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.


Immutability is the state of being unchangeable; an attribute of God alone, since He alone is unchangeable not only in His essence but in the perfection of all His attributes. Since change implies an imperfection in the sense that something new could be added to the principal, there can be no change in God who […]


An oratory is a place set aside for divine worship, but not primarily for the public, and, therefore, differs from a church. There are three types of oratories; public, that is, one erected for the use of a community, such as religious, but to which the public has access for divine services; semipublic, which is […]


Charity is a supernatural virtue infused with sanctifying grace, by which we love God above all as the greatest good and for His own sake, and ourselves and our neighbors for the love of God. It is the greatest of the three theological virtues (faith, hope and charity) and of all virtues.  The object of […]


The word “laity” is derived from the Greed word meaning “people.” It is the general term used for all the members of the Mystical Body, of the Church universal, of the Catholic and other Christians who are not members of a professed religious order, society, or congregation, or are not ordained deacons, priests, or bishops.  […]


From the Greek, this word means “conversion,” or more clearly, “to change one’s mind, repent, be converted.” In the modern thinking and teaching of the Church this term has come to mean the relationship of the Christian community within the Church as experienced by individuals. The first “conversion” is the fundamental gift that one receives […]


The word “viaticum” comes from the Latin viaticus, i.e. “of or pertaining to a road or journey.” Subsequently, “viaticum” figuratively meant the provision for the journey of life, and finally by metaphor the provision for the passage out of this world into the next.  It is in this last meaning that the word is used […]


The name angel is taken from the Greek translation of a Hebrew word meaning “messenger.” The angels are spiritual beings, created by God, and superior in nature to humans.  They are immortal beings whose role is to minister to God and to do the will of God in obedience. They are bodiless, spiritual intelligences whose […]

Jehovah’s Witnesses

This religion was founded in 1872 by a one-time Presbyterian, then Congregationalist, then nonbeliever, Charles Taze Russell.  There is no record of this religion before this time, contrary to claims Jehovah’s Witnesses often make. After what Russell claimed as a personal reclamation, he became a preacher of considerable energy and forcefulness.  The central approach of […]


Paganism is a broad term, which today includes all religious beliefs, practices and systems with the exception of Christianity, Judaism and Mohammedanism. It is thus applied to all those that do not recognize a supreme being, the monotheistic or Trinitarian God-oriented religions that have developed from the revelations of God and are carried on through […]


Literally, “God-bearing,” this title of the Mother of God was given to the Blessed Mother in the fourth century and signified the widespread devotion to the Blessed Virgin Mary. The term was used as part of the popular piety of the early first millennium church, and which continues to the present day in both the […]