How I Learned to Dress Appropriately for Mass

This article first appeared in this week’s edition of Vidi Dominum, the parish bulletin of St. Mary Magdalene Catholic Church. Re-published here with permission.

If you Google Search – “how to dress for Mass”, you will find ten different articles explaining why it’s important to dress appropriately, and a lot of different opinions in the comments. The reasons given are, for the most part, very similar. With the arrival of warmer temperatures here in Arizona and other places around the country, we tend to dress more casually. Many of us dress casually when we come to Mass as well. Should we?

Before I really dive deeper into this topic, let me say one thing – I am not judging you in any way. As one who works for the parish, it is my job, in union with our Pastor, Fr. Will, to help lead you closer to Christ. It’s not about judgment, but helping you to grow in your faith. My hope is that many of you will read this article, understand it, and implement it.

How did I learn to dress for Mass appropriately?

It goes back to the very first time I attended Holy Mass at St. Peter’s Catholic Church in Steubenville, Ohio nearly nine years ago. I’ll never forget the feeling of being totally underdressed when I walked into church. Even though I was wearing a $200 pair of Joe’s Jeans, an expensive Banana Republic polo shirt, and a pair of Johnston and Murphy shoes, nearly everyone else was dressed in their “Sunday best.” This was how I was dressing for Mass for years before that day. At least four of my graduate school professors, including Scott Hahn, were dressed in full suits with ties and their families were dressed to the same degree. Even as I write these words to you now, the feeling of that moment still resides with me. My first thought I was, “I need to go home and change into better clothes.” In the end, I stayed for Mass but sat in a back corner hoping that none of my professors witnessed my attire. Some might think this is extreme, but I learned long ago from my Dad that it’s better to be overdressed than underdressed, and I was most certainly underdressed for Holy Mass.

From that moment on, I learned how to wear appropriate clothing to Mass every Sunday. Did I dress in a suit very Sunday? No, but I wore dress pants, dress shoes, a polo or button down shirt (most often button down with a sweater) and, on occasion, a tie. In recent years, I have begun to wear a tie nearly every week. I am grateful that this lesson was taught to me many years ago. Dressing appropriately for Mass completely changed my disposition at Mass. My outer disposition and clothing now reflect my inner disposition.

Although I am writing this article to all parishioners, I particularly hope that my fellow Catholic men who read this article will take my words to heart. If you wear dress pants/khaki’s and a polo shirt/button down to work every day, but come to Mass dressed in shorts, a t-shirt, and flip flops – there is a disconnect. Why dress appropriately for work, but dress casually for Mass? Would you wear your work clothes to go to the pool, the beach or the lake? This seems like a common sense question, but if you were to visit the President of the United States or Pope Francis, would you wear shorts and t-shirt? In Rome, you aren’t even permitted to enter a church building if you are not dressed appropriately.

Men – we can do better than this! It may not be a perfect expression, but the phrase “the clothes make the man” does express that the clothes we wear often affects the way we are regarded.

Practical Guidelines Appropriate Dress for Mass

So we might be asking ourselves, “what is appropriate dress for Sunday Mass?” In order to assist you in this question, below are a few norms for your consideration:

Men…

1. Wear formal (dress) shoes to Church. Flip-flops, TOMS (I love mine, but not for Mass), beach sandals, or cross training/running shoes are not formal shoes.

2. Wear dress pants or khakis (not jeans).

3. Don’t wear shorts.

4. Wear a button down shirt or a polo shirt, but make sure the shirt has a collar. Tuck the shirt into the pants. T-shirts with no collars, sleeveless shirts, and sports jerseys are too informal.

5. [For the more daring types] – wear a tie, a suit, or a sport coat with your attire. Some may think this is too stuffy, but not long ago, men wore such clothes every day, every Sunday to Mass, and yes, even to sporting events. Go take a look at a baseball game from the 1930’s and 1940’s – the men are wearing suits!

Women… (these suggestions came from fellow female parishioners)

1. Wear decent shoes to Church. Flip-flops and tennis shoes should be avoided.

2. Remember that for a skirt or dress, three fingers above the knee, or longer, is appropriate. Skirts and dresses should not be “see through” or have long slits in them. Shorts, especially “short shorts” should not be worn.

3. Don’t wear jeans (just like men). Slacks are a good option, but they should not be too tight. Your goal shouldn’t be to attract attention to the shape of your body when dressing for Mass.

4. Wear a nice blouse (if not wearing a dress). Tops should not be too tight for the same reason that pants shouldn’t be. Tank tops, spaghetti straps, and midriffs are not appropriate for Mass. It’s also important to make sure that undergarments remain undergarments. If any part of your bra can be seen by others, rethink your choice in top.

5. Cleavage should never be visible. You might think a shirt covers your cleavage, but take this quick test before you leave for Mass: Bow in front of the mirror. Whatever you see is what the Priest, Deacon, or Extraordinary Minister of Holy Communion will see when your bow before receiving the Eucharist.

Common Objections

With all of this in mind, let’s examine four common objections to dressing up for Mass –

1. “God doesn’t care what I wear to Mass”: This is often heard along with – “Come as you are! God doesn’t care what clothes you wear! He just wants you!” This objection is conjecture. God does care what you wear – don’t use this excuse because laziness has set in. No Bride on her wedding day is going to say to her Groom – “Come as you are to our wedding! I really don’t care what you wear.” Jesus explicitly demands respectful attire in Matthew 22:1-14 (The Parable of the Wedding Feast).

2. “It’s my personal prerogative – I don’t feel like dressing up”: Here we have the objection that, because I dress up all week for work, on Sunday it’s time to relax. Yes, Sunday is the Holy Sabbath – a day of rest. However, not dressing for Mass appropriately falls into the sin of sloth. Sloth lacks discipline and the willingness to suffer. If Our Lord suffered in agony on the cross for all of us, we can dress appropriately for a couple of hours on a Sunday to glorify His name, and yes, even when it’s 110 degrees.

3. “I never dress up”: Some people that make this argument are non-conformists, or have a tendency to rebel against authority, but this comment also comes from people who aren’t ever required to dress up for work. Some employers have become lax on their dress codes for their employees. Regardless, this argument doesn’t really hold up since those same people who say they never dress up, actually dress up for a lot of things. We wear sport jerseys to games, dresses or tuxedos for Prom and weddings, uniforms for teams, or specialty (sometimes expensive) clothes for hunting, fishing, hiking or even working out at the gym. We actually “dress for the occasion” pretty often. Shouldn’t that concept apply to Holy Mass as well?

4. “I don’t have money for dress clothes”: Dressing nice for Mass does not need to cost a lot. Those who have limited financial resources can find clothes that are decent for Mass at discount or thrift stores. However, if you are truly unable to purchase new clothes and don’t currently have anything appropriate for Mass, don’t be ashamed to call the office and ask for help!

How we Dress for Mass Really Matters

There are two main reasons why how we dress matters. First, how we dress conveys respect and honor. When we dress appropriately for Mass, we are saying to God, “You are worth the effort; you deserve my best.” It also communicates to your fellow parishioners that you take Mass seriously. It’s not just another casual event during the week.

Second, when we dress in a respectful manner it changes our interior disposition. Personally, when I have a suit on, or even just a tie, my words, thoughts, posture, and my general attitude is different. My father used to say to me – “a gentleman truly knows how to dress for every occasion.” Some will even argue that dressing up for Mass can be seen as spiritual discipline.

If you want to assist in bringing the changes needed for dressing appropriately, first make the commitment to dress more reverently at Mass yourself. Call up a friend from the parish and challenge each other to dress better for Mass. Next Sunday, make the effort to dress more appropriately. Once you are doing your best to express the seriousness of the sacrifice of the Mass in your outward appearance, then you can help your children to do the same.

Postscript: All comments are read by me and only approved with my discretion. Comments made should be done in regards to the article. Any comments attacking me, each other, or any entity associated with this post will not be approved. As long as these guidelines are followed, the comment box will remain open. If they are not followed, the comment section will be closed. Thank you.

Sources:
Christoff, Matthew James. “Dressing like a Man for Mass.” The Catholic Gentleman. N.p., 03 Dec. 2015. Web. 26 Apr. 2017.
Pope, Monsignor Charles. “Adore the Lord in Holy Attire – On Proper Dress for Mass.”Community in Mission. Archdiocese of Washington Blog, 10 June 2015. Web. 26 Apr. 2017.
Vogt, Brandon. “[Video] How My Family Dresses for Mass.” Brandon Vogt. N.p., 08 July 2015. Web. 26 Apr. 2017.

“Mondays with Mary” – Our Lady Queen of May

Since today is the 1st of May, I wanted to briefly explain to you why May is the month of Mary. During the month of May, we celebrate the Queen Jewel of all human creatures, the most beautiful and purest flower of all – the Blessed Virgin Mary.

On April 30, 1965, Blessed Paul VI promulgated a document titled, Menso Maio (the Month of May). The encyclical on the “Occasion of the First May” is written about the importance of the month of May and how Mary through her intercession and throne brings mercy to all of God’s people in a magnitude of great abundance (remember: the mercy comes from God as she intercedes for us). I would suggest reading 1 Kings 2:19-21 to see where the Tradition of Mary as Queen began. I have also written on this topic many times in the past. You can read those articles here.

As the Queen of May, Mary is also celebrated in her most magnificent role – Queen of the Universe. With Jesus, she rules from her Heavenly throne always seeking to bring all of humanity closer to her Son. Although many reject Christ, she still longs for them to be close to Him. As a good mother watches over her children, so too, does Mary as Our Queen Mother watch over us.

Queen of Heaven – Diego Velázquez

Even though Catholic devotion and admiration (not worship and adoration – that’s meant for God and God alone) is rooted in her love, mercy, and tenderness for us, it is truly Mary’s holiness and purity that unites us to her and assists us in having a deeper devotion to Jesus through Her. She seeks us the Immaculate Conception and the Perpetual Virgin to protect us from all sin and Satan, for she did not know either. She is the fairest of all of God’s creatures and seeks for us to know that sacrificial love that unfolds in her.

As we celebrate this month dedicated to her, let us appreciate the Immaculate Conception, who is our Mother. She who is “full of grace,” can intercede and aid us in our own impurities, which in turn will help us grow in our relationship with Jesus Christ.

Our Lady Queen of May…Pray for Us

The High Holy Days of Catholicism

Traditionally, in the Jewish faith, the high holy days are known as Rosh Hashanah (Jewish New Year) and Yom Kippur (Day of Atonement). As one website put it, these are the heavy hitters of the Jewish year. Likewise, in the Catholic faith, the Holy Days of Obligation, along with every Sunday, because Sunday is enough, are the high holy days for Catholics. Although they may not be listed anywhere specifically, I would argue that the days in which we are about to enter can also be, and should be, considered high holy days as well.

Beginning tonight and concluding late Saturday night, the Catholic world starts what is known as The Sacred Triduum – Holy Thursday (Mass of the Lord’s Supper), Good Friday (Celebration of the Lord’s Passion/Stations of the Cross) and Holy Saturday (Easter Vigil). The culmination of these three days brings us to the Sunday of all Sundays – Easter Sunday, the day where Our Lord Jesus Christ resurrected from the dead.

If Rosh Hashanah and Yom Kippur are the heavy hitters of the Jewish faith, then we must say the Triduum and Easter Sunday are heavy hitters in the Catholic faith.

As I stated previously, the Mass of the Lord’s Supper on Holy Thursday, the day Jesus instituted the Holy Eucharist and the Holy Priesthood while he celebrated the Passover Meal with the Apostles and established the new Passover (see Luke 22:14-23) begins the Sacred Triduum. The Institution of the Holy Eucharist is the major element we commemorate on this great day. From this day forward, we have Jesus present in the Church – Body, Blood, Soul, and Divinity.

During this Holy Mass, we also reenact the washing of the Apostles feet.  This action by Jesus in John 13 is an act of humility and points to the humiliation that he would receive on the cross. He is displaying heroism as the servant-king for the Apostles.  The washing of the Apostles feet mirrors the washing of Aaron and his son’s feet by Moses in the Book of Exodus, as they become the first of the Levitical Priests. If this is the case, foot-washing can been seen as a sign of priestly ordination. The apostles receive a “part” in Jesus where the Levitical priests received a “portion” of God alone.

On Good Friday, we commemorate the day our Lord willingly gave himself in the perfect sacrifice for our redemption. As the lambs were slaughtered in the Temple; so Jesus is slaughtered on the cross. Jesus becomes the New Lamb of God – he is both sacrifice and victim. As it has been since the most ancient days of the church, the Holy Mass is not celebrated on Good Friday. The only sacraments that are permitted on this day are Penance (Reconciliation) and Anointing of the Sick.  During the Celebration of the Passion of the Lord, we hear the readings (Cycle A, B, C) from Isaiah 52:13—53:12, Psalm 31, Hebrews 4:14-16 5:7-9 and the Gospel of St. John 18:1—19:42.

After a short homily or time in prayer, the Liturgy of the Word ends with “The Solemn Intercessions” which are For the Holy Church, For the Pope, For all orders and degrees of the faithful, For the unity of Christians, For the Jewish People, For those who do not believe in Christ, For those who do not believe in God, For those in public office, and For those in tribulation.

After the Solemn Intercessions, there is Adoration of the Holy Cross. The priest(s), deacons and/or altar servers, process with a cross which has been covered with a purple veil (purple is the color associated with penance and was also worn royalty and more than likely the color of the garment the Roman soldiers put on Jesus). As the cross is brought forth and held before the altar, the priest (assisted by the Deacon and/or altar servers) uncovers a little of the cross each time by chanting the words – “Behold the wood of the Cross” (Ecce lignum Crucis) and all chant is response – “Come let us adore” (Venite, adoremus).

Mass of the Lord’s Supper (Ad Orientem) at St. Mary Magdalene Catholic Church 2016.

After the Adoration of the cross, an altar cloth is spread on the altar as is a corporal and the Missal put in place. The Blessed Sacrament is brought from its place of keeping (from the conclusion of Holy Thursday Mass to this point, the Holy Eucharist is not kept in the Tabernacle).  The Our Father is either chanted (or recited). After this, Holy Communion is distributed to the faithful during the celebration of the Lord’s Passion. Since the Holy Mass is not celebrated on this day, more hosts should be consecrated during the Mass on Holy Thursday. Once Communion has ended and the prayer over the people is recited – all depart in silence.

We now come to my favorite part of the Sacred Triduum – The Easter Vigil. The Easter Vigil is the Mass where the elect (formerly catechumens) and those seeking full communion (candidates) are welcomed into the Catholic Church. For 2 ½ years, I was privileged to work with the adults of our parish in preparing them to receive the Sacraments on this night. It is a blessing that is incredibly difficult to put into words, especially watching the adults who are baptized. Although I am no longer involved in the daily duties of preparation, I still teach these individuals during the year.

As the Sacred Liturgy begins, there is the Blessing of the Fire and the Preparation of the Candle. After the candle is prepared, the Easter Proclamation is recited. During the Liturgy of the Word, we hear the seven Old Testament readings of Salvation History accompanied with seven Psalms in response, an epistle from Paul, and then the Gospel Reading. For those of us that love the Sacred Scriptures and Salvation History, this Mass is by far the best set of readings for the entire year. After the readings, we chant the Gloria (the lights come on brighter) and we can finally say Alleluia again.

After the homily is given, the Baptismal Liturgy begins which includes the Litany of the Saints, the blessing of the baptismal water, the Rite of Baptism (the Elect come forward with their Godparents), and the Renewal of Baptismal Promises by the faithful. If you never seen an adult received the Sacrament of Baptism, I encourage you to attend the Easter Vigil. It’s a moving experience!

Once everyone is baptized, the newly baptized along with those seeking full communion (they make a Profession of Faith) receive the Sacrament of Confirmation. Once all have received Confirmation, the Liturgy of the Eucharist begins and Mass continues and concludes as usual. The newly baptized Catholics and the newly professed Catholics for the first time receive Jesus Christ – Body, Blood, Soul, and Divinity in the Holy Eucharist. As the Easter Vigil comes to a close, the Church finds herself in the Easter Season looking 40 days ahead to the Ascension of Our Lord and 50 days to another great feast (and high holy day), Pentecost Sunday.

On Easter Sunday, we celebrate our Lord’s Resurrection over sin and death. We cannot have the Resurrection without the Crucifixion. The Paschal Mystery – Passion, Death, and Resurrection is now complete. Jesus Christ has Risen from the Dead!

The Catechism of the Catholic Church paragraph 1169 states, “Therefore Easter is not simply one feast among others, but the “Feast of feasts,” the “Solemnity of solemnities,” just as the Eucharist is the “Sacrament of sacraments” (the Great Sacrament). St. Athanasius calls Easter “the Great Sunday” and the Eastern Churches call Holy Week “the Great Week.” The mystery of the Resurrection, in which Christ crushed death, permeates with its powerful energy our old time, until all is subjected to him.”

I would really encourage you to attend these high holy days if you haven’t done so before. If you have been in the past, but haven’t been in some time, I would hope you attend. To really see Easter Sunday at its fullest, you should participate in the days proceeding. There really is nothing else like it in the liturgical year. We have truly entered the High Holy Days of Catholicism.

Understanding Apologetics: How to Defend Your Faith

This is an article that had been on my heart and mind to write for some time since we are often asked if we will offer “apologetic classes” at the parish. It first appeared in the March 5, 2017 edition of Saint Mary Magdalene’s Parish Bulletin, Vidi Dominum (Latin for – “I have seen the Lord.” The words of St. Mary Magdalene to the Apostles [John 20:18]). With permission, I am able to provide this article to you here.

In a world filled with buzzwords, there is one on the lips of many Catholics I run into. That buzzword is apologetics. Recently, a lot of parishioners have been requesting that more apologetics classes be offered here at St. Mary Magdalene. Before I address that, we should first ask whether we really understand what this word means – what apologetics is, and what it isn’t.

What is Apologetics?

The word apologetics comes from the Greek root word, apologia, which means to defend. In Ancient Greece, it was referred to as the formal way one would defend a belief, explanation, or argument for one’s philosophy or religion. Although we might associate this term with the word, apologize, it does mean to say that we are sorry for what we believe, or that we are sorry for offending someone because of our beliefs.

The term apologia cannot only be found in the New Testament (Acts 22:1 and 1 Peter 3:15), but also in other documents in ancient history, such as The Apology of Socrates by the Greek philosopher Plato. In this text, he makes a defense for Socrates when accused of wrongdoing. Furthermore, we also see this word in the Early Church writings of St. Irenaeus (Against the Heresies), St. Justin Martyr (The First Apology), and, most notably, St. Clement of Alexandria, St. Clement of Rome, St. Polycarp, St. Ignatius of Antioch, and Tertullian, among others. In more modern times, we have G.K. Chesterton, Bishop Fulton Sheen, Frank Sheed, Peter Kreeft, Jimmy Akin, and Arizona’s own, Trent Horn.

Although the aforementioned Early Church Fathers defended their newfound Catholic faith and beliefs to a pagan culture of non-believers, Catholics today are in a similar position. We are constantly being required to explain and defend our Catholic faith to many non-believers, even to those who were raised Catholic but were never truly taught their Catholic faith correctly. Many people have left the Catholic Church as a result of having been poorly catechized. Even I was not catechized correctly as a young child and adolescent. I first had to learn the truth before having the courage to defend it.

Preaching of Saint Peter by Masolino da Panicale (The Brancacci Chapel in Florence, Italy).

For us today, and for our older brothers and sisters in the past, the battle cry of defending our Catholic faith should be centered on St. Peter’s words – “Always be prepared to make a defense to any one who calls you to account for the hope that is in you, yet do it with gentleness and reverence” (1 Peter 3:15). In his book, Reasons to Believe – How to Understand, Explain, and Defend the Catholic Faith, Scott Hahn says the following in reference to St. Peter’s words:

 “We should…always “be prepared” to explain the reasons why we believe what we believe. That statement assumes our beliefs are defensible on rational grounds, and that we’re willing to spend a lifetime preparing to defend what we profess in the articles of faith…as Christians, we have the sweet obligation of coming to know them and coming to their defense as often as we please. There is no shortage of opportunity of study, contemplation, and evangelization. Wherever we go, we are in God’s presence and in His world. And in most places we go we can take a good book along for stolen moments of study. It’s the work of a lifetime.”

 Always be prepared

So we might be asking ourselves at this point: How can we make sure that we are always prepared?

First, we must be people of prayer. The greatest apologists in the history of the Church were those striving to be saints. Their work as apologists was secondary. The best way to become a saint is to strive for holiness and to converse with God through prayer. A consistent daily and lively prayer life is fundamental for anyone who wants to learn and defend the Catholic faith. A good place to start with prayer is attending Sunday Mass and spending time with Jesus in Adoration. If you can make daily Mass, that will benefit you even more.

Second, we must come to have a good understanding of what the Catholic Church teaches on the fundamental articles of faith. Although the Catholic faith is vast and contains a wealth of knowledge, starting with the Bible and the Catechism of the Catholic Church, amplified with strong works of biblical and theological learning is fundamental. You can read and learn on your own, but many people find it overwhelming to pick up the Bible or the Catechism. I have heard it here at the parish many times.

Do We Offer Apologetics Classes?

In a recent Flocknote survey that I sent out, I received numerous requests to offer “apologetics classes.” Although I understand what people are asking, the simple response to the question above is, “We already do!” Through the Porta Fidei Adult Faith Formation Program, we have already provided Bible studies such as Genesis to Jesus, The Gospel of Matthew, Book of Revelation; the Catholicism Series, sessions on the Mass and the Eucharist, Consecration to Jesus through Mary, Prayer, and many others.

Third, we must realize what apologetics is and isn’t. Apologetics is simply, as I stated above, the ability to defend one’s faith, but more than that, apologetics should remove false notions of Catholicism. We should be able to explain to people, through reason, what Catholicism is, and what it is not. Many people have been given a false perception of the Church through no fault of their own.

Apologetics seeks to bring people to Jesus Christ through conversion. It is not about bringing someone to Christ by force. Apologetics is not about winning or trying to recruit people to the faith. People must be open to hearing the truth of Jesus Christ and His Catholic Church in order for conversion to take place, and the Holy Spirit will take care of that.

Lastly, Apologetics is not just answering questions or giving quick answers to questions asked by our friends and coworkers. Many people I encounter just want some rote answer to a question (although memorization does have its place too). However, that often does nothing but give a cold response when so much more could be achieved. Our sessions will help you understand Catholicism as a whole, not just give you answers to questions your neighbor might ask you.

Giving a quick answer is not what St. Peter meant in his letter. St. Peter, along with Jesus, wants us to be well-trained Christians with minds and hearts formed in love, humility, and generosity. Scott Hahn says in the aforementioned book,

“We’re not looking for the quick comeback…we’re looking for answers that will satisfy – first ourselves and then others. Apologetics is a theological art that must rest on a firm foundation of theological science. If our defense does not flow from deep preparation, deep Christian formation, it will be unconvincing at best, but merely offensive at worst.”  

Saint Paul delivering the Areopagus Sermon in Athens by Raphael, 1515.

 To defend our faith is about engaging the culture in which we live, actually that’s the mission of the Catholic Church – to engage the culture, to be counter-cultural, and to preach the Gospel of Jesus Christ. Each person we encounter in our daily lives is different. We must learn to develop relationships with each of them. One of the best sort of apologetic “arguments” is giving your personal testimony to those who question our beliefs. Cardinal Avery Dulles once said,

“The apologetics of personal testimony is particularly suited to the genius of Catholicism. In the act of the Catholic faith, reliance on testimony goes out indivisibly to Christ and to the Church through which he continues his mission in the world. Such testimony invites us not only to individual conversion but to communion with the whole body of believers.”

 Suggestions for Further Reading

Below are five books that I suggest for further reading. It’s my hope that if you have not attended one of our Porta Fidei Adult Faith Formation sessions in the past, that you will seek out what we will offer in the months and years ahead, in order that you will have the proper formation, and as St. Peter states, “Always be prepared to make a defense.”

  1. Reasons to Believe – How to Understand, Explain, and Defend the Catholic Faith, Scott Hahn.
  2. Theology for Beginners and Theology and Sanity, Frank Sheed.
  3. Catholicism and Fundamentalism, Karl Keating
  4. The Fundamentals of the Faith, Peter Kreeft
  5. Handbooks of Christian Apologetics, Peter Kreeft and Ronald Tacelli, Jr.

Sources:

“”Be A Catholic Apologist – Without Apology”. Ignatius Insight, n.d. Web. 01 Feb. 2017.

Hahn, Scott. Reasons to Believe: How to Understand, Explain, and Defend the Catholic Faith. New York: Doubleday, 2007. Print.

“Starting Out as an Apologist.” Catholic Answers, n.d. Web. 01 Feb. 2017.

The Witty Banter of a Practicing Catholic

Earlier today, I was giving some insight to a friend of mine through wit, banter, and humor about going to Confession and what they should do so they could make the Latin Novos Ordo Mass at the parish tonight.  As I was sitting around the house today, I also thought to myself that I ate a lot of meat yesterday since on Friday (First Friday of Lent), I didn’t eat any meat. In these two moments, I came up with the new page on my blog of comments that a practicing catholic might say to oneself or to others to be serious, but more funny than serious. The new page – The Witty Banter of a Practicing Catholic

There is a twofold purpose of this new page, first, it’s meant to be funny. As practicing Catholics, the world thinks we are crazy, but in that craziness, we can have a lot of fun – such as knowing that you sometimes have to line up one hour before Confession begins. Second, it will provide insight to the beauty and mystery of Catholicism. The same Catholicism that a practicing Catholic witnesses every day in the Church.

As I think of sayings or comments that come into mind or come out of my lips or things I hear others say, I will write them on this page. Credit will be given. If you want some wit, banter, and humor, read this post – 12 Sayings of Mother Angelica that Made Me Laugh Out Loud.

Saint Philip Neri…Pray for Us. 

Solidarity HealthShare: The Catholic Answer to the Healthcare Dilemma

Through a group of friends here in Phoenix, I recently discovered the Catholic answer to the healthcare dilemma that faces many people in our country today. With the rise of medical costs for so many from the Affordable Care Act (commonly known as ObamaCare), Solidarity HealthShare, which understands the commonality to care for each other as stated in the Sacred Scriptures, stands to be the answer for so many that would be subjected to astronomical costs from the ACA or otherwise go without medical care.

If you are one of the many Americans enduring this crisis of rising medical costs, I would encourage you to check out and join a community of health focused American Christians who seek to practice quality healthcare rooted in Catholic principles. If you are seeking to control your healthcare and the healthcare of your family as you see fit, then Solidarity HealthShare is the answer for you. Solidarity HealthShare brings together like-minded Christians to share together medical costs and as the Gospel of Matthew states, to be “reconciled to one another” (Mt. 5:21) in unity.

Solidarity HealthShare desires to rebuild and restore a true healthcare system that is Catholic in every way as well as promote the teachings and traditions of the Church through her social teachings, which are rooted in self-sacrificial love and the sanctity of all human life. As Christians families, you will “practice the sharing of material and spiritual goods (Catechism of the Catholic Church (CCC) #1948) and promote a network of members who will pray for each other and share in their Monthly Share Amount while growing together in a “human and Christian brotherhood” (CCC, 1939).

solidarity_opengraph

Solidarity HealthShare received approval from Bishop Thomas J. Olmsted of the Diocese of Phoenix on October 4, 2016. In his letter, Bishop Olmsted says the following,

“At a time when many Catholics and other people of faith face challenges in making the best healthcare decisions for themselves and their families, Solidarity HealthShare can provide critical assistance to navigate options that are available.”

The CEO of Solidarity HealthShare, Bradley Hahn, is very hopeful that this ministry will be the answer for so many families seeking another avenue to care for their loved ones healthcare –

“We have spent several years searching for a way to help other like-minded individuals, families and organizations pay for medical costs without violating their consciences or breaking their bank accounts…I’m happy and grateful to God that we have found and can now offer this ministry to the many people who have been waiting for it.”

For more information on Solidarity HealthShare, I would encourage you to visit their website and see the options available. If you are aware of a family member or friend that is need of healthcare, and they refuse to subscribe to the Affordable Care Act, please forward this onto them as well.

I would also encourage you to Like and Follow Solidarity HealthShare on Facebook and Twitter.

Don’t pass up this great opportunity to be member of a great Catholic community that will provide you with ethical and affordable options for your healthcare.

“So my Fellow Catholics: Ask not what your God can do for you…”

In light of today’s Inauguration of the 45th President of the United States of America – Donald J. Trump, I found it fitting to share with you an excellent homily I personally heard last weekend at the parish of St. Mary Magdalene Catholic Church. The homily is given by my Pastor and Boss, Fr. Will Schmid.

Focusing on the words of John F. Kennedy Jr from his inaugural speech, Fr. Will breaks open for us as Catholics the importance of what we can do for God, instead of asking what God can do for us. In his homily, Fr. Will also focuses on the Catholic Mass and the primary reason of why we attend Mass weekly. To learn the primary reason, I would encourage you to listen to the homily below.

He also focuses on the importance of discipleship and how the Catholic Mass allows us to be disciples to the world. Drawing from the readings of the Second Sunday in Ordinary Time, Fr. Will in a most excellent way, examines how important it is for us to give back to God instead of always expecting God to give us something.

He concludes with the words – “So my Fellow Catholics: Ask not what your God can do for you (because he’s already done it) — instead, ask today what you can do for your God.”

Fr. Will’s homily:

If you are interested, all Sunday homilies and Saturday Morning Speaker Series talks are available for download via iTunes and Google Play Music.

Fr. Will Schmid

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