post image

Adult Faith Formation

Adult Faith Events


Writings


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.

CATHOLIC PRACTICES

post image

LIFT EVERY VOICE AND SING

The why, when, where and how of singing at Mass

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....

Read More
post image

WHY USE INCENSE AT MASS?

Prayers rise, blessings come down

One has to chuckle when a Catholic complains that the use of incense bothers him or her. In ancient times incense was used to drive demons away!

Read More
post image

WHY AREN'T PEOPLE KNEELING AT CHURCH?

Nothing to do with church furniture

Once in a church that had no kneelers a bishop asked a pastor, “Why aren’t the people kneeling?” The pastor responded, “Because we have no kneelers.” The bishop asked, “So...

Read More
post image

WHY GOING TO SUNDAY MASS MATTERS

Great feast or a great waste

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...

Read More
post image

WHY DID JESUS HAVE TO GET BAPTIZED?

To change and trouble the water

If Jesus was born without sin, why did he have to get baptized? First it is important to note that he didn’t have to, he wanted to.

Read More
post image

WHEN TO BOW, WHEN TO GENUFLECT

Respecting vs. recognizing

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...

Read More
post image

WHEN ARE WE INSTRUCTED TO PRAY IN THE MASS?

The Collects

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...

Read More
post image

BLESS YOU! WHAT DOES THIS MEAN?

What a blessing!

What are you doing, what are we doing when we bless someone or something? We are preparing someone or something to be used by God for Christ’s sake.

Read More
post image

WHAT ARE SACRAMENTS?

Blessed by grace

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...

Read More
post image

WHAT ARE SACRAMENTALS?

Preparing for God's grace

Ashes, holy water, palms. Crucifixes, rosaries, holy cards, lit candles, and all things and persons and places blessed to praise God and pray for His gifts are sacramentals.

Read More
post image

THE USE OF HOLY OILS

Consecration, blessing, healing and unification

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...

Read More
post image

THE ROLE OF THE LECTOR AT MASS

To proclaim, not read

What do you call a man or woman who stands up in a Catholic church and lends his or her voice to God? A LECTOR.

Read More
post image

SILENCE AND STILLNESS IN THE CHURCH

Stopping so God can start

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...

Read More
post image

OUR PROFESSION OF FAITH

The Creed

The reason to belong to a church is to become more God like. At the center of our faith is the all-important and inclusive clarity of what do we believe...

Read More
post image

WE PUT IT ALL IN HIS HANDS

On the Offertory

The Liturgy of the Word is the liturgy of God speaking to and instructing His people. The Lord gives us His time for one single reason, to tell us to...

Read More
post image

STOPPING FOR THE LORD

The Mass entrance procession

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...

Read More
post image

IS THE MASS ENTRANCE PROCESSION LIKE A PARADE?

The focus of the Mass is the Lord

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.”...

Read More
post image

THE OLD WATERS OF BAPTISM

Touching the Holy Water

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...

Read More
post image

THE CENTER MYSTERY OF THE CHRISTIAN FAITH

On the Holy Trinity

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...

Read More
post image

WHAT IS ECUMENISM AND WHY DO WE NEED IT?

One universal church

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...

Read More
post image

ON THE CREED

Do you believe?

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...

Read More
post image

CROSS OR CRUCIFIX

Life and death

The cross is simple T shape to remind us that Jesus was crucified. The instrument of crucifixion was a cross.

Read More
post image

PRAYER OF THE FAITHFUL

The Universal Prayer

For most of the beginning of Mass our voice is silent. We break our silence to say “amen” to let God know that we hear him, we agree, we intend...

Read More
post image

I WANT JESUS TO WALK WITH ME

The Catholic entrance procession

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...

Read More
post image

THE BODY OF CHRIST

WITBOCTD vs. WWJD

A mysterious moment happens as we realize the tomb where Jesus’ body was laid to rest is found empty. “Where is the body?” Is a most important question for the...

Read More
post image

A BLACK CHURCH THAT PRAYS IN CIRCLE

Enculturating Catholic liturgy

When we take something from the culture and mix it into the liturgy, the act is called enculturation. This is no easy trick!

Read More
post image

THE ANCIENT HYMN OF PRAISE

The Gloria

The year starts with Advent and the GLORIA is omitted from our bank of prayers. Did you miss it? It returns to the liturgy for Christmas. It is an ancient...

Read More

CHURCH CALENDAR

post image

TEN FACTS OF ADVENT

Preparing for the Second Coming of the Son of God

  1. The season is four weeks

  2. The purpose is to prepare for the Lord

  3. The color is purple for prayer, not Lenten penance. Rose on...

    Read More
post image

WHY HAVE HOLY DAYS OF OBLIGATION?

The Intention of the Obligation

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...

Read More
post image

WHAT IS ORDINARY TIME?

Ordering our steps

After all the high church of Easter and the litany of solemnities, we are back to ORDINARY TIME in our liturgical year.

Read More
post image

SOLEMNITY OF SAINTS PETER AND PAUL

What's the difference between an Apostle and Disciple?

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...

Read More
post image

SHOUTING HALLELUJAH

The context of Lent

The context of Lent is important. Lent is a season of forty days before Easter. Lent only makes sense in the context of Easter. There is nothing glorious about the...

Read More
post image

PREPARING FOR LENT

Preparing for Jesus

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...

Read More
post image

HOLY WEEK, WHAT A WEEK!

The high point of the year

Just as the Eucharist is the high point of liturgy, Holy Week is the high point of the year. Holy Week considers what the church will need to make it...

Read More
post image

THE IMPORTANCE OF THE EASTER VIGIL

New Fire, Water and Members

“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...

Read More
post image

HOW IMPORTANT IS EASTER?

It's HUGE

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...

Read More
post image

HALLOWEEN, ALL SAINTS’ DAY AND ALL SOULS’ DAY

How to celebrate

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...

Read More
post image

THE JOURNEY OF LENT

Halfway through Lent

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...

Read More
post image

CELEBRATION OF EPIPHANY

Moving forward with Jesus

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....

Read More
post image

SOLEMNITIES, FEAST DAYS, AND MEMORIALS

An order of prayer

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...

Read More

CHURCH HIERARCHY

post image

WHAT IS A DEACON?

An ordained servant

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...

Read More
post image

WHY HAVE CATHOLIC CARDINALS?

The task of leading

The Pope is the head of the church on earth. The Bishop is assigned to a certain area and heads that local church. Some Bishops or Archbishops are Cardinals.

Read More
post image

WHO'S THE HEAD OF THE CHURCH?

Jesus, founder and head of the church

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...

Read More
post image

WHICH OFFICE IS HIGHER IN RANK?

On the office of Bishop

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...

Read More
post image

DIOCESE AND ARCHDIOCESE

Landscape of the church

Jesus is the head of the church. He sits at the right hand of our Father who art in heaven. From his rightful place he reigns forever. This Ascension requires...

Read More

BIBLE

post image

THE DIFFERENCES AND SIMILIARITIES IN BIBLES

The Books of the Bible

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...

Read More
post image

SUMMARY OF THE OLD TESTAMENT BOOKS

Who we are and whose we are

The first 5 books of the Catholic bible are called the Pentateuch. Genesis, Exodus, Leviticus, Numbers, and Deuteronomy. They give us the story of our beginning with God and the...

Read More
post image

SUMMARY OF THE NEW TESTAMENT BOOKS

From the old to the new

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...

Read More
post image

SACRED SCRIPTURE AND SACRED TRADITION

Two sources of revelation

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...

Read More
post image

ON THE BOOK OF REVELATION

Keep the faith, no matter come what may

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...

Read More
post image

IS THE BIBLE MORE THAN A BOOK?

As God speaks, we live

Catholics have two sources of revelation. God speaks to us in two ways.

Read More
post image

THE HISTORY OF SACRED SCRIPTURE

The Books of the Bible

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...

Read More

REFLECTIONS

post image

THE PEACE OF CHRIST

Loving God, Not Hate

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...

Read More
post image

COMMUNION WITH GOD

Jesus the Way to the Father

Recap the bible study led by Sister Joanne Delehanty, OP on the Acts of the Apostles 6:1-7 (first reading) and John 14:1-12 (Gospel reading); readings for the Fifth Sunday of...

Read More
post image

RECEIVING THE ADVOCATE

Understanding the Holy Spirit

Recap the bible study led by Sister Joanne Delehanty, OP on the Acts of the Apostles 8:5-8, 14-17 (first reading) and John 14:23 (Gospel reading); readings for the Sixth Sunday...

Read More
post image

OUR NEED FOR A GOOD SHEPHERD

Joining the flock

The people needed a Good Shepherd. And so, Jesus came from heaven to earth. If you want to live right you have to always put God in the picture. Today...

Read More
post image

JESUS, THE SHEPHERD AND THE GATE

Lord and Christ whom you crucified

Recap the bible study led by Sister Joanne Delehanty, OP on Acts 2:14A, 36-41(first reading) and John 10:1-10 (Gospel reading); the readings for the Fourth Sunday of Easter.

Read More
post image

TALKING ABOUT CHURCH STUFF

Being turned by Jesus on the Road to Emmaus

Today is a happy day for Jesus

Because two of his disciples finally got it.

They were on the road to Emmaus

Walking and talking about church stuff

That’s what...

Read More
post image

9 POINTS ON THE ROAD TO EMMAUS PERICOPE

Jesus walks with us

Recap the bible study led Sister Joanne Delehanty, OP on the Gospel for the Third Sunday of Easter (Luke 24:13-35).

Read More
post image

THE PEACE OF CHRIST

The faithful stopping the fearful

On the evening of that first day of the week, when the doors were locked, where the disciples were, for fear of the Covid19 virus Jesus came and stood in...

Read More
post image

EMPTY TOMB, MYSTERY SUPRISE PARTY

Gathering as church

Mary of Magdala came to the tomb and saw the stone removed from the tomb.

Peter and the other disciple went out and came to the tomb.

Read More
post image

CHURCH IS IN JESUS

Raising of Lazarus and the Corona Pandemic

Interesting these days young people are calling me and asking me “is this the end?”

I’m responding “I don’t think so” because God still has work for young people to...

Read More
post image

CHARGE FOR A NEW YEAR

It is a new year, a time to look back and reflect, to look ahead and rethink some things and make decisions. Today in this beginning of the new year...

Read More
post image

TOLTON MASS OF THANKSGIVING

Salt of the earth, light of the world

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...

Read More

"You should take care of your church like you take care of your home. Your church is God's home and He lives in us."


-Mrs. Rowell, Parishioner


See how you can help care for our parish home

Follow Saint Benedict the African on Instagram banner for art, video, and bible scripture.

Get In Touch!


Saint Benedict the African Parish
340 W 66th Street
Chicago, IL 60621
773-873-4464
SBApanullrishnull@aolnull.com