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7 Things You Need to Know About The Catholic Church

7 Things You Need to Know About The Catholic Church1 – The purpose of the Church is to make disciples of Jesus. Too many people have a false understanding of the purpose of the Catholic Church. After Jesus made the Church, He gave a clear mission …

ALS Ice Bucket Challenge and Catholics

The Diocese of Austin has released a statement on the ALS Ice Bucket Challenge:ALS ChallengeThe ice bucket challenge has become a popular way to raise funds for research for treatment and cure of Amyotrophic Lateral Sclerosis (ALS). The point of the ch…

Believing In Yourself vs Believing In God

Fr. Barron has some insightful comments on the modern idea of believing in yourself and what it means in a culture which tries to downgrade God’s divinity.

Loud Kids In Mass?

Q – I have little children who are sometimes loud during Mass. Sometimes they just babble a bit or talk a little too loud, but other times they are downright wailing and fussing. I want to participate in the Mass, and I want them to get the graces from being present in the Mass (even if they are wiggly and fussy), but I’m not sure what I should do. I see other families just wait out the crying with their children, but I feel that it might be distracting to other Mass-goers. What do you think? Should I take my fussy child out of Mass, or stay in the pew and hope it doesn’t last long and doesn’t disturb those around me. Thank you!

A – Thanks for the question. Archbishop Sheen once said that a woman got up during Mass and started to take her crying baby to the back of the church during the homily. Archbishop Sheen said, “My dear lady, that is ok, your baby isn’t bothering me.” The woman turned and replied, “Maybe not, but you are bothering him!”

For the answers to this issue, we have to look at this from several different perspectives. Both have the same answer – we are called to love others and act with charity.

**From the perspective of others at Mass**

My family is at the stage where my kids are quiet. They might squirm and not pay attention, but they are quiet. So, when I go to Mass, I don’t have to go to the back (i.e. take The Walk of Humility), sit in a cry room, deal with noisy kids, etc. But, I do have to listen to the babies and toddlers of others who make a lot of noise. Sometimes I am annoyed, other times I am not. It depends on how well I am handling it exterior distractions that day.

In other words, from my current perspective of someone without small noisy kids, the problem is my own. How I choose to handle it is on me. Distractions in Mass will happen, so the question is how will I handle them?

I am not in control of other parents’ crying kids. I am in control of my own interior peace. What might help others in my same situation is remembering where we are and why we are there.

In Mass, we are at the foot of the cross once again. Vatican II says:

“As often as the sacrifice of the cross in which Christ our Passover was sacrificed, is celebrated on the altar, the work of our redemption is carried on, and, in the sacrament of the eucharistic bread, the unity of all believers who form one body in Christ is both expressed and brought about.” -LG 3

So, all of us who participate in Mass are part of one Mystical Body of Christ – the Church – who come together to partake of the one sacrifice of Christ on the Cross, which is most profoundly offered to us, once again, in The Eucharist.

Therefore – these crying babies can be seen as the wailing women of Jerusalem who are crying because the Christ has been re-presented as a living sacrifice for us in the bloodless sacrifice of The Mass!

These children have just as much of a need for grace as we do and as much right to be there as we do. So, if anyone is sinning, it is the person having terrible thoughts about a child or parent who have the right to be in the same place we are. It is most likely you cried in Mass too as a baby, if you were raised Catholic. Children in Mass = hope for the future.

It is an act of charity to not cast judgment on others, but to look interiorly for the answer to your distractions. Remember, these are the only truly sinless saints in the entire building!

Now, having said that, let us look at the other side of the coin.

**From the perspective of a parent of loud kids at Mass**
I know of no parents who want to have their kid wailing loudly in Mass. It isn’t as if we go to Mass looking to have everyone give us “the look” or get attention for our kids’ behavior. Yet, some parents seem to be oblivious to the fact that their kid(s) might be a distraction to others, when they get too loud.
If you are a parent, then the simple answer is to take your kids to the back (or cry room) when they start making loud noises. Most people understand that kids are going to get loud and the vast majority don’t have a problem with a crying baby or a toddler throwing a fit, if it doesn’t go on but for a very short time. The problem most people have is with parents who seem to wait forever to take their kids to the back of church (or cry room) where they will be less of a distraction. Remember – the kid is doing nothing wrong by being loud. They don’t know any better. But, as a parent, you can help others.
So, parents of loud children need to react fairly quickly to get them out of the situation. Disciplining your children from a young age is a good thing for them. But, it starts by being disciplined yourself in how you parent. No child should be allowed to cry or yell with no foreseeable end to it, while you sit in the pew. Nor should they be allowed to play in the aisle (or back), get food all over, etc.
Because I do not like the cry room and always like to have my kids sit up front (which holds a child’s attention better), my suggestions are below. They are based on getting 5 kids through the infant and toddler years, without anyone dying (yet!). 
  • If the baby is under 1 year-old, then take them to the back when they start to cry after a short period of seeing if you can quiet them and they still make noise. Once they are quiet, return to your seat.
  • If the child is over 1, then take them to the back after a short time of crying / throwing a fit, but do not allow them to get on the floor or play. If you give them what they want, they will learn that throwing a fit / crying gets them playtime in the back of church.
  • I like the general guideline of about 15 seconds to try and quiet a child. Some believe this is too long and some believe it is too short. Regardless, try and be prudent about when to take your child to the back.
It is an act of charity towards those who don’t handle distractions well, to quiet your child quickly or take them out of the pew quickly. Also, some parents are even louder than their kids when they try to quiet them. Please try and use whispers and a quiet voice when instructing your children in Mass.
Jesus said, “Let the children come to me, and do not hinder them; for to such belongs the kingdom of heaven.” -Matt19:14

One final thought – a church without crying babies is a church with no future.

I hope this helps.

Seven Reasons to Support Catholic Campus Ministry

A great article on why we all need to support Catholic Campus Ministry. This is from our Ragin Cajun Catholics friends, Fr. Bryce Sibley and Paul George. Below is a snip of it:

Seven Reasons to Support Catholic Campus Ministry

The summer is drawing to a close, which means over 20 million students will be heading off to colleges and universities throughout the nation to begin a new school year.

Between purchasing textbooks, attending classes, and getting ready for the first football game of the season, Catholic students have a great opportunity to get involved in Catholic campus ministry.

Today, thanks to groups like FOCUS and The Newman Connection which are committed to promoting the New Evangelization on college campuses, Catholic campus ministry is thriving in the United States.

An effective and fruitful campus ministry can have a profound impact on the lives large numbers of college students, but that impact depends a great deal on the generosity of financial benefactors.

If you’ve never thought about the importance of Catholic campus ministry and the need to support it financially, here is a list of Seven Reasons to Support Catholic College Campus Ministry.

  1. College campuses are mission territory. We are all aware of the temptation and sin that are pervasive at universities today. Christianity and morality are often rejected. Catholic campus ministry provides a light in the darkness and gives students the chance to come to know and accept the love of Jesus and to be part of a vibrant Catholic community. We are often asked to support oversees missions, but let’s not forget that there is mission territory right in our own town.
  2. Students can’t fund it by themselves. Between student loans and living expenses college students cannot provide the financial support to sustain a campus ministry, much less enable it to grow. College campus ministry depends on the generosity of benefactors and alumni in order to provide programming, retreats, outreach, pizza – and all of the other ministries that help to make an impact in the lives of college students.
  3. You can help to keep college students Catholic. 70-80 percent of Catholic students will abandon the practice of their faith once they leave college. Getting involved in Catholic campus ministry while they are in college is the best safeguard for preventing them from losing their faith, but more importantly for them growing in and sustaining their faith even after they leave college.
  4. You can help to create future Catholic leaders in parish and society. Catholic campus ministry is not just about having a place to hang out and eat free pizza- it is about forming life long disciples of Jesus Christ. Catholic campus ministry forms future leaders that will hopefully go out and not only get involved in their own parishes but have a positive impact on society as they become leaders in their local community.
  5. It promotes vocations and faith-filled marriages. Catholic campus ministry can be a powerful tool for helping young men and women discern vocations to the priesthood and religious life. So many priests and religious today attribute their vocation to their involvement in campus ministry when they were at college. For those who will enter into the Sacrament of Marriage, college campus ministry encourages Christ-centered relationships and often provides a great place for future spouses to meet.
  6. You love your alma mater. Like most alums, we are proud of our school’s successes both in academics and athletics. We proudly wear our school’s colors and are passionate about giving back to the institution that gave so much to us. Supporting the Catholic campus ministry at your alma mater is a great way to support the university because students who get involved in campus ministry have a much better chance at succeeding in their education.
  7. You love the the next generation of Catholics. Supporting Catholic campus ministry tells this generation of Catholics that you love them. Knowledge of Jesus Christ and involvement in this Church is the greatest good we could want for someone else because it shows we care about their souls.

Please click here for more information on how you can partner with St. Mary’s Catholic Center in serving our students!

How Do You Fulfill The Commandment to “Honor Your Father & Mother” When They Abuse You?

Q – How does the commandment “Honor your father and your mother” apply to people with abusive parents? If they remain unrepentant, how far do obligations to such parents extend?A – Thank you for the question. Abuse is always a horrible thing, esp. whe…

How Can We Be Sure The Books of The Bible Are Inspired?

The word “canon” means rule or measure. In terms of the Bible, it specifically refers to the list of the books that are inspired by the Holy Spirit and are thus are part of Sacred Scripture. Therefore, the books in the Bible are called canonical and th…

Top 10 Reasons College Students Need Catholic Campus Ministry

Top 10 Reasons College Students Need Catholic Campus Ministry10 – Get answers to questions. You might have questions and you are bound to run into other students who have questions about the Catholic Church. Campus ministries can help you find the…

Do Animals go to Heaven?

Q – What is the Church’s teaching on the moral and spiritual status of animals, especially after the animal’s death? I am under the impression that the Church has taught that animals have no souls and so would not enjoy the Beatific Vision after dea…

100 Ways To Pray

This post is a collection of different kinds of prayer, ways to pray, devotions, sacramentals, etc.  It is by no means an exhaustive list, nor is the numbering in any way more than a simple way of listing them.  You will probably find most of the list familiar, but I have tried to give a link to all of them in order to explain the content, method, or kind of prayer in some way.  I recommend your feedback or additions to the list.  I hope you will find this helpful.

100 Ways To Pray
  1. Mass
  2. Baptism
  3. Confession / Reconciliation / Penance
  4. Confirmation
  5. Matrimony
  6. Anointing of the Sick
  7. Ordination
  8. Adoration of the Blessed Sacrament
  9. The Holy Rosary
  10. Sign of the Cross
  11. Liturgy of the Hours
  12. Our Father (The Lord’s Prayer)
  13. Hail Mary
  14. Glory Be
  15. The Apostle’s Creed
  16. The Nicene Creed
  17. The Angelus
  18. Guardian Angel Prayer
  19. St. Michael The Archangel Prayer
  20. Lectio Divina
  21. Meal Blessing (Grace)
  22. Divine Mercy Chaplet
  23. Bible study
  24. The Beatitudes
  25. Indulgences
  26. Novenas (There are many different ones)
  27. Litanies (There are many different ones)
  28. Act of Spiritual Communion
  29. Consecration to Mary (this is a sample of one way to do it)
  30. Blessings (There are many different ones)
  31. Hail Holy Queen
  32. Fatima Prayer (for the Rosary)
  33. Fatima Prayer (for reparation)
  34. Examination of Conscience (There are many different ones)
  35. Fasting
  36. Act of Contrition (There are several different ones)
  37. Act of Faith (There are several different ones)
  38. Act of Hope (There are several different ones)
  39. Act of Love (There are several different ones)
  40. Prayer of Abandonment (There are several different ones)
  41. Prayer for a Happy Death (There are several different ones)
  42. Morning Offering (There are many different ones)
  43. The Divine Praises
  44. Blessing and Adoration to God
  45. Meditation
  46. Vocal Prayer
  47. Petition
  48. Intercession
  49. Thanksgiving
  50. Praise
  51. Contemplation
  52. Repentance
  53. Regina Coeli
  54. Memorare
  55. Singing hymns
  56. Chant
  57. Praise and Worship
  58. Lorica of St. Patrick
  59. Prayer for Travelers
  60. Anima Christi
  61. Renewal of Baptismal Promises
  62. Prayer for Vocations (There are many different ones)
  63. Prayer After Mass (There are many different ones)
  64. Prayer Before Mass (There are many different ones)
  65. Offering Suffering for Others / “Offering it up” (There are many different ones)
  66. Prayers for Souls in Purgatory (There are many different ones)
  67. Prayer to the Holy Spirit (There are many different ones)
  68. Come, Holy Spirit
  69. Prayers of the Saints (There are millions of different ones)
  70. Spiritual Exercises of St. Ignatius
  71. Holy reading / Spiritual reading
  72. St. Alphonsus method of mental prayer
  73. St. Theresa of Avila’s method of mental prayer
  74. Canticle of Zechariah
  75. Canticle of Simeon
  76. Prayer before Confession (There are several different ones)
  77. Blessing of a house
  78. Praying with the Psalms
  79. Devotion of the Scapular (There are different kinds of scapular devotions)
  80. Prayer as a couple (There are many different ones)
  81. Family prayer (There are many different ones)
  82. Spiritual Bouquets 
  83. Spiritual journaling
  84. Sacred Heart devotion
  85. Confiteor
  86. Benediction
  87. Devotion to the Miraculous Medal
  88. Praying with Holy cards
  89. Agnus Dei
  90. Prayer before a crucifix (There are many different ones)
  91. Votive Offerings - Prayer while lighting a candle
  92. The Jesus Prayer
  93. Devotion to the Child Jesus
  94. Devotion to the Immaculate Heart of Mary
  95. Praying with Icons
  96. Pilgrimages
  97. Charismatic prayer (speaking in tongues, slain in the Spirit, etc.)
  98. Prayer for peace (There are many different ones)
  99. Prayer for healing (There are many different ones)
  100. Prayer for the unborn (There are many different ones)

Please add your own in the comments.

Below are a few sites that have tons of prayers:
-EWTN devotionals.

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