Dear Father

DEAR FATHER | Allow the Holy Spirit to guide you in reading the Bible

All of us probably have a Bible somewhere at home. It sits, quietly calling us whenever we see it or think to pick it up and to read its Good News.

Before reading it, examine it to make sure it is a Catholic Bible. If it isn't, some books might be missing that the Catholic Church accepts but other denominations of Christianity don't.

DEAR FATHER | Mary’s message at Fatima remains relevant 100 years later

Next year will mark the 100th anniversary of the apparitions of Mary to three young children at Fatima, Portugal. While 100 years is a long time, the significance of an event shouldn't be judged solely on the time since it occurred. Indeed, the core message of Our Lady of Fatima is still fresh and relevant today.

DEAR FATHER | Did the consecration of Russia stick?

On May 13, 1917, three young children received an apparition of Our Lady near Fatima, Portugal. She urged the children to pray the Rosary for an end to World War I. She also urged them to pray for sinners and the conversion of Russia, which slipped into a revolution, bringing the rise of a communist government. For six months, Mary visited these children on the 13th of each month, entrusting them with three secrets and a request to the Holy Father: to consecrate Russia in union with the bishops of the world to her Immaculate Heart.

DEAR FATHER | St. Mary Magdalene feast is reflective of important role of women in the Church

On July 22, the Church commemorated the feast day of St. Mary Magdalene. On the surface, most Catholics might not be certain why this is newsworthy at all.

Before the Vatican announced in June the change to a feast day, Mary Magdalene's day was celebrated as a memorial, the rank of most saint days in the Church. Feasts are reserved for special events in the life of the Lord (the Transfiguration, for example) or for important saints in the early Church, such as St. Stephen, the first martyr. With an exception for the Solemnity of Sts. Peter and Paul, the apostles also have feast days.

DEAR FATHER | Mary: A light of faith to early Christians and to us

A statue of Mary from the Cardinal Rigali Center in Shrewsbury.

What happened to Mary after Jesus' resurrection? 

As we consider this question, I would like to examine it as we did with the life of St. Joseph: That is, limiting to details contained in the Bible and other places that are objectively verifiable. For greater detail as to how these events unfolded, I heartily encourage reading an account as recounted by one of the mystics approved by the Church.

DEAR FATHER | Funeral options should provide appropriate ways to mourn the loss of a loved one

It is important for us to mourn those who have died in an appropriate way. What this means changes from person to person and family to family. Fortunately, there are many ways a Catholic priest or deacon can be present with a family in the hours after death through the funeral rites of the Church.

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