Understanding Our Church

Explore this treasury of Arkansas writers discussing the Catholic faith on a wide variety of topics. Find what you're looking for by browsing the whole list or search by keyword or author. All articles have been reviewed for theological accuracy. Opinions expressed are those of the author.


Some saint designations inspire us to contemplate our own labels
Kelli Nugent
Occasionally I find myself pondering curious things about the Catholic faith. Recently, I has been thinking about the designations given to the saints, such as martyr, confessor, virgin, etc. In some cases, the designation is evident, but not always.
Foot washing not just a service, but a model Jesus asks us to follow
Betsy Wiederkehr Huss
Did you know the washing of feet on Holy Thursday is not mandatory? Did you know a kiss to the feet used to be involved? How about 13 being the designated number of people getting their feet washed?
Practice of asceticism can keep the faithful from spiritual laziness
Deacon Matthew Glover
We’re now well into Lent. No doubt most have already chosen what they’re giving up. And some have struggled through the first couple of Fridays with no meat (although, here in the South, it’s hard to say that dinners of all-you-can-eat fried catfish is much of a sacrifice).
Relics tour provided educational, moving experience for Catholics
Deacon Mike Cumnock
A few months ago, several Arkansas parishes hosted an exposition of various saints’ relics through the Treasures of the Church tour, a ministry run by Father Carlos Martins.
Death will die: God calling us to heaven means we will be transformed
Edward C. Dodge
I’ve been thinking a lot recently about death. I suppose that sounds morbid, but such mediations result from studying English poetry. “Death, be not proud,” wrote the poet John Donne, “though some have called thee / Mighty and dreadful, for thou art not so.”
Aspiring deacons need prayers while working to understand God’s will
Father Erik Pohlmeier
The mission of the Church has always depended on a wide variety of people willing to give themselves in service. In addition to heroic workers we often celebrate as saints, there are more behind-the-scenes people who find holiness in daily fidelity.
God’s word has power, but sacraments help it grow in lives of faithful
Father Jerome Kodell, OSB
In a familiar reading from the recent Christmas liturgy, the shepherds, excited by the angels’ announcement of the birth of a savior, say to one another, “Let us go, then, to Bethlehem to see this thing that has taken place.” (Luke 2:15)
New birth stirs emotions St. Joseph must have felt when seeing Jesus
Chris Thomas
This year has been one of joy as each of our two sons were blessed with new children, Jude and Elizabeth.
Sexual misconduct allegations show reality of falling into sin
Father Jason Tyler
Harvey Weinstein. Bill O’Reilly. Roger Ailes. Bill Cosby. Throughout the past few years, we have heard about accusations of sexual misconduct against these men — and against others, too. The particularities of the allegations differ somewhat for each man.
Inerrancy of Bible means truth in message, not always history
Paula Standridge
Sacred Scripture has always been regarded by Christians as the inspired word of God. As such, it logically follows that this Scripture would be free of error since God, being perfect and all-knowing, cannot be the author of error.