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.


Prayerful daily review guided by Holy Spirit brings us closer to God
Judy Hoelzeman
Part of the rich tradition of the Catholic Church is to look back on our day’s activities to remember how well we responded to God’s call that day. St. Ignatius Loyola (1491-1556) wrote his examen in about 1524 as part of his well-known spiritual exercises.
St. John the Baptist and NFL: By their fruits you will know them
Sister Joan Pytlik, DC
The National Football League (NFL) has been in the news a lot lately, not for football, but for the flag controversy. It started with the San Francisco 49ers ex-quarterback Colin Kaepernick kneeling for the national anthem to protest racism in the United States.
Peace can be gained from understanding our venial, mortal sins
Kelli Nugent
I entered the confessional to confess my sins to the priest — spoken aloud, in humility and with true repentance.
Resurgence of deacons has its roots in Nazi concentration camp
Betsy Wiederkehr Huss
Why do we have ordained deacons in the Catholic Church? The history might surprise you.
Catholics support dignity, rights, indispensable role of workers
Deacon Matthew Glover
We just celebrated Labor Day here in the United States, a holiday that most people associate with the end of summertime, the beginning of college football season and a much-needed three day weekend before the long grind towards Thanksgiving and Christmas.
More complete picture of Jesus appears when we try to know his heart
Deacon Mike Cumnock
Having been a deacon for more than 30 years, I have witnessed the marriages of many family members and friends. I have also become the official family funeral minister. I feel honored to have people ask me to assist in such events and have seen the role of deacon grow in acceptance.
Despite many ‘nones,’ some millennials still growing deeper in faith
Edward C. Dodge
If you’ve paid attention to religious identification surveys, you know the growing trend among Americans, particularly millennials, is to identify as nonreligious.
Love of Christ expressed through mercy is key to evangelization
Father Erik Pohlmeier
The July 4th weekend marked a unique gathering in Orlando, Florida. More than 3,600 Catholics, including more than 150 bishops, engaged in a conversation called the Convocation of Catholic Leaders.
Religious images, statues are not idols as described in Old Testament
Father Jerome Kodell, OSB
The First Letter of John ends with the terse sentence: “Children, be on your guard against idols.” (5:21)
Grandparents can learn from Joachim and Anne to pass on faith
Chris Thomas
One difficult afternoon, many years ago, was spent disciplining our 6-year-old son Andrew. After tears of anger and frustration, he shouted out, “I want to talk to Grandma.”