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.

'Wideness in God’s mercy' calls us to help abolish death penalty
Sister Joan Pytlik, DC
Pope Francis called for a moratorium on executions during the Year of Mercy and said the Fifth Commandment, “Thou shalt not kill,” applies not only to the innocent but to the guilty as well, according to a Catholic News Service article.
Faith formation not just for youth; it is part of lifelong journey
Judy Hoelzeman
Our neighbor of almost 20 years died in February. For most of her life, she was a member of a small Baptist church near our house.
Our ultimate pilgrimage in life is to eternal home in heaven
Kelli Nugent
I have been blessed by the opportunity to go on a pilgrimage. Others have undertaken such trips to the Holy Land of Israel, to Italy and the Vatican, gone on Marian pilgrimages to Mexico City, Lourdes, Fatima, Knock or Kibeho.
Palm Sunday celebrates Jesus’ triumphant journey to his sacrifice
Betsy Wiederkehr Huss
We will have the opportunity to once again hold palm branches for the Lamb of God this Palm Sunday. But why? What’s the reason for this?
Work together to destroy gossip, build up body of Christ
Matthew Glover
There’s an episode in the fictional political TV series “The West Wing” where Toby Ziegler, the White House communications director, confronts his entire staff after one of them leaked a private conversation to the press.
Vatican II exposed Catholics to greater quantity, variety of Scripture
Deacon Mike Cumnock
During this Lenten season the Church, through the Liturgy of the Word, unites itself with the mystery of Jesus in the desert. (Catechism of the Catholic Church, no. 540)
Children can help their parents grow deeper in faith, holiness
Edward C. Dodge
I love one of St. John Paul’s images for how we are the “image of God.” The pope taught that in Genesis 1, God created humanity as a relationship — “male and female he created them” — thereby emphasizing the couple’s relationship as an incarnation of trinitarian unity.
We can learn about marriage, family from Sts. Louis, Zelie Martin
Father Erik Pohlmeier
God has high expectations for each of us baptized into his grace. With his help each of us is capable of greatness and heroic faith. To inspire us to strive for more we have the example of the saints.
Advent season celebrates Christ coming to us now and at death
Father Jerome Kodell, OSB
As the new year begins, we are completing the time in the Church’s year of worship which highlights the Advent of the Savior.
Minor basilicas are not ‘mother churches,’ but worth exploring in U.S.
Kelli Nugent
There are four churches honored as major basilicas, the “mother churches” of Rome: St. John Lateran (cathedral of Church of Rome), St. Peter; St. Mary Major; and St. Paul Outside the Walls. These churches have a particular connection to the pope in history and in practice.