Know Your Catholic Faith

Learn more about your Catholic faith in this weekly series written by Deacon Tom Schenk. If you would like a specific topic about the Catholic faith addressed, submit your question via email to with “Catholic Faith” included in the subject line.

Saints Joachim and Anne

Saints Joachim, pronounced “wal-keem,” (sometimes spelled “Joaquin”) and Anne, are the parents of the Virgin Mary.  There are no mentions of them in the Bible or Gospels. What is known comes from Catholic legend and the Gospel of James, which is an unsanctioned, apocryphal writing form the second century AD.  Understood from scholarship, the Gospel […]


Stigmata is the plural of the Greek word stigma meaning “mark,” and originates from the line at the end of Saint Paul’s Letter to the Galatians where he says, “I bear on my body the marks of Jesus on my body” (Gal 6:17).  [Paul implies he bears the marks of his apostolic labors, such as […]

Liturgical Music

Music for the Church must be in accord with the spirit of the liturgy.  Music has always be a traditional part of the Eucharistic celebration.  The reform of the Liturgy brought about by Vatican II placed greater emphasis upon music as a communication medium and a participation in the liturgy. Music is both traditional and […]

Communion of Saints

The communion of saints is described as the living communion which exists between us and our brothers and sisters who are in the glory of heaven or who are yet being purified after their death. This division of the Church into three distinct groups such as, the Church Militant, Triumphant and Suffering is an expression […]


The first day of the week, also called the “Lord’s Day,” is set aside for public worship.  This was true in the early Church under the Apostles who recognized that the Christian mystery supplanted that of the Old Law, the Sabbath.  On this day, called Dominica in Latin, Catholics are obliged by law to assist […]

Feasts of the Church, continued

The different types of liturgical celebrations are distinguished from each other by their importance and are accordingly called solemnities, feasts and memorials.  Solemnities are the days of greatest importance and begin with first vespers (evening prayer) of the preceding day.  Feasts are celebrated within the limits of a natural day.  They do not have first […]

Feasts of the Church

Technically, a feast is a category of liturgical day, namely, one of lesser rank than a “solemnity,” and one of higher rank than a “memorial.”  In popular usage, however, “feast” is applied indiscriminately by the faithful to all liturgical days on which the Church commemorates a mystery of the Lord or Our Lady, or keeps […]


Originally, Pentecost was the second feast in rank for the Jews, the celebration of thanksgiving for the harvest and the ending of Passover time.  Later it was a celebration of the giving of the law to Moses at Sinai.  In Christian recognition, Pentecost is the feast celebrated fifty days after Easter or ten days after […]

Ascension of the Lord

The Ascension of the Lord was the going up into heaven of Christ by His own power, in the presence of the Apostles, the Blessed Mother and His disciples, forty days after His resurrection. St. Thomas Aquinas asserts He ascended by the virtue proper to Him as God, and by that which belongs to a […]


This short treatise in two parts called the “Doctrine of the Twelve Apostles” was probably written about A.D. 65 to 90. The first part of it is moral and the second disciplinary, especially in the administration and ministry of the Sacraments of Baptism and Holy Eucharist. It was highly regarded by the early Fathers of […]