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.

Immaculate Conception

This Solemnity of the Church and Holy Day of Obligation calls our attention to an important doctrine.  To define what the Immaculate Conception is helps Catholics to understand what they are called to believe as a faith tradition. The Immaculate Conception means that Mary, whose conception was brought about the normal way, was conceived without […]


The word Advent derives from the Latin advenio, meaning “to come to,” and refers to the coming of Christ.  Advent is a time of preparation for the coming of Christ. Advent is also the start of the liturgical year in the Catholic Church.  Advent is a period beginning with the Sunday nearest to the feast […]


Stewards of God’s gifts are not passive beneficiaries.  We cooperate with God in our own redemption and in the redemption of others.  We are also obliged to be stewards of the Church—collaborators and cooperators in continuing the redemptive work of Jesus Christ, which is the Church’s essential mission. This mission—proclaiming and teaching, serving and sanctifying—is […]


The Bible contains a profound message about the stewardship of material creation: God created the world, but entrusts it to human beings. The United States Conference of Catholic Bishops says that caring for and cultivating the world involves the joyful appreciation for the God-given beauty and wonder of nature; the protection and preservation of the […]


“As each one has received a gift, use it to serve one another as good stewards of God’s varied grace” (1 Pt 4:10). What is stewardship and what identifies a steward?  The United States Conference of Catholic Bishops say that safeguarding material and human resources and using them responsibly are one answer; so is generous […]


In the simplest terms, vocation means a call.  So, in general terms, a vocation is what God calls us to do with our life. Everybody is called by God to know, love and serve him.  The difference is how each one does this.  Individual vocations vary between being single, married, consecrated, religious or holy orders, […]

Items Used At Mass

Book of the Gospel—contains only the Gospel readings; used on solemn occasions and is carried by the deacon, or in his absence, the reader. Chalice (CHAL-is)—the large cup used to hold the wine that becomes the Blood of Christ. Ciborium (si-BORE-ee-um) —a vessel used to hold the Hosts which will be used for communion; some […]


Concupiscence is the human inclination to prefer that which is sinful to that which is holy.  We have this defect because of the fall of Adam and Eve. The impulse to sin is not a sin in itself, and when we resist the impulse to sin, we build up the virtues. Etymologically, “concupiscence” can refer […]

Parish Mission

The word “mission” has a variety of meanings as used by the Church, all of which stem from the apostolic commission given to the Apostles by Christ, and are concerned with the teaching role of the Church in its mission to all people. The parish mission, a so-called popular mission at the parish level, is […]


This is God’s attribute of knowing all things simply and absolutely. The doctrine of Providence implies omniscience, for God, in ruling and directing all things to His own glory, must know all things, even the most secret, and He must know them now rather than as a sequence. According to the Scriptures, the scope of […]