Dear Father

DEAR FATHER | Public revelation reveals some detail of life of St. Joseph

The life of St. Joseph is largely veiled to us by history. While there are some writings from the early centuries of the Church about St. Joseph, they are part of the apocryphal literature. Writings in this category are largely viewed with suspicion, as they were written more to convey hidden, secret knowledge that was believed to be needed to attain salvation, rather than to give an account of events that took place. We also have the writings of mystics such as Anne Catherine Emmerich and the Venerable Mother Mary of Jesus of Agreda, which pass along vivid details of St.

DEAR FATHER | Kneeling before statues is sign of respect for God, our saint friends in heaven

In a previous "Dear Father" column, we looked at objections to statues and other images that people have made of one of the Divine Persons, Mary or of one of the saints. This question builds on that article by asking if we have these images, is it appropriate to kneel before them in prayer? By extension, we can include bowing or even reverencing the statue (kissing the statue).

DEAR FATHER | Servers assist priests in keeping Mass flowing smoothly

When I was a server in junior high, I remember one Saturday afternoon being out at my grandparents house in O'Fallon. As the afternoon went on, we decided to stay longer than we originally intended. Then, a bit too late, we also realized that it was my turn to serve at Mass. We made a couple of quick calls, trying to find a substitute, but ended up calling the rectory and telling the priest that I could not make it.

But was it really that important that I could not make it to serve at one Sunday Mass?

DEAR FATHER | Offer prayers for deceased loved ones through the person of Christ

May I pray for a family member who has died to intercede for me, or may I only ask canonized saints? 

Fundamentalists tend to disagree with Catholics on praying to the dead at all, even to the saints. They cite Biblical texts such as Deuteronomy 18:10-11, in which the Lord prohibits any oracles, or communication, with the dead.

DEAR FATHER | Rosary blessing is request that God make it an instrument to help us in our quest for holiness

Father John Mayo

Should I get my new Rosary blessed? If so, why? 

You're off to the Catholic goods store to buy a new rosary! After carefully choosing which one you would like and paying for it, a voice in the back of your mind reminds you that you should have a priest or deacon bless it. But why?

DEAR FATHER | Water added to wine in chalice as symbol of blood, water that flowed from Christ

Father John Mayo

Why is water added to only the celebrant's chalice and not the chalices used for distributing the Blood to the congregation? 

One of the movements of the offertory, after the gifts are brought to the altar, is that the deacon, or if there is no deacon the priest, pours a little water into the wine. St. Thomas Aquinas in his great "Summa Theologica" lists several reasons for this addition of water to the wine.

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