Dear Father

DEAR FATHER | Occult practices may be an entryway for evil spirits

What does the Church say about exorcisms? 

An unfortunate trend today views the spiritual as a novelty. This has led to a rise in certain television shows about "spirits" and various practices, such as using tarot cards or Ouija boards, palm reading, reading horoscopes, using hypnosis for fun and even participating in magic beyond the normal illusion tricks.

DEAR FATHER | Apostolic Pardon applies merits of Christ, saints to dying person's temporal punishment

The Apostolic Pardon is one element of the "Last Rites" of the Catholic Church. It is given by the priest to a person who is dying or near death. After the sick person has made a last confession, or if they are unable to go to confession, the priest has asked all present to call to mind their sins, and he is invited by the Church to give the Apostolic Pardon. The words of this prayer tell us much about what it is:

DEAR FATHER | Black, grey distinguish difference between priests, deacons

Father John Mayo

Why do priests where black and deacons wear gray? When may they wear other colors? 

DEAR FATHER | Realizing the depth of God's mercy can challenge us in our view of mercy

Father John Mayo

Recently, Pope Francis extended to priests worldwide the faculty to absolve the sin of abortion for the Year of Mercy. While the St. Louis Review and parish priests have done an excellent job in explaining the meaning and significance of the announcement, it has raised another question in people's minds: Are there sins for which people can't be forgiven? For example, does God forgive a murderer? Or how about a rapist? How far does God's mercy extend?

DEAR FATHER | Communion options are available for people with gluten sensitivity

Father John Mayo

How can a parish community offer Holy Communion to those who have a sensitivity to gluten? 

Gluten is the general name for proteins found in wheat, rye and barley products. It's literally the glue which helps food to hold its shape and consistency.

In recent years, medical science has accepted a condition known as Celiac disease. This disease causes the lining of the small intestine to be damaged when a person eats a food with gluten in it. There's no known cure, except to exclude gluten from one's diet once diagnosed with the disease.

DEAR FATHER | When a priest is unavailable to give Anointing of the Sick

Father John Mayo

Recently, a relative of mine died without the last rites, because a priest could not be found before they died. Why could we not find a priest in our hour of need? 

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