Posts Tagged

A Question of Faith

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

When was the deacon’s role introduced in the Church, and how is it different from that of the priest? The deacon’s role (from the Greek word diakonia, meaning “service”) developed in the early Church. Deacons exercised a ministry of service and shared in Holy Orders, by which certain men are

I have heard that Pentecost is the Church’s birthday, but I have also heard that Good Friday is when the Church was born. Which is correct? The Church is the family of God; she is the body of Christ. Because the Church is truly a body, she has a birthday,

When did St. Joseph die, and were Mary and Jesus with him? Where is he buried? Joseph, the foster father of Jesus and the Virgin Mary’s husband, has an important role in salvation history. Though we know relatively little about his life, he remains a model of fatherhood and the

What is the origin of beginning Lent with Ash Wednesday? When did the practice of using ashes start? Like other practices in the Church, being signed with ashes on the first day of Lent is an ancient custom that has undergone some development. From Biblical times through the Medieval Age,

Why did Jesus need to be baptized? If Jesus is God, wouldn’t baptism be unnecessary? Many have considered this question throughout history, so it is a good one. When Jesus approached John the Baptist to be baptized, John replied, “I need to be baptized by you, and yet you are

Can you help me understand the timing and place of the Magi’s visit? We are told Joseph started the flight into Egypt after the birth of Jesus. But we also know that Jesus was presented to God in the Temple at Jerusalem. When did the Magi come and where? Your

When did the belief in heaven and hell originate among Christians? I have heard that Jewish believers, some early Christians, and even possibly Jesus did not believe in an afterlife. Most Christians would probably be surprised to know of the diversity of Judeo-Christian beliefs about the world to come. The

A long time ago, as a young person, I played with tarot cards and a Ouija board. These always seemed to me to be just entertainment, but now I understand the Church believes these can be dangerous. Why is this? In an increasingly secular society, we can easily fail to

I have heard it is possible for someone who wishes to receive communion at Mass to be denied. In what cases can someone be denied communion? Is this different from being “excommunicated”? When Catholics approach to receive communion, it is presumed that they are in a proper state to receive.