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 [email protected] with “Catholic Faith” included in the subject line.

Four Last Things

The part of theology that includes the final things is called eschatology.  These last things can generally be identified as the four last things: death, judgment, heaven and hell. The Greek word eschatology means “teaching of the last things.”  More specifically, this is concerned with a study of the resurrection of Christ and His teaching […]

Baptismal Font

The basin used to administer baptisms may be either permanent or semi-permanent and is called the baptismal font. Recent building of churches has placed this font near the entrance to the church.  This is a clear reminder that the sacrament of Baptism is the entryway into the community of the people of God, the first […]


Sin is the free transgression of a divine law, and can be further defined as any thought, word, or deed against the Law of God.  Sin may be mortal or venial. It is mortal when the transgression is of a divine law in a matter that is serious and when the consent to sin is […]

Efficacious Grace

Efficacious grace is the actual, effective grace, for the Church affirms de fide (of faith) that no act conducive to salvation can be performed without grace, which causes us to act for our salvation. As we can read in Ezekiel, “I will put my spirit within you and make you live by my statues, careful […]

All Saints and All Souls

All Saints’ Day is officially the Solemnity of All Saints.  This is a Holy Day of Obligation and is celebrated on November 1.  In Western Christian theology, the day commemorates all those who have attained the beatific vision in Heaven.  All Saints’ Day is a national holiday in many historically Catholic countries. In the Roman […]

Stained Glass

Stained glass is a widely used art form that has been adapted to the decoration of church buildings or religiously oriented structures (and sometimes homes and other buildings). Chiefly, stained glass has become an expression of religion.  Its best use is a perpetually decorative and silent proclamation of the story of God’s love. Stained glass […]


In general, intercession is one’s praying or acting in behalf of another, usually at the request of the one to be benefited.  The term is used in the Church in regard to the commendation of oneself to the saints. The Council of Trent declared in the decree to the bishops concerning instruction that they teach […]


Translated from the Hebrew into Greek by seventy Jewish scholars and called the Alexandrian version, this Bible text was most widely used in the early Church.  It is commonly referred to among scholars as LXX, the Roman numeral for 70. The Septuagint was the first translation of the Hebrew Bible, and was made in the […]


In 1995 Pope John Paul II declared that the Church’s teaching on abortion “is unchanged and unchangeable.  Therefore, by the authority which Christ conferred upon Peter and his successors . . . I declare that direct abortion, that is, abortion willed as an end or as a means, always constitutes a grave moral disorder, since […]

Parts of the Mass

The Mass is the complex of prayers and ceremonies that make up the service of the Eucharist in the Latin rites.  As in the case of all liturgical terms the name is less old than the thing. From the time of the first preaching of the Christian Faith in the West, as everywhere, the Holy […]