Ask Father

Ask Father / September 5

posted Sep 1, 2021, 8:32 AM by Church Office

How does Fr. John determine what color vestments he wears for each mass?                                                                                                         

The color of vestments is determined either by the liturgical season or by the feast day for that mass.  For example, when we are in Ordinary Time, Father wears green vestments.  However, because the feast of the Assumption of the Blessed Virgin Mary fell on a Sunday, Father wore white vestments. For Advent, I wear a bluish purple because of the importance of Mary during Advent.  For Christmas and Easter Seasons, the priest wears white vestments.  During Lent, the vestments are more of a reddish purple because of the blood shed on the cross by Jesus on Good Friday.  Red is worn only two Sundays during the year, Palm Sunday and Pentecost. During the week, the color worn is determined either by the liturgical season or the feast day or saint day.  For example, Father wears red on days when we celebrate a martyr.  White when it is a Solemnity, Feast or Marion Celebration.  For funerals and weddings, the color worn is white to signify the new life in Christ celebrated at mass.

Can Baptized Non-Catholics be buried in our Ss. Peter and Paul Cemetery?  

Yes, they can be buried in our cemetery.  Please contact Laurie in the office and she will help you with the arrangements.

 

Ask Father / August 29

posted Aug 26, 2021, 4:35 AM by Church Office

ASK FR. JOHN:  If I go to confession and forget to tell the priest some of my sins, will they still be forgiven? 

 

Yes, if you forget to tell the priest all of your sins, as long as you are sorry for committing your sins, they will be forgiven.  It is almost impossible for any human to remember all their sins since their last confession.  So when the priest asks you to say the Act of Contrition, you state in the prayer that you are sorry for all of your sins.  Once you state that to the priest, he says the prayer of absolution.  In this prayer, the priest tells you that ALL your sins are forgiven, regardless if you told them to the priest or not.  The key is that you must be sorry for any and all sins.

Can I wear white after Labor Day and before Memorial Day? 

Absolutely!!!! White is the color of Christ, the color to be worn on feast days, solemnities and other celebrations throughout the whole year.  A white belt signifies that you have girded your loins with the protection of Christ against the temptations of the devil.  Wearing white shoes shows that you are the feet of Christ and doing His work. Wearing white is permissible all year long since we are called to be followers of Christ each and every day!! So after Labor Day, please continue to wear your white, showing everyone that you are a Disciple of Christ!

 

Ask Father / August 22

posted Aug 20, 2021, 6:09 AM by Church Office

If a person is Baptized Catholic, but has been away from the church for many years and then dies, can he/she have a Catholic Funeral Mass and be buried in a Catholic Cemetery?  

 

The decision to hold a Catholic Mass and burial at a Catholic Cemetery is at the discretion of the Pastor and/or Administrator of the parish.  I certainly would hold a funeral mass and burial for this person but I can’t say what other priests would do.

In the Apostles Creed, we pray that Jesus suffered and died and descended into hell, and on the third day was raised from the dead.  Why did Jesus descend into hell?  We also believe that once a person goes to hell, they can never return.  

In the Catholic Catechism, paragraph 631 Jesus "descended into the lower parts of the earth. He who descended is he who also ascended far above all the heavens." The Apostles' Creed confesses in the same article Christ's descent into hell and his Resurrection from the dead on the third day, because in his Passover it was precisely out of the depths of death that he made life spring forth: # 632- The frequent New Testament affirmations that Jesus was "raised from the dead" presuppose that the crucified one sojourned in the realm of the dead prior to his resurrection. This was the first meaning given in the apostolic preaching to Christ's descent into hell: that Jesus, like all men, experienced death and in his soul joined the others in the realm of the dead. But he descended there as Savior, proclaiming the Good News to the spirits imprisoned there. 633 Scripture calls the abode of the dead, to which the dead Christ went down, "hell" -Sheol in Hebrew or Hades in Greek - because those who are there are deprived of the vision of God. Such is the case for all the dead, whether evil or righteous, while they await the Redeemer: which does not mean that their lot is identical, as Jesus shows through the parable of the poor man Lazarus who was received into "Abraham's bosom": "It is precisely these holy souls, who awaited their Savior in Abraham's bosom, whom Christ the Lord delivered when he descended into hell." Jesus did not descend into hell to deliver the damned, nor to destroy the hell of damnation, but to free the just who had gone before him.

Ask Father / August 15

posted Aug 11, 2021, 4:50 AM by Church Office

Why do we have to go to a priest to have our sins forgiven? Why can’t we just ask God to forgive us?                                                                          

 

Even though it is God who actually forgives a person’s sins, the priest is the channel of that forgiveness and has such authority from the Lord.                                                                                                                                      

 

Where is this found in the Bible? In John 20:21-23, we observe Jesus giving His power and authority to men, the Apostles and first bishops of the Church, so they could forgive sins. Here is what it says: “As the Father has sent me, so I send you. When He said this, He breathed on them and said, ‘Receive the Holy Spirit, whose sins you forgive will be forgiven and whose sins you retain will be retained” (John 20:21-23).                                                              

 

The apostles are told they will forgive men’s sins (vs. 23). These men received the commission from God Himself to forgive sins, or for various reasons to not forgive them (i.e., if people are not truly repentant, etc.).                                                                                         

 

When a Catholic goes to Confession, they confess their sins to God.  They tell God their sins but through the priest who is the instrument God has chosen. The priest acts in the person of Christ (1 Cor. 2:10, Jms. 5:14-15) and as His human representative (1 Cor. 5:17-21) to forgive sins in this “ministry of reconciliation.”                                                                 

 

After being given absolution, we know all of our sins are forgiven. We hear from the priest the actual words “Your sins are forgiven, go in peace.” Even if you don’t feel like you are forgiven, or if you feel like it was too easy, remember that Jesus had all of His clothes ripped off and then was nailed to a cross.  He took our sins and guilt. He suffered for us and died in our place so we could be set free!  Also, when we state our sins aloud to a priest, we hear what we need to work on. It is very humbling to go before another man. Pride is why the devil was kicked out of heaven, and since pride is the root of all sin, by going to another man, we humble ourselves, conquer our pride, and put ourselves back onto the path of relationship with God.                                                                             

 

Another benefit of going to confession is that a person can get advice and help from the priest on how to avoid sin and do better.  Also, if you find a priest you like and are comfortable with, you can talk to him often and he can help you through problems, struggles, and hardships in your spiritual or physical life. Once the burden of your sins has been lifted from you, you will experience the peace Jesus promises to us.  Please take advantage of this wonderful sacrament.  Confession are available at 5:00 PM on Thursdays and 3:00 PM on Saturdays.

Ask Father / August 8

posted Aug 5, 2021, 4:37 AM by Church Office

My fiancé and I want to get married.  However, she is not Catholic.  Also, we want to get married outdoors.  Is this possible?  Congratulations on your engagement.  Yes, I can perform the wedding.  However, let me explain about a civil marriage and a church wedding.  As a Catholic Priest, I have the ability to perform a Catholic wedding as well as a civil wedding.  What is the difference?  A civil wedding is primarily for the state and federal government.  It allows you to file joint tax returns, helps with insurance, and many other civic benefits.  The couple needs to get a marriage license and I fill out the paperwork and submit it to the appropriate courthouse.  I can also perform a Catholic wedding between a Catholic and a non-Catholic as long as the non-catholic has been baptized.  I can also do the church wedding on one day and the outdoor wedding on another day.  Also, let’s say you are older and do not want to get married civilly because of social security or pension or other issues.  I can still marry you in the church only and not file any paperwork with the local Government.  And likewise, if you can’t be married in the church because of previous marriage and no annulment, or other reasons, I can perform a civil wedding to help you with insurance or tax benefits.  If I can answer any more specific questions regarding marriage, please feel free to contact me via my cell phone or email.

Do we have to raise our children Catholic?  No, you are called to raise them Christian.  It is suggested they be baptized in the Catholic Church and raise them Catholic, but not required.

 

Ask Father / August 1

posted Jul 29, 2021, 4:39 AM by Church Office

In an effort to help answer questions you might have regarding our Catholic faith, the church, or other church related questions, we are creating a place in the bulletin where I will answer a few questions each week.  I encourage you to write out your questions and place them in the gratuity baskets and I will answer all of your questions in the coming weeks. This past weekend I was asked two questions and wanted to share them with you.

Does Purgatory Exist? The answer is that you won’t find the specific word “purgatory” in the Bible. But the concept is surely there — the notion of a period of purification after death before one is worthy to enter heaven.  According to the Catechism of the Catholic Church on "Purgatory:"  "The Church gives the name Purgatory to this final purification of the elect, which is entirely different from the punishment of the damned. The Church formulated her doctrine of faith on Purgatory especially at the Councils of Florence and Trent. The tradition of the Church, by reference to certain texts of Scripture, speaks of a cleansing fire. As for certain lesser faults, we must believe that, before the Final Judgment, there is a purifying fire. He who is truth says that whoever utters blasphemy against the Holy Spirit will be pardoned neither in this age nor in the age to come. From this sentence we understand that certain offenses can be forgiven in this age, but certain others in the age to come.

To understand this doctrine and practice of the Church, it is necessary to understand that sin has a double consequence. Grave sin deprives us of communion with God and therefore makes us incapable of eternal life, the privation of which is called the 'eternal punishment' of sin. On the other hand every sin, even venial, entails an unhealthy attachment to creatures, which must be purified either here on earth or after death in the state called Purgatory. This purification frees one from what is called the 'temporal punishment' of sin. These two punishments must not be conceived of as a kind of vengeance inflicted by God from without, but as following from the very nature of sin. A conversion which proceeds from a fervent charity can attain the complete purification of the sinner in such a way that no punishment would remain.

Can priests get married?  No.  Priests take the vow of obedience to their bishop so they can’t take vows with a spouse.  The priesthood is their vocation.  You can’t have more than one vocation.  The vocations are married, single, and priests-religious.

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