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A Question of Faith

  Q: A friend of mine refers to the Holy Spirit as “she.” I have heard the theory that the Holy Spirit is a feminine manifestation of the divine. Is this consistent with Catholic teaching? A: God transcends gender, which is to say that the divine is neither male nor

Q: I have read the Bible and can find nothing on purgatory. It seems to me that if we believe that Jesus is our savior and died for our sins, we have eternal life the minute we die. Can you explain the origin of the church’s belief in purgatory?  A:

Q: I have heard that Mass can be offered outside, but in inquiring about having a wedding Mass outside, I was told that Masses could only occur in churches. Can you please explain the church’s position on outside wedding Masses? A: Catholics place a high value on the eucharistic liturgy.

Q: At the beginning of Mass during the penitential act, the priest/deacon asks for God’s mercy on behalf of the people, but in doing so he never mentions the sins for which we need mercy. Is it allowable to mention specific sins at this time? The penitential act at the

Question of Faith Q: Back in the day, we were taught there was a “limbo” where infants went if they died before baptism. Does the church still teach that? A: As you mentioned, limbo, from the Latin word for “border,” was a theological hypothesis to explain the fate of unbaptized

Q: The Catechism defines hell as “eternal separation from God” (1035). However, it says that at the last judgment “before [Jesus] will be gathered all the nations, and he will separate them one from another. . .  And [some] will go away into eternal punishment, but the righteous into eternal life”

View from the church Dominus Flevit (where Jesus wept) Jerusalem (CT/photo by Greg Hartman)
Q: Why did Christ wait until approximately 2,017 years ago to appear on Earth when man (Homo sapiens) is about 200,000 years old? A: Theologians call this theological issue the “scandal of the particular.” Which is to say, Why did God reveal Himself in Jesus in a particular time and

Recessional of the 175th Anniversary Mass (CT Photo/Greg Hartman)
Q: I recently became aware that not all parishes or even dioceses have women serving as ministers within the liturgy. What is the church’s teaching on women lectors, acolytes (servers), and extraordinary ministers of holy Communion? A: Those who assist at the liturgy, whether as lectors, servers, or ministers of

Q: I am making my final arrangements and have been trying you decide between traditional burial and cremation. I have some concerns about cremation from a religious point of view, although it is the best financial option. Does the Church have a preference between burial and cremation? A: The Church

Q: I have been told that heaven will be a place of complete joy with no pain, anxiety or sense of loss. Knowing that all of my family and friends might not attain heaven, how will I (presuming I am in heaven) not feel a sense of loss knowing that