Dear Father

DEAR FATHER | Resources abound for learning more about the liturgy

One of the great desires of the Second Vatican Council was to increase knowledge of the liturgy among the faithful. In our archdiocese, thanks to liturgical giants such as Msgr. Martin Hellriegel, former pastor of Holy Cross Parish in Baden, a great love of the liturgy has been instilled in both the clergy and the laity. This legacy is manifested in beautiful liturgies at Cathedral Basilica of St. Louis, vibrant liturgies in our local parishes and a clergy invested in faithfully celebrating the liturgy of the Church.

DEAR FATHER | Hope is virtue that transforms our understanding of unbaptized babies, heaven

I love my mother. She is a great, holy woman. But whenever she calls me, her first question is, "Where are you?"

When I was a bit younger, this question could make me a bit nervous. But now I understand her question had two meanings. First, it's the natural curiosity of a mother. Second, she wanted to be present with me in her thoughts and prayers in whatever I was doing at that moment.

DEAR FATHER | Concept of karma lacks centeredness in God

The basic concept of karma is simple to explain: what we sow in the world through our words and actions is what will be returned to us. So, when we're friendly with others, people will be friendly with us in return. But how this concept is explicated is where the Church concentrates her thoughts.

DEAR FATHER | Handling the gifts at Mass with care

What happens if the (unconsecrated) offertory gifts are dropped? 

Growing up, my parents occasionally went to Shop 'n Save. My job was to bag the groceries. In my teenage gusto, I bagged the groceries heavy, stuffing as much as I could in them. I remember my mom reminding me on at least a few occasions to bag the bread separately and to put it in a separate place, lest it get smashed. I remember a few sandwiches at school that didn't quite look the same as the other students until I had learned this lesson.

DEAR FATHER | Manner of cleaning sacred vessels speaks to reverence, respect for Eucharist

The Most Blessed Sacrament of the Altar is a common way to refer to the Eucharist. The full meaning of that phrase gives us better grasp of the value the Eucharist has to the Church.

How we treat the Blessed Sacrament and how we behave in His presence show our reverence and respect for it. Even when cleaning the chalices, ciboria, patens and cloths that contain or touch the Eucharist, we're called to protect and dignify the sanctity of the sacrament.

DEAR FATHER | Church remains hopeful children who died before birth will have eternal life with God

First, let's review.

Baptism is the necessary sacrament for one to receive to enter the Kingdom of Heaven (John 3:5). While ideally one would receive this sacrament, the Church has understood from her foundation two other ways to receive the graces of this sacrament.

The Baptism of Desire is received by someone preparing for baptism but dying before the sacrament is conferred, or by a person who never hears about Christ but lives a good life as their culture understands that to be. The Baptism of Blood is received by someone who is martyred for the faith, but isn't baptized.

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