Tuesday, April 15, 2014

Tuesday of Holy Week
April 15,2014

Question of the Day

Can the Blessed Sacrament be exposed for adoration on Holy Thursday during the day?

The answer to your question is a simple "no." Mass is only celebrated on Holy Thursday evening with the Mass of the Lord's Supper. This is followed by adoration of the Blessed Sacrament for a period not exceeding midnight. The same holds true for Good Friday and Holy Saturday. Adoration would be possible again on Easter Sunday after the Mass(es) are celebrated.

Why do some parishes empty the holy water fonts and replace the water with sand  during Lent? Is this permitted?

Again, the same simple answer applies - "no." According to the liturgical rubrics, the holy water fonts are to be emptied prior to the Mass of the Lord's Supper. They are filled again after the last Mass is celebrated on Easter Sunday.

In many dioceses the Chrism Mass is celebrated on a day prior to Holy Thursday. This is permitted in order to allow as many priests and lay faithful to gather around their bishop as the Holy Oils to be used in the sacraments of Baptism, Confirmation, Anointing of the Sick, and Holy Orders are blessed. Please pray for all priests as they assemble with their bishop to renew their priestly promises.

Monday, March 31, 2014

Monday of the Fourth Week of Lent
March 31, 2014

Pope Francis Goes to Confession: Click here to view.

Question of the Day:
I remember that during the season of Lent the Church had us do rigorous penance. What, if any, penitential practices are encouraged today?

The thought of doing penance can send ‘chills up one’s spine’, especially when reflecting on Lent in times gone by. Penance is a necessary and essential part of the spiritual life and the process of conversion. As such, it should be seen in a more positive and beneficial way than once perceived. It can be voluntary or imposed and consists of many aspects: prayers, alms-giving, fasting, acts of charity, etc. Today the Church has adopted a more responsible, mature and adult approach to the whole notion of penance, stressing the voluntary dimension. The practice of doing penance can assist one in growing in a greater awareness of their need for God and creating an awareness of service to others in the community.

The Code of Canon Law deals with the subject of penance in five canons: cc. 1249-1253. These canons stress the obligation of penance; the days and times of penance in the Church; fasting and abstinence; those required to undertake certain penitential practices; and, the role of the Bishops’ Conference in determining particular ways of fasting and abstinence. As the season of Lent approaches for this year, it may be worthwhile to state these canons.

Canon 1249: "All Christ’s faithful are obliged by divine law, each in his or her own way, to do
penance. However, so that all may be joined together in a certain common practice of penance, days of penance are prescribed. On these days Christ’s faithful are in a special manner to devote themselves to prayer, to engage in works of piety and charity, and to deny themselves, by fulfilling their obligations more faithfully and especially by observing the fast and abstinence which the following canons prescribe."

Canon 1250: "The days and times of penance for the universal Church are each Friday of the whole year and the season of Lent."

Canon 1251: "Abstinence from meat, or some other food as determined by the Bishops’ Conference, is to be observed on all Fridays, unless solemnity should fall on a Friday. Abstinence and fasting are to be observed on Ash Wednesday and Good Friday."

Canon 1252: "The law of abstinence binds those who have completed their fourteenth year. The law of fasting binds those who have attained their majority, until the beginning of their sixtieth year. Pastors of souls and parents are to ensure that even those who by reason of their age are not bound by the law of fasting and abstinence, are taught the true meaning of penance."

Canon 1253: "The Bishop’s Conference can determine more particular ways in which fasting and abstinence are observed. In place of abstinence or fasting it can substitute, in whole or in part, other forms of penance, especially works of charity and exercises of piety.

In Canada, the Canadian Conference of Catholic Bishops state in Decree 8 the following:
In accordance with the prescriptions of c. 1253 the days of fast and abstinence are Ash Wednesday and Good Friday.

Friday continues, throughout the whole year, to be a day of penance. Catholics are encouraged to do some kind of penance on that, e.g. abstinence but Catholics special acts of charity or piety.




Friday, March 28, 2014

Friday of the Third Week of Lent
March 28, 2014

Question of the Day:

Are there any impediments to the celebration of marriage in the Church?

An impediment can be defined simply as an obstacle (something standing in the way of) preventing the valid or lawful celebration of marriage in the Church. The word used in canon law for such impediments is "diriment" and canon 1073 defines such in the following way:

"A diriment impediment renders a person incapable of validly contracting marriage."

Impediments to marriage can be found in canons 1083 to 1094. Without going into any long explanation of each, I will simply list them. They are:

1. Age
3. Previous Bond of Marriage
4. Disparity of Worship (marriage to non-baptised person)
5. Sacred Orders (bishop, priest, deacon)
6. Public Perpetual Vow of Chastity
7. Abduction (kidnapping for the purpose of marriage)
8. Crime (e.g., killing of a spouse to free oneself for marriage to another person)
9. Consanguinity (relationship by blood)
10.Affinity (relationship by marriage)
11.Public propriety ( relationship arising from a stable union other than marriage)

Impediments which are of ecclesiastical law can usually be dispensed from for good reason by petitioning the proper authority. However, some impediments are reserved only to the Holy See (eg., sacred orders, public perpetual vow of chastity, crime). Impediments arising from the natural law (eg., impotence) cannot be granted.

For more detailed information on this matter, please contact me or speak with your parish priest.

Friday, March 21, 2014

Friday of the Second Week of Lent
March 21, 2014

Prayer to Jesus Christ Crucified

My good and dear Jesus, I kneel before you, asking you most earnestly to engrave upon my heart a deep and lively faith, hope, and charity, with true repentance for my sins, and a firm resolve to make amends. As I reflect upon your five wounds, and dwell upon them with deep compassion and grief, I recall, good Jesus, the words the prophet David spoke long ago concerning yourself: "They have pierced my hands and my feet; they have counted all my bones!"

O Sacred Head Sore Wounded: Click here to listen

Question of the Day:

What is meant by the term "Apostolic See?"

In one sense the term is very simple to explain, but on the other hand, there is some complexity involved. Basically, the Apostolic See (sometimes referred to as the Holy See) is a term used to signify the pope as the head of the universal Church and all those associated with him who assist in the administration of the universal Church. So then, the Apostolic See does not just refer to the pope. The Code of Canon Law at c. 361 provides a description of the term by stating:
"In this Code the term Apostolic See or Holy See mean not only the Roman Pontiff,
but also, unless the contrary is clear from the nature of things or from the context,
the Secretariat of State, the Council for the public affairs of the Church, and the
other Institutes of the Roman Curia."

There are 30 principal offices within the Roman Curia (each with specific functions) which go to make up the Apostolic See. They come under seven headings and are as follows:

Secretariat of State

 Congregations (9)

1. Congregation for the Doctrine of the Faith

2. Congregation for the Eastern Churches

3. Congregation on Divine Worship and the Discipline of the Sacraments

4. Congregation on the Causes of the Saints

5. Congregation for Bishops

6. Congregation for the Evangelization of Peoples

7. Congregation for the Clergy

8. Congregation for Institutes of Consecrated Life and Societies of Apostolic Life

9. Congregation for Seminaries and Institutes of Study

Tribunals(3)1. Apostolic Penitentiary2. Supreme Tribunal of the Apostolic Signatura

3. Roman Rota

Pontifical Councils (12)

1. Pontifical Council for the Laity

2. Pontifical Council for the Promotion of Christian Unity

3. Pontifical Council for the Family

4. Pontifical Council on Justice and Peace

5. Pontifical Council "Cor Unum"

6. Pontifical Council on the Pastoral Care of Migrants and Tourism

7. Pontifical Council on the Apostolate for the Care of the Sick

8. Pontifical Council on the Interpretation of Legislative Texts

9. Pontifical Council for Interreligious Dialogue

10. Pontifical Council for Dialogue with Non-Believers

11. Pontifical Council for Culture

12. Pontifical Council for Social Communications

Administrative Offices (3)
1) The Apostolic Camera
2) The Administration of the Patrimony of the Apostolic See

3) the Prefecture for the Economic Affairs of the Holy See

Other Institutes of the 1) The Prefecture of the Papal Household Roman Curia 2) The Office of the Liturgical Celebrations of the Supreme Pontiff.

A Number of Interdicasterial Commissions