What is the origin and meaning of the vestments the priest wears at Mass?

The liturgical vestments worn at Mass have evolved over time.  Nevertheless, since the earliest days of the Church, liturgical vestments have been worn by priests for the celebration of the Mass.  Even though priests of the Old Testament wore vestments in their liturgical rites, the “Christian” vestments are not really adaptations of them; rather, the… Continue reading What is the origin and meaning of the vestments the priest wears at Mass?

How do I keep my family focused on the true meaning of Christmas?

Q: Each year, I find it harder to keep my family focused on the real meaning of Christmas. It seems like Advent becomes more and more just about shopping, decorating, partying, etc. Do you have any suggestions? — A reader via email A: While our Advent wreath and prayers help keep our focus on preparing… Continue reading How do I keep my family focused on the true meaning of Christmas?

Was Saint Peter Married?

St. Matthew recorded in the Gospel, “Jesus entered Peter’s house and found Peter’s mother-in-law in bed with a fever. He took her by the hand and the fever left her” (Mt 8:14-15). Note that the passage does not mention St. Peter’s wife, but only his mother-in-law. The Gospels, however, make no mention of St. Peter’s… Continue reading Was Saint Peter Married?

Who was Mary Magdalene? Was she a prostitute who repented?

Controversy over the identity of St. Mary Magdalene has continued since the early Church.  In the gospels, there are three particular “characters” involved in the controversy: Mary Magdalene, a follower of our Lord (John 20:11-18); the anonymous penitent woman (Luke 7:36-50); and Mary of Bethany, the sister of Martha and Lazarus (Luke 10:38-42).  In the… Continue reading Who was Mary Magdalene? Was she a prostitute who repented?

The differences between a Solemnity, a Feast, and a Memorial in the Catholic Church

The Church punctuates the liturgical year by celebrating various events important to the mystery of our salvation.  During the course of the liturgical year, the Church celebrates the whole mystery of Christ, from His incarnation and birth to His ascension, to Pentecost and the founding of the Church, and finally to the second coming of… Continue reading The differences between a Solemnity, a Feast, and a Memorial in the Catholic Church

What is the difference between the Apostles’ Creed and the Nicene Creed?

Most Missalette’s do print both the Nicene Creed and the Apostles’ Creed.  The Apostles’ Creed may be used at Masses where children are the majority, like a parochial school Mass.  The Directory For Children’s Masses does specify, “the Apostles’ Creed can be used since they are familiar with it in their catechism class” (#49).  Such… Continue reading What is the difference between the Apostles’ Creed and the Nicene Creed?

Church teachings about fortunetellers, psychic counselors, and witches?

As Catholics, we remember that the first commandment states, “I am the Lord thy God.  Thou shalt not have any gods before me.”  When asked what was the greatest commandment, our Lord Jesus Christ, repeating the precept found in Deuteronomy, said, “You shall love the Lord your God with your whole heart, with your whole… Continue reading Church teachings about fortunetellers, psychic counselors, and witches?