Why do we offer Mass for the Dead?

10-28-2018Weekly ReflectionFr. William Saunders

The offering of Mass for the repose of the soul of the faithful departed is linked with our belief in Purgatory. We believe that if a person has died fundamentally believing in God but with venial sins and the hurt caused by sin, then God in His divine love and mercy will first purify the soul. After this purification has been completed, the soul will have the holiness and purity needed to share in the beatific vision in heaven. While each individual stands judgment before the Lord and must render an account of his life, the communion of the Church shared on this earth continues, except for those souls dammed to hell.

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Five Ways to Prepare for Mass

09-30-2018Weekly ReflectionPhilip Koslowski

Do you find yourself “going through the motions” at Mass? I know how easy it is to attend Mass and feel entirely disconnected from what is going on. To counteract that tendency, I have tried numerous aids over the years and discovered 5 ways that help me prepare for Mass.

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Rediscovering Beauty in the Sacred

09-23-2018Weekly ReflectionJames Day

The three transcendentals—truth, beauty, and goodness—were ideals once harmoniously integrated in the Catholic worldview not only in the transmission of the faith but also in the arts: literature, art, music, architecture, poetry, and sculpture. The expression of the wonder of God in art through so many artists across time, encouraged by the great patron of the arts, the Church, to lift humanity’s gaze beyond the mundane has been widely lost in the modern age.

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Praying Amid Scandal

09-16-2018Weekly ReflectionJoseph Martin Hagan, O.P.

How do we pray amid Church scandals? One helpful way is to return to the basics: The Our Father. For this meditation, I’ll look to the various parts of the prayer in reverse order.

Deliver us from evil — Father, you alone are holy. You alone are pure. The evil within your Church overwhelms me. It is too much for me to understand, let alone overcome. Please purify your beloved Bride, beginning with my own heart.

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The Church has Antidotes

09-09-2018Weekly ReflectionTom Hoopes

Prevalent aspects of our culture are very dangerous psychologically. But the Church has antidotes. By Tom Hoopes

Suicide is not a problem mainly of the wealthy celebrity suicides that make the news. Nor is it limited to those suffering from depression or ongoing mental illness, as author Elizabeth Scalia points out. As multi-faceted and complex as the epidemic is, there was a study two years ago that is still worth pondering. Stat,istically for one group, suicide is a “vanishing phenomenon,” according to a study in the Journal of the American Medical Association. In a study of nurses, “among the 6,999 Catholic women who said they attended Mass more than once a week, there was not a single suicide.”

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Answering New Ideas on Cremation

09-02-2018Weekly ReflectionMichelle Arnold

A fire department was dispatched recently after reports of heavy smoke in National City, California, not far from Catholic Answers headquarters. The first responders discovered that the smoke came from a local crematorium and contained human cremains. A furnace door had not been properly secured during a cremation, and the deceased’s remains ended up becoming pollution over the city.

Mishaps of this type are fortunately rare, but we often receive questions about how to respond to situations in which family members or friends treat the remains of deceased loved ones in ways not in keeping with the Church’s requirements for fit disposition of the human body. A few recent examples:

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Sanctuary Floor Renovation/The Church is Holy in its Origin

08-26-2018Weekly ReflectionFr. Kenneth Brighenti

My Dear Parishioners,

I would like to give you an update on the renovation of the Sanctuary floors in the Church. The work will begin around September 4th and will last for a few weeks. We will continue to have our Masses here at our Church. Our Funeral Masses will be at Saint Elizabeth Ann Seton Church in Three Bridges. They have so graciously given us permission to have our Funeral Masses there while we are under construction. Our clergy, deacons and liturgical ministers will travel to St. Elizabeth Ann Seton on those days.

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Cosmic Origins

08-19-2018Weekly Reflection

Seton Hall faculty members, Father Joseph Laracy and Father James Platania, served as lecturers at the "Magi Project Summer Seminar 2018" hosted by the Collegium Institute at the University of Pennsylvania. The seminar's theme was "Cosmic Origins" and focused on questions including: How do the Big Bang Theory and Genesis fit together and can one believe in the modern physical mechanics of an inflationary Universe and also in God?

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The Integrity of Human Love (Part 2)

08-12-2018Weekly ReflectionDavid S. Crawford

THE TWO MEANINGS OF THE MARITAL ACT

With this background, we can now better understand Humanae Vitae’s central teaching: that each and every conjugal act must be “open” to new life. This teaching does not mean that spouses must always have the express purpose of conceiving a child when they come together. Nor does it imply a lack of “openness” when, through no action of their own, conception cannot occur, such as during an infertile period of a woman’s cycle. Nor does it mean that spouses cannot, for serious reasons, consciously limit their marital acts to such times of infertility, as through natural family planning.

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The Integrity of Human Love (Part 1) by David S. Crawford

08-05-2018Weekly ReflectionDavid S. Crawford

As a convert, I am sometimes asked what brought me into the Catholic faith. Conversion cannot be reduced to a simple formula, but the answer for me, at least in part, was being deeply struck and attracted by the truth and beauty of the Church’s understanding of marriage. We often hear that the Church’s teachings on marriage and sex drive people away, but this certainly not my own response as a husband and father.

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