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.

From mouths of babes about Pope Francis’ environment encyclical
Matthew Glover
As most of the world now knows, Pope Francis recently published an encyclical entirely on the environment. Since I cannot hope to surpass his divinely inspired wisdom on this topic, I thought it best to consider a different source of wisdom: the mouths of babes.
Understanding God’s mercy helps us celebrate Year of Mercy
Deacon Chuck Ashburn
On the second anniversary of his election to the pontificate, Pope Francis announced an extraordinary holy year, a Jubilee of Mercy that will last from the Solemnity of the Immaculate Conception, Dec. 8, 2015, through the Solemnity of Christ the King, Nov. 20, 2016.
God wants all of us to be saved, even people or groups we do not like
Kelli Nugent
A few years back I had just finished my confession and was leaving when I made a snarky remark to the priest: “Well, if Z continues to do what Z is doing, then I won’t have to worry about Z in heaven.” I know, smug, presumptuous and judgmental on my part.
Holy Week cleaning tradition still relevant in our homes, spiritual lives
Betsy Wiederkehr Huss
Did you know that spring cleaning practices go way back in our faith tradition and are associated with Holy Week activities?
Do not be sorry for apologetics teaching; focus on its hopeful message
Matthew Glover
The field of Catholic apologetics has gotten a bad rap in some circles as of late. Some of that may be well-deserved. To be sure, apologetics is not the end-all and be-all of living a fully Catholic life.
Learning about God’s callings in Scripture helps us see our life mission
Deacon Mike Cumnock
In the Scripture readings leading up to Lent, we learned a lot about people who heard and responded to “the call.” 
Witness of holy life is most important tool for evangelization
Father Erik Pohlmeier
As a diocesan priest who grew up in the shadow of a monastery, I am grateful for the ever present witness of those men dedicated to the work of God and the pursuit of holiness.
Jesus’ baptism allows us to reflect on own sacramental commitment
Deacon Chuck Ashburn
The Church has celebrated Jesus’ baptism since the second century. But it was not until recently that the celebration of his baptism became a separate liturgical event.
Prioritize Advent over the holiday season
Msgr. Richard Oswald
In most parishes it is customary for parish organizations and ministry groups to have a party during the month of December as Christmas approaches.
Humanae Vitae key to life-giving marriage
Father Erik Pohlmeier
July 25th marks the 40th anniversary of the encyclical Humanae Vitae.