Do you have a question about the Catholic Faith?  Someone else probably has the same question.  Mail us, email us or drop your question in the collection basket.  The question and answer will be listed below.  No names nor email addresses will be published.




August 20, 2013

Question:  What's the significance of the crossing of the forehead, lips and heart before the gospel?

Answer:  As the priest or deacon is proclaiming, "A reading from the holy gospel," he is instructed to make a sign of the cross with his thumb on the book, on his forehead, mouth, and breast, which everyone else does as well. The reason for the signing on the forehead, mouth and breast is a prayer that the Word of God may be in our minds or thoughts, our mouth or words and in our hearts or actions.


November 9, 2012

Question:  When is it appropriate to genuflect? Bow?

Answer:  In the General Instruction for the Roman Missal we read,

"A genuflection, made by bending the right knee to the ground, signifies adoration, and therefore is reserved for the Most Blessed Sacrament."


Therefore when one enters a church where the Most Blessed Sacrament is situated in the sanctuary, one should genuflect toward the Tabernacle, before entering their pew. If the Most Blessed Sacrament is reserved in a Blessed Sacrament chapel, such as we have here at Holy Name of Jesus Church, then one bows to the altar. We bow to the altar because it is a sign of the presence of Christ.


 October 15, 2012

Question:  Should we refrain from holding hands during the Our Father?

Answer:  There has been much discussion about this question and the official church has remained silent. In the General Instruction of the Roman Missal it gives the posture of the priests, which is with hands extended. The holding of hands during the Lord's Prayer is a custom which has developed in many communities. Since the official church does not give a specific posture for the people it continues to be valid to hold hands during the Lord's Prayer. If someone does not want to join hands during this prayer they should not be forced to or made to feel as they should hold hands.

Father Larry McBride


October 4, 2012

Question:  Is the gesture of reverence before receiving communion optional? 

Answer:  In the General Instruction for the Roman Missal we read, "When receiving Holy Communion, the communicant bows his or her head before the Sacrament as a gesture of reverence and receives the Body of the Lord from the minister. When Holy Communion is received under both kinds, the sign of reverence is also made before receiving the Precious Blood." (#160)

Therefore the bow of the head is the sign of reverence that is appropriate in the United States and should not be considered optional.

Father Larry McBride


September 12, 2012

Question:  Should we hold our hands up when we pray at Mass?

Answer:  If you feel comfortable, that’s fine.  Holding up our hands to pray is very old and found both in the Old Testament and New Testament.  It is often referred to as the Orans position (orans meaning praying).  I don’t know when people at Mass started doing this. I am sure no one told them to do it; people just started to do it.

Father Anthony Shonis


August 9, 2012

Question:  Is it my prayer or my works that will lead me to Heaven? 

Answer:  This is another one of those questions where the answer is not either / or. Paul in Romans will emphasize faith, while the Letter of James emphasizes works, but neither of them is excluded of the other. If you think your prayer will lead you to heaven, then you probably should be doing more works, if you think your works will lead you to heaven then you probably should be doing more praying.

Father Anthony Shonis


July 10, 2012

Question:  Are you familiar with the American Patriot's Bible?  It places side by side the word of God and the shaping of America.  I wanted to get your thoughts/feelings and knowledge on the times, history, religious oppression, biblical data, etc. about anarchy, laws effecting the church, antichrist, etc.

Answer:   People write books on your question, but I will try to answer it in a couple of sentences. While a lot of people talk about how irreligious America has become the fact is, we are one of the most religious countries in the world if you judge that by the number of people who say they believe in God and who attend church, mosque or synagogue. The least religious countries are those that have national churches such as Ireland, England even Poland.

However, our constitution does not support any one religion and in that sense it is secular but not anti-religious. What makes people in the United States uncomfortable is when they feel one religious denomination is deciding how others, who are not members of that denomination, should act. And what makes people uncomfortable on the other side is when politicians will not acknowledge the impact the Bible has had on American society as well as American's Christian roots.

Although we are a religious country we also are a very ignorant country , not only of other religions but even of Christianity. Personally I think we could easily teach a course on world religious and also the Bible in public schools without any infringement on the separation of Church and State.

Father Anthony Shonis


July 3, 2012

Question:  In a prayer that I pray regularly it says, "that I may be made worthy of the promises of Christ."  [The Angelus, a prayer of devotion]  What are the promises of Christ?

Answer:  Eternal life.  "In my Father's house there are many dwelling places.  If there were not, would I have told you that I am going to prepare a place for you?  And if I I go prepare a place for you, I will come back and take you to myself, so that where I am you also may be."  Jn 14:2

Father Anthony Shonis


April 14, 2012

Question:  How does one become a Catholic?

Answer:  A person becomes Catholic through the sacraments of: Baptism, Eucharist and Confirmation.  Adults go through a process entitled RCIA to prepare these sacraments.  See the page RCIA for more information.  Or call parish office for the Director of RCIA, 270-826-2096.

Father Larry McBride

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