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.

Hospice is a ‘philosophy of care’ that upholds dignity of the dying
Judy Hoelzeman
“Hospice” is borrowed from the Medieval Latin "hospitium," which described a place of shelter and compassionate care during the Middle Ages.
Ask, seek and knock to help you develop your faith
Betsy Wiederkehr Huss
What do most of us do when we have a question or want to know something? “Hey Google, …?” “Siri, what does ... mean?” “Alexa, where can I find ...?” We ask freely throughout the day and people do not seem to mind this seeking.
Jesus offers himself to us and we offer ourselves to him in Mass
Jeff Hines
Have you ever asked yourself this question: “Why should I go to Mass?” Be honest. Life is hectic. Before a new week begins, wouldn’t it be great to sleep in, hang out and just relax? You may ask yourself, “Why should I go?”
Amid dark times, power of loving encouragement changes lives
Deacon Mike Cumnock
The Church has been under siege in recent times. Unfortunately, many of the wounds are self-inflicted. Some Church people who were supposed to love and support, in fact, used, took advantage of and abused those in their care.
Finding meaning for religious symbols deepens love, joy of Christian living
Edward C. Dodge
The Catechism of the Catholic Church teaches that “genuine sacred art draws man to adoration, to prayer and to the love of God, creator and savior, the Holy One and sanctifier.” (No. 2502)
Blood of Ugandan martyrs continues to bear fruit centuries later
Father Erik Pohlmeier
In the year 197 the recent Christian convert Tertullian penned the famous quote, “We are not a new philosophy but a divine revelation. That’s why you can’t just exterminate us; the more you kill the more we are.
Resistance to confession comes from fear and shame
Brother Roch McClellan, OSB
As a non-denominational convert baptized into the Catholic Church at the age of 43, I can say that the biggest obstacle I faced in my early faith journey was that of confession. But it wasn’t for any of the typical reasons.
Celebrate men who emulate St. Joseph, on Father’s Day and always
Agnes Tirrito
We recently celebrated Father’s Day, so it is a good opportunity to celebrate another father we sometimes do not hear a lot about: St. Joseph. As coincidence would have it, I started writing this column on May 1 as I prayed in the adoration chapel of my parish, St. Edward’s in Texarkana.
Beautiful churches are instruments of evangelization
Father Jason Tyler
On April 15, as Arkansas priests were gathered for the annual Chrism Mass and day of recollection, the topic of conversation during an early afternoon break quickly became the fire then burning at Notre Dame Cathedral in Paris.
Catholic radio, podcasts a way to gain spiritual growth on the go
Paula Standridge
I can’t remember when I started listening to Catholic radio, but it has been several years now. Every weekday morning I tune into the “Son Rise Morning Show” via my iCatholicRadio app and listen to live broadcasting while I am getting ready for work.