Archive for ‘Catholic 101’
Catholics love blessings; there is a blessing for almost anything and anyone. But what is a blessing and how is it effective?
Prayer is essential to Christian life, and the Catholic tradition offers various ways to pray. Many Christians have benefited from contemplative prayer, which is less about saying things to God than listening to what God is saying to us.
The celebration of American independence reminds us of the many freedoms we enjoy but sometimes take for granted. One of them, religious liberty, has been in the news in recent months. What does the Church teach about “our first, most cherished liberty”?
On Saturday, June 30, the Church celebrates the Feast of the First Martyrs of the Church of Rome. What makes a person a martyr and why does the Church consider them important?
People sometimes wonder why a parish may request a donation for hosting a wedding. Fr. Rice explains that sacraments are not for sale, and why the Church discourages commerce in sacred objects.
Couples who wish to marry in the Catholic Church are advised to contact the parish priest of the bride or groom to get the process started. But couples move around and they may not know what parish they’re in. Fr. Rice explains how everyone is part of a parish.
The Trinity is a central doctrine of Christianity, but most Christians struggle to explain it. Fr. Rice offers some helpful insights.
Spring is the season of confirmations. Confirmation is a Catholic sacrament, but it’s also seen as a rite of passage. Fr. Rice explains why these two realities can be in tension.
Our series on Catholic Social Teaching concludes with a consideration of the principle of the Common Good.
Our mini-course on Catholic Social Teaching continues with the principle of subsidiarity.
Our look at Catholic Social Teaching continues with a consideration of the principle of solidarity. In a society organized for competition, what does it mean to stress cooperation and harmony?
Catholic social teaching has been called the Church’s best-kept secret. This week we begin a four-part series on the principles of CST.
For the Catholic Church, the Easter Vigil is its most important feast. Participants joyously celebrate Christ’s rising from the dead and welcome new members into the Church. But the Easter Vigil doesn’t just celebrate something God did in the past; it also celebrates what God is doing in our lives today.
The most solemn week of the Christian calendar begins on Palm Sunday, April 1. During these days leading up to Easter, the Catholic Church will celebrate some of its most moving liturgies, including the Mass of the Lord’s Supper on Holy Thursday and the observance of the Lord’s Passion on Good Friday.
It’s Lent, when many Catholics receive the Sacrament of Reconciliation in order to prepare for Easter. Has it been a while since you’ve gone to confession? Here are six simple tips that will make it easier to return to the sacrament.
What does the Catholic Church really teach about married love, contraception, and Natural Family Planning? Read our FAQs and learn the facts.
For many Catholics, Lent means giving up a favorite food or recreation. These small sacrifices are in keeping with the penitential nature of the season. But there’s a right way and a wrong way of giving something up for Lent, says Paulist Father Larry Rice.
For Catholics, Lent is a special time marked by repentance, prayer, fasting and works of charity. Read a brief introduction to this holy season.
The Church’s social teaching is always relevant, but many seem to discover it only during election years. Here’s a brief introduction to its main principles.
What does it mean to say that someone has been excommunicated from the Catholic Church? This penalty is incurred for specific public acts that the Church finds singularly offensive. But no one is beyond the reach of God’s grace and mercy.
There’s nothing “ordinary” about Ordinary Time, says Fr. Rice. This liturgical season, which began January 10, offers the opportunity to grow in our faith through our everyday experiences.
It’s the end of the year–a time to evaluate and to make lists: best movies, biggest news stories, best dressed, and so on. In the Catholic spiritual tradition, we have a method of self-evaluation that might be a valuable spiritual exercise at this time of year. It’s called an “examination of conscience.”
While the Church is celebrating Advent, society is bombarding us with Christmas songs. Is there any Advent music to draw us into the spirit of the present season?
Our Lady of the Immaculate Conception, a feast celebrated on December 8, is the national patroness of the United States. Yet the term “Immaculate Conception” is often misunderstood. What does it mean?
From late November through December, Catholic parishes, and many families, will light the candles on their Advent wreaths. How did this popular custom come about?