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A Question of Faith

Does the Church believe homosexuality is a choice? Your question is a complex one, straddling science, moral theology and pastoral practice. In discussing the origins of homosexuality, it is important to understand the Church’s vision of the person and human sexuality. This is particularly crucial since the Church’s teaching regarding

As part of marriage preparation, the priest informed us only a marriage between two baptized persons is a sacrament. Since my fiancé is not baptized, how will the Church view our marriage? Catholics exult marriage, believing God is its author. Marriage is meant to be a covenant between two baptized

When I was young, we kept holy water in a small font at the entrance to our bedrooms. What is the origin of the practice? Can we still use holy water in our homes? When entering a church building, we reflexively sign ourselves with holy water. In doing so, we

Where is Archbishop Purcell buried? I have heard that he might not have been buried in the grave bearing his name. There is an old riddle: “Who’s buried in Grant’s tomb?” The answer could be “no one” (since his body, strictly speaking, remains entombed above ground in a mausoleum). We

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

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

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