospels of Matthew, Mark and Luke have Jesus and the apostles eating a Passover meal, but the Gospel of St. John has Jesus dying before Passover began. Is there a reason for this? — A










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What are the origins of the May Crowning?

Q: (The) Catholic Herald had an article about the May Crowning at St. William of York (Church) in Stafford. (When I was) growing up, my parish never had such events. I never experienced them until moving to the Diocese of Arlington. What is the background for this devotion? — A reader in Alexandria A: The










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The Deal with the Eucharistic Fast

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Full Question Is it a sin if one does not fast before receiving the Eucharist? Answer The essence of sin is not the mere breaking of a law but in the attitude that leads to the breaking of the law (Mark 9:15). The eucharistic fast is in place to help us appreciate what we are










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Don’t Draw Jesus as a Woman

Full Question Is it considered disrespectful if I draw Jesus as a female for my theology class about enculturation? Answer Of course it would be, since he is a man and not a woman. It would be a lie, and he has identified Himself as the Truth. By Fr. Vincent Serpa O.P.










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Why Jesus Wanted to Keep the Transfiguration Secret

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Full Question Why were the disciples not allowed to tell anyone about the Transfiguration? Answer Only Peter, James, and John witnessed our Lord’s Transfiguration—a prefigurement of his resurrected glory (Matt. 17:1-8). Afterward, Jesus forbade them to discuss this event until after he had risen from the dead (Matt. 17:9). In his commentary on the Gospe ofl St.










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Did Jesus Pray Futilely?

Full Question If God forgives only the repentant, why did Jesus ask the Father to forgive those who crucified him? Answer It is only the repentant who want to be forgiven. Jesus asked the Father to forgive those who were persecuting Him because they did not know what they were really doing. They did not










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Meat on a Lenten Friday

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Full Question If my local bishop hasn’t given a dispensation for corned beef on a Lenten Friday, may I eat it if I am in another diocese on that day? Answer If a diocesan bishop provides a dispensation on a Lenten Friday, such as when St. Patrick’s Day (March 17) lands on a Friday, as










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Concerned About an Antipope

Full Question Is Pope Francis an antipope? If so, may I still go to Mass and receive Holy Communion? Answer Pope Francis is not an antipope, i.e., a false claimant to the papacy. He was validly elected by his fellow cardinals on March 13, 2013. Despite some controversy during his pontificate, and contrary to some










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