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.


The Holy Trinity is the title given to the three Persons in One God.  But how in the world can anyone explain that? The answer is that we in this world cannot.   It is a mystery beyond our comprehension.  How can there be three separate persons—The Father, The Son, and The Holy Spirit—but yet still […]


Originally, this 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 also to become 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 […]


Following the most ancient customs and practices, the Church uses music and song in her liturgy.  Music and song has always been a traditional part of the Eucharistic celebration. In the Constitution on the Sacred Liturgy of Vatican II, there was a renewal of emphasis upon the singing by the people of God in community.  […]

Occasion of Sin

An occasion of sin may be a person, place, or thing that offers one the opportunity, inducement, or enticement to sin.  Occasion also involves the internal or subjective inclination to sin. The occasion may be proximate, that is, when it is such that it almost always results in sin.  This proximate occasion may be free, […]


Charism is the Greek word used in the New Testament for “favor” or “gratuitous gift.” Charisms, or spiritual gifts, are special abilities given to all Christians by the Holy Spirit to give them power both to represent Christ and to be a channel of God’s goodness for people.  Whether extraordinary or ordinary, all charisms ought […]


From the Greek, meaning “marks,” this refers in Church use to the visible wounds, scars, or skin abrasions that appear on the flesh of individuals.  They correspond to the wounds suffered by Christ in the crucifixion. Stigmata are accompanied by pain.  Numerous instances are recorded of this charism having been bestowed on persons of unusual […]

Vatican Council I

This council was summoned by Pope Pius IX June 29, 1868.  The first session was held in St Peter’s basilica on December 8, 1869, in the presence and under the direction of the pope. The purpose of the council, besides the condemnation of contemporary errors, such as, the rising influence of rationalism, liberalism, and materialism, […]


The first day of the week, sometimes called the eight 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, Catholics are obliged […]

Easter Season

Following the great solemnity of Easter there is in the Church calendar a period of time when the celebration of the Eucharist and the cycle of readings recall the event of Christ’s Resurrection. The fifty days from Easter Sunday to Pentecost are celebrated as one feast day, sometimes called “the great Sunday.”  The first eight […]

Palm Sunday

Palm Sunday occurs as the Sunday feast before Easter.  This day is also called Passion Sunday.  On this Sunday palm leaves are blessed and carried in a procession that follows the blessing ceremony. The liturgy recalls the entry of Christ into Jerusalem to accomplish his Paschal Mystery.  The Gospel for the day’s liturgy is the […]