Want to refresh your basic understanding of your Christian faith? Or want an introduction to Catholic practices and history? Learning, understanding, and living our Catholic Christian faith never ends even as we grow old.
Read the posts below on the bible, liturgical practices, holy days of obligation, and more.
Why? Because the bible says it. The Apostle Paul instructs us to gather as believers who are watching and waiting for the Lord and sing psalms, hymns and spiritual canticles. Why? To keep the faith and the focus of what we are doing. Nothing is worse than having a great solo performed during church. Why?Read More
The Lord opens the doors of the church. The Lord gathers the Body of Christ. The Lord invites his friends to celebrate His Resurrection. The Lord gives us communion. We become new creatures in Christ Jesus, and then the Lord sends us on a mission.Read More
Genuflection is the more profound gesture. Genuflecting is kneeling, but only on one knee to acknowledge God’s presence. To genuflect one brings the right knee completely to the floor as an outward sign of adoration. We humbly adore you O mighty God. We see you, and so we genuflect.Read More
Watch us as we arrive for prayer. We are early. We are late. We are settling down. We are moving. We are greeting. We are thinking. We are distracting. We just came to praise the Lord, but we also just came from someone or somewhere or something. Something has to pull us together, gather our thoughts, gather our words, gather our attention, gather us into one voice, one church, speaking to one God. THE COLLECT.Read More
Christ instituted the sacraments of the new law. There are seven: Baptism, Confirmation (or Chrismation), the Eucharist, Penance, the Anointing of the Sick, Holy Orders and Matrimony. The seven sacraments touch all the stages and all the important moments of Christian life: they give birth and increase, healing and mission to the Christian’s life of faith. There is thus a certain resemblance between the stages of natural life and the stages of the spiritual life.Read More
One of the most impressive liturgies of the year is the Chrism Mass. At this Mass, the Bishop, the leader of the local church, blesses oils that will be used all over the Archdiocese for baptism, confirmation, ordination, consecration and the anointing of those who are suffering. These blessed and now Holy Oils are sent from the Cathedral so the work of the church can be done in unity anywhere.Read More
A good liturgy has moments of silence built into it for good reason. Daily, we need time to stand still and let God be God and let God move! Silence and stillness are important if we hope to give our self away to be used by God. It really is fairly simple. We stop so God can start. Lay down everything, forget about yourself and concentrate on HIM. That’s the reason for silence in the church.Read More
Something is stopping, because something is starting. Recall stories from the bible where Jesus is coming to town and people, in anticipation of His coming, began to gather to “be in that number when the saints go marching in.” We, just like they did, have to stop doing what we are doing in order to welcome the Lord and start doing what He is doing.Read More
While attending a Mass recently I was distracted by one of the priests who decided to dance a two-step during the procession. I thought, “Look at Fr. X hot dogging.” Later, while talking to a woman who was at the same Mass she commented on how great the Mass was, she was especially thrilled by Father X’s dancing down the aisle. I thought, “THERE IS THE PROBLEM!!!”Read More
The waters of Baptism are old. They roll all the way back to the Beginning when God stepped out on space and created water. The Catholic theology of Baptism takes one back to the place where I, my Fathers, Grand Fathers, Great, Great-Grandfathers, all those who have gone before us in faith, first believed. In church we call that the Economy of Salvation or Divine Economics.Read More
In our faith we understand that GOD IS! That’s about all we really know. The greatest mystery of all times is the center mystery of the Christian faith. We cannot KNOW this ONE fully; we have to take this one on GOOD FAITH. God and only God can reveal, can make himself known as God the Father, God the Son and God the Holy Spirit. God is. God exist. God does.Read More
Ecumenism is the movement to promote Christian unity. Jesus founded one, holy, catholic and apostolic church. Catholic with an upper case “C” is used for the proper noun naming the Catholic Church. In the creed catholic is spelled with the lower case “c” to mean ecumenical, universal, or all over the land.Read More
After we hear from God, the Liturgy of the Word, the next thing that comes out of our mouth is very important. “I believe…!” The Creed, a concise declaration of what we believe, a public declaration of the faith, follows what God said. God said it. I believe it! This is not an accident. It is very good liturgical design.Read More
While I am on this pilgrim journey, I want Jesus to walk with me. That is the theology behind or beneath a Catholic entrance procession. The entrance procession recalls Jesus entrance into Jerusalem. Jesus coming forward to carry us to the altar and carry us home. The entrance procession symbolizes our pilgrim journey, how we are putting the world behind us and the cross before us, marching to Zion, that beautiful city of God.Read More
The season is four weeks
The purpose is to prepare for the Lord
The color is purple for prayer, not Lenten penance. Rose on the Third Sunday, Gaudete Sunday, is for joy. Think of the Resurrection! Hopefully, by this time there’s a great sense of “we have come this far by faith” and “it’s beginning to look a lot like Christmas.” No sense in turning back!
First giving honor to God on the first day of the week. The law intends for the WHOLE CHURCH to gather and celebrate the Lord’s Supper, Eucharist. A day of what we do to be united with Christ and our sisters and brothers in Christ.Read More
All apostles are disciples, not all disciples are apostles. When Catholics talk about the Apostles, we are referring to the twelve men Jesus choose, called by name. The word APOSTLES means “one who is sent forth”. Sent not as a simple messenger but as an agent or delegate on a mission. We could call them ambassadors of Christ, but Apostles of Christ makes their role and person most clear.Read More
The bible tells us that after Jesus was baptized the Spirit led Him into the desert for forty days. During those days he prayed, abstained from temptation and fasted. This was a time of preparation for what was to come, the Resurrection. During our season of Lent we do what we are called to all year long, FOLLOW THE LORD.Read More
“My soul looks back and wonders how I got over.”
The Easter Vigil is THE MOST important night for the church. It is the ultimate night of revival! Basically it is a night of preparation for Easter Sunday and for the whole next year of the church’s mission.Read More
The forty days of Lent gave us a time of preparation. As Lent ended on the evening of Holy Thursday, we were given three days of prayer with the Lord as He rose from the dead. Now we have the seven weeks of Easter, fifty days of Easter, the Easter Season to get with the program! Easter ends after the celebration of Pentecost.Read More
From the perspective of the church, we understand Halloween or All Hallows’ Eve or All Saints’ Eve in connection with All Saints Day. Just as we anticipate Sunday Mass on Saturday evening, we anticipate All Saints’ Day on the evening before November 1st.Read More
The mid-point of Lent is hopefully a turning point. Turning away from the darkness and into the light. Turning away from the fear and towards the hope. In some sense it should be like we were being led and now beginning to walk freely, to follow closely, without requiring a push or a pull. Our minds our made up, our eye is on the prize and we are going all the way.Read More
It is the church’s festival to celebrate the first manifestation of Jesus to the Gentiles. Notice how the scripture readings in the Christmas season give us details of Jesus’ heritage. How they define the role of His mother and father. How the family practices the faith, follows the old traditions and rituals passed on from GENERATION to GENERATION. It is all to document how Jesus is FULLY HUMAN. He goes way back! He is FULLY CONNECTED to all that happened from the beginning. He is past.Read More
When you look at the liturgical year, you see that it is filled with lots of days we might call just another day journey and then there are high and holy days! We call them solemnities, feasts and memorials. Depending on the status of the day, the Mass is celebrated in a particular way.Read More
We kind of know that there are two classes of deacons. Transitional deacons, men who are preparing to be ordained priest and permanent deacons, men who are ordained deacon for life. Both are ordained, both are clerics in the church. All deacons do not become priests, but all priests are deacons.Read More
It’s not the Pope, it’s not the priest, oh it is Jesus! Jesus is the founder and head of the church. This is the church of Jesus Christ. Jesus is the original pastor but not a pastor emeritus because he did not retire. Without Jesus it is not a church. It is a headless body.Read More
As the Pope is the successor of Christ, bishops are the successors of the Apostles, pastors of souls. In order to teach and care for souls, the Holy Spirit CONSECRATES a bishop for each soul. A bishop is SENT to continue the work that God was pleased to begin through Christ Jesus.Read More
The Catholic bible is divided into two parts. The Old Testament or Hebrew Scriptures and the New Testament also called Christian Scriptures. Both are God’s Word. Together they tell the story of the history of our salvation.Read More
There are twenty-seven books in the Catholic New Testament. After the four gospels, which are written as if the writer had an actual encounter with the historical person Jesus, we are given books that chronicle the growth of the church.Read More
Some people only have one source of revelation, Catholics know God in two ways. We know God through sacred scripture and we know God through sacred tradition. How did this come to be? It is God who chose to reveal himself in the person of Jesus Christ and in the action of Jesus Christ.Read More
The final book of the New Testament is the Book of Revelation. It is perhaps the best example of why the bible, in order to be effectively understood, has to be studied, not simply read. It’s lessons are only clear when put into the original context of to whom it is speaking and what the persons or world was experiencing at that time.Read More
God speaks, humans hear, humans pass on the stories of encountering God (ORAL TRADITION). Next, as we evolved, we began to communicate using symbols that could be scratched or painted on to walls and materials. The Egyptians refine these scratches to a system of writing known as hieroglyphics. Don’t forget the story, Moses, who thought he was a privileged Egyptian, goes to the burning bush, God speaks to him and he writes down what God said.Read More
Precious Lord, take my hand
Lead me on, let me stand
I am tired, I am weak, I am worn
Through the storm, through the night
Lead me on through the light
Take my hand, precious Lord
And lead me home
When my way grows dreary
Precious Lord, lead me near
When my life is almost gone
At the river I will stand
Guide my feet, hold my hand
Take my hand, precious Lord
And lead me home
– “Precious Lord, Take My Hand” by Thomas Dorsey
I didn’t know what to say today
So I called on the ancestors
And asked what is there left to say
It seems to me that everything has been said
I cannot speak to what has not been heard
But what is there to say and to whom do I need to say what?
And Thomas Dorsey came to the ambo
And of course, if Uncle Tommy came
Miss Lena McLin sent him
I wanted to, Lord know I tried, I wanted today’s sermon to be from
Deborah Cox’s sermon Nobody’s Supposed to Be Here
But young folks have to give way to the wisdom of old folks
Especially when old hate is in the air.
How did we get here?
We have come over a way that with tears that has been watered
How did we get here?
We have come treading our path through the blood of the slaughtered
The blood of the Lamb
The blood on the hands of Pontius Pilate
The blood of the majority
The blood of drugs
The blood of mass incarceration
The blood of police brutality
The blood of murdered
The blood of the martyrs
The blood of people killed for sport
But let us be clear and let us not forget although they were killed,
we die for freedom
we die for Christ sake.
we die for God sake.
When that boy put his knee on that man’s neck
Jesus showed up and took the place of the man
And Jesus said to the boy
You don’t want to do this, find yourself, find your religion
And rise up!
And the boy refused to rise.
Jesus said, I have died for your sins and the sins of your brother at no charge and so there is no sin here
Not in the counter fit bill
Not in the 911 call
Not in the police training manual
Not in the city’s history
There is no sin here, YET.
You have been given the power
Your sin is forgiven
Let it go.
But the boy squeezed his sin and held on to it more tightly
And the boy didn’t listen to Jesus
Jesus begged, beseeched and begot, please, please, please, please
And the boy did not listen.
The boy would not turn away from his sin
The boy would not repent
The boy would not believe
He kept so busy showing off to show his people that he was a big man
Bragging, I can do whatever I want to do.
And Jesus asked him three times, do you love me
But the boy couldn’t answer because his momma didn’t put no religion in him
But he will answer to God.
And this is how we got here
Because of boys and girls who weren’t raised right
Who were taught to play church.
And pretend to be God
Trying to make all things all about me.
So Jesus, all day, every day, lifts his head to the heavens
Without moving his neck, that’s an amazing God
And he looks to his Father and he prays
Father, forgive them for they know not what they do.
And God showed up
And wiped away every tear
And took up every fragment of broken humanity
And every piece of lost community
And every drop of blood spilled
And every tear drop shed
And every ounce of fear prayed
I got you
Hold my mule and
Hold my peace
You are going to need it in this world
Keep your hand to the plow hold on
This is a hard row to hoe
So hold on
You may be tied, but don’t you get weary
I go to prepare a place for you
So that where I am,
You might be.
And that is why Black folks follow Jesus from the womb to the tomb,
Just to be in this world like God wants to be in this world.
Jesus made Pentecost happen for the church so that the good folks
Could live in peace
Pray in peace
And rest in peace.
While it is tempting to hold the mule of Jesus and get in and fight for
Community policing that is not about how many people can you lock up and when can you kill them.
Community policing should be, if someone would tell the truth, rooted in understanding that we need help being community because one of us wants to be superior.
One of us wants a gun for hunting human beings
And one of us wants a gun for protection from the hunters.
It is tempting to get into the fight where laws are being written, lines are being drawn and health care is being practiced so that the right people die.
And we can watch the murder and either be entertained or be terrorized.
This is the world that Jesus had to come to
This is the humanity he had to be born into
This is the death he had to suffer
This is the life he had to rise from,
From the life of the dead.
Jesus, knowing all things,
Gave this dying world of murderers a church
In order to give the people who are wrong
A chance to rise up and live the life of the living.
Let’s be clear on what God knew in the beginning
Whenever you see Black people aborted
Whenever you see Black people enslaved
Whenever you see Black people shot down
In the street, in corporate America, in the White House, the Congress,
In court or in church
You are seeing why God gave this dying world a church and set it on fire!
Pentecost is saying to the church
If you white you are alright
If you are brown stick around
And if you are black get back
Because that is not what Jesus said.
What Jesus said was
“Peace be with you.
As the Father has sent me, so I send you.”
And when he had said this, he breathed on them and said to them,
“Receive the Holy Spirit.
Whose sins you forgive are forgiven them,
and whose sins you retain are retained.”
And do this in remembrance of me.
Give up the fear in order to not give up that power.
Give up the fear, embrace the power.
That’s the message of Pentecost
50 days after Easter in the pandemic of 2020
Trust and believe
God is not dead
And God is not done.
And he is sending His fire to the earth, by ways and means of his church
To get people off the necks
Off the backs
Off the toes
And off the last good nerve of Black folks
He came as a little Jewish boy
But he rises from the dead like a Black man
That is the faith that gives hope to the world.
Keep remembering that the only reason Jesus came to earth was because innocent people were being killed.
Keep remember Church we have seen this before and we know how this ends.
Some of us in heaven and some of us in hell
We always have to thank God for the ones who made it
And pray for the ones whose suffering will never end
Because they choose to love hate instead of loving God.
They choose to cling to the ideal of self instead of clinging to the old rugged cross. Their suffering will never end.
Run this race on the straight and narrow and you will hear Jesus say
Good bye forever to those who insist on their right to sin
Well done to those who tried to love the other
And I tried to God the Father.
And once again, you will join your voice to the voice of those who can always say AMEN!Read More
The church of Chicago celebrated Pope Francis’ declaration of Father Augustus Tolton as “venerable” with a Mass of Thanksgiving at St. Philip Neri. The following is the full video recording of the Mass and a transcript of the homily given by Father David Jones.Read More
-Mrs. Rowell, Parishioner
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