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.

Faithful should focus on second coming rather than ‘rapture’
Father Jerome Kodell, OSB
In 1995, Tim LaHaye and Jerry B. Jenkins wrote “Left Behind: A Novel of the Earth’s Last Days,” launching what would become a series of 16 best-selling novels and four movies.
Jesus still wants to be sought out by wise and faithful
Chris Thomas
In my home parish of St. Edward in Texarkana, we are blessed to have a large round stained glass window depicting the nativity and epiphany of Jesus. It is a glorious mix of jeweled colors — purples, greens and blues.
Church teaching says cremains require same respect as a body
Father Jason Tyler
On Oct. 25, the Vatican’s Congregation for the Doctrine of the Faith issued an instruction called “Ad resurgendum cum Christo” (“To rise with Christ”).
Ordinary time gives faithful chance to get to know Jesus
Paula Standridge
One of the countless treasures of our Catholic faith and tradition is the ordering of time and liturgical seasons.
Priest, author encourages being ‘present to the present’ not distracted
Judy Hoelzeman
Hanging on the wall in my bathroom is a long quote from an essay by Mary Jean Irion that begins, “Normal day, let me be aware of the treasure you are.”
Pope Francis: Pray, study, vote conscience
Sister Joan Pytlik, DC
We’ve already heard the pundits say there is no longer a “Catholic vote.” Should there be? Voting has gotten more complicated recently since we learn from our Catholic leaders that we should no longer rely just on voting on a single issue.
Titles for Mary encapsulate her virtues, roles in our lives
Kelli Nugent
Growing up, I always looked forward to the annual parish picnic, held in the spring on the grounds of our diocesan retreat center. As a child the most exciting thing about the picnic wasn’t the food or the outdoor Mass, but the huge boat named the "Star of the Sea."
Lessons in 1 Timothy 6 remind us to pursue Christian values
Betsy Wiederkehr Huss
The reading for Sunday, Sept. 25 found in 1 Timothy 6 got me thinking, verses 11-12 especially. Some biblical translations use “pursue” or “avoid all this” but another uses “run away from all those things” when speaking of what one is to do or how we are to live.
Adults can pursue ‘six tasks of catechesis’ to grow in faith
Father Erik Pohlmeier
As a pastor I loved to welcome new members onto the parish council. I appreciated their desire to be involved and loved to watch their reactions to learning all that goes on in the parish.
Faithful can soak up word of God in Liturgy of the Hours
Deacon Mike Cumnock
One of my favorite summertime drinks is iced sun tea. It is easy to make during an Arkansas August. It just requires a little patience. Simply lay a few tea bags in water in a glass jar with a lid and place it in the sun.