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.

Those unable to receive Eucharist can have spiritual communion
Abbot Jerome Kodell, OSB
In his encyclical, "Ecclesia de Eucharistia" ("A Eucharistic Church"), in April 2003, Pope John Paul II encouraged the practice of spiritual communion, “which has been a wonderful part of Catholic life for centuries and recommended by saints who were masters of the spiritual life.”
Foundation of Catholic rituals, practices is found in Jewish tradition
Dr. Linda Webster
From the altar to the procession up the aisle, from the scriptural prayers of the liturgy to our belief in almighty God, we Catholics owe much to our Jewish brethren.
Role of deacons varies, but call to serve others is key to their ministry
Deacon John Marschewski
From the beginning, the diaconate were called to serve those in need. As we will hear in next Sunday’s first reading from Acts (Chapter 6), the original call for deacons occurred in the early stages of the Church.
Though many forms of prayer exist, most important is to just do it
Judy Hoelzeman
We Catholics pray in every way imaginable. Our prayer lives are as diverse as we are. Our different personalities, abilities and limits make our prayer intensely personal. We pray in so many ways, too, because we are influenced by two millennia of rich spirituality and holiness.
Great schism divided the Church but apostolic succession remains
Msgr. Richard Oswald
With the fall of the Roman Empire, Rome, the once mighty capitol faded, and the city of Constantinople ascended to become a great center of political and economic power. Eventually this political and economic divide would lead to a theological schism.
Though movies portray them falsely, stigmata are real signs from God
Betsy Wiederkehr Huss
Today, if you asked people, “What comes to mind when you hear the word ‘stigmata’?” you would probably receive a wide range of responses.
Some sins are worse than others, but all damage our bond with God
Father Erik Pohlmeier
A seemingly short time ago we celebrated the days of Christmas, and then quickly turned our attention from the child in the manger to the man in the desert for Lent.
Praying Hours unites faithful in ‘work of God’
Tara Little, Associate Editor - Arkansas Catholic
When Betty Franzetti joins her Little Rock parish for morning prayer and Abbot Jerome Kodell, OSB, unites with his fellow monks at Subiaco Abbey to pray evening prayer, they are not only participating in the official prayer of the Catholic Church, they are carrying on a tradition that goes back t
Works of mercy serve body of Christ
Linda Webster
Dr. Linda Webster has a bachelor’s degree in theology from St. Gregory University in Shawnee, Okla.
Apostolic succession ensures faith is handed on from Christ himself
Charles T. Sullivan
“One, holy, catholic, apostolic ...” We recite these words every Sunday during the profession of our faith. They are words describing certain inherent characteristics that “mark” the true Church.