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Q&A: What does the church teach about Reiki?

Dear Father: What does the Church teach about Reiki? Why do people turn to these types of things instead of Jesus or the saints?

Dear Reader: Thank you for your question.Some years ago, I was in the Metaphysics section of a bookstore. I was edified thinking that a mainstream bookstore had philosophy books. I began browsing. Much to my dismay the books dealt with magic, spells, Wiccan worship, the New Age Movement, Reiki, and other forms of therapy. Continue reading

Hunt Column: It all boils down to love

Sister Philomena told us, “You love Jesus as much as you love the person you love the least.” “Holy Cow!” I thought after hearing that pronouncement.

The first person that came to mind was Aunt Pearl, my 90 year old aunt. She smelled like steamed cabbage, belched all the time and kept accusing me of stealing her salad forks. Continue reading

Q&A: You may stand or kneel to receive communion

Dear Father: I’m a “southerner” as far as the Archdiocese of Cincinnati is concerned and at a recent visit to a northern area parish I observed an unfamiliar custom. The faithful receiving communion often knelt before the priest and received on the tongue. What does the church say about this and how are we to receive Communion? Why does it seem more common in our northern areas and not down near Cincinnati?

Dear Reader: Thank you for your question. I suspect that you are a younger reader as older Catholics will remember receiving Communion only on the tongue while kneeling. Continue reading

Cultivating the next generation of Catholics

One of the more troubling concerns among journalism management professionals when the millennium arrived involved whether the next generation of reporters and editors would materialize.

Through the 80s and into the 90s, most talented journalism students followed the advertising/public relations and marketing track, where there was more opportunity and better starting pay. It might seem strange that a cadre of cynical newspaper editors worried about their replacements. Perhaps it’s biological: Even wolves focus on succession and training the young.  Continue reading

Culture of vocations begins with each of us

Steve Trosley

We enjoy watching Kitchen Nightmares, a reality program that shows TV Chef Gordon Ramsey swooping out of the sky — or an expensive SUV — to save the place from tanking.

The show consists of a segment where Ramsey samples the cuisine, which is always awful, and a segment where the owner, after a verbal pummeling by Ramsey, rediscovers, tearfully, his or her passion for feeding unappreciative customers. Continue reading

Q&A: What are the rules for godparents?

Father Earl Fernandes

Dear Father: I have a question regarding godparents. It seems mandatory that a godparent be a Catholic.

I could have a Catholic be a godparent and move three years after the baptism to another state. The child would only rarely see them, possibly only on holidays. I could ask a non-catholic to be the godparent; that person could live in the same city, close to our neighborhood, and see that my child is enrolled in the parochial school and goes to Mass each week. Which is better? Continue reading

Book Review: When the Church Was Young

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Treasured memories, time are are season gifts

The most glorious of the seasons of the liturgical and secular calendar embraces Easter. It is glorious, first, because Jesus saved us with His death and resurrection and, secularly, because the world seems to come back to life in the spring.

The most heart-warming for most of us is the season now upon us – the Christmas season. We celebrate the birth of Jesus, the great gift of God to us, and gather as a family to share gifts with each other in commemoration of the religious significance of the event. Continue reading

Special intention Mass offerings covered by Canon Law

Dear Father: How is a priest to handle a request for a Mass to be said for an intention from a lay person? I understand a donation is not necessary but usually accepted. Is it covered in the Catechism?

Dear Reader: The Code of Canon Law answers your question, especially canons 945-958, which address the offering for the celebration of Mass. Sometimes this offering is called a stipend. While the Christian faithful make their offering in the collection basket, sometimes an offering is made for a special intention for the Mass. Continue reading

Dying to live, and living to die: Brittany Maynard and Lauren Hill

John Stegeman

I’m not dying.

I don’t know what it is like to hear a doctor tell you that you have a finite number of tomorrows, and he has an estimate for just how many. The phrase, “There’s nothing we can do” has not been uttered to me or a member of my immediate family in a consultation room by a doctor with the unfortunate task of saying so.

I say all that to admit upfront that I can only hypothesize the fear, despair, stress or other emotions that accompany such diagnoses.  Continue reading