Dear Father

DEAR FATHER | Vatican II effected changes in readings at Mass

Before the Second Vatican Council of the 1960s, nearly every Mass had only two readings as part of the Mass. The first reading was known as the epistle, as the lectionary tended to draw more from the letters of the New Testament than from the books of the Old Testament. After the psalm and Gospel acclamation would come the Gospel.

DEAR FATHER | Saints serve as foundation of Church’s witness to holiness

Saints are primarily mentioned in two Eucharistic Prayers.

The first is the First Eucharistic Prayer, or the Roman Canon. It's the oldest Eucharistic Prayer, because it was developed by St. Peter while he was in Rome. After him, popes have added to the prayer and changed it until Pope St. Gregory the Great (who died in 604) put it into its final form. Since then, it has rarely changed, for the Church holds this prayer as part of our tradition.

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. When we think about the phrase's full meaning, we better grasp 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 are called to protect and dignify the sanctity of the sacrament.

DEAR FATHER | Peace given through prayer helps us overcome worry

To worry is to think about problems, especially because we think something bad might happen. Immediately in this definition we see that worry is mostly a self-centered activity, focusing exclusively on my thoughts. Also, notice how worry presupposes that we are anticipating an outcome to the situation we are thinking about.

Both of these elements about worry contradict the meaning of prayer. When we pray, we do not just say these things to ourselves, but we share them with another: God. We share them with Him in prayer because we believe that He has control of the situation.

DEAR FATHER | Preparing to receive Communion starts at home

Preparing to receive Jesus' Body and Blood starts at home — well before Mass. The Church teaches that Catholics should abstain from food or drink, except water, for one hour prior to receiving Communion. As we long for a drink or something to munch on while waiting for Mass, we should be reminded of our spiritual hunger to receive Jesus into our souls.

DEAR FATHER | Importance of Church Fathers remains formative for our Church today

Blessed John Henry Cardinal Newman began life as a High Church Anglican. At Oxford, he became a leader within the Oxford Movement, which emphasized the Catholic elements of the Church of England to help reform it. Through his studies in this movement, particularly of the Church Fathers, he converted to Catholicism, eventually becoming a cardinal.

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