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.

Resurgence of deacons has its roots in Nazi concentration camp
Betsy Wiederkehr Huss
Why do we have ordained deacons in the Catholic Church? The history might surprise you.
Catholics support dignity, rights, indispensable role of workers
Deacon Matthew Glover
We just celebrated Labor Day here in the United States, a holiday that most people associate with the end of summertime, the beginning of college football season and a much-needed three day weekend before the long grind towards Thanksgiving and Christmas.
Religious images, statues are not idols as described in Old Testament
Father Jerome Kodell, OSB
The First Letter of John ends with the terse sentence: “Children, be on your guard against idols.” (5:21)
Grandparents can learn from Joachim and Anne to pass on faith
Chris Thomas
One difficult afternoon, many years ago, was spent disciplining our 6-year-old son Andrew. After tears of anger and frustration, he shouted out, “I want to talk to Grandma.”
Gestures in Mass signify unity in body, mind and spirit with Christ
Paula Standridge
One of the countless treasures of our Catholic faith is the fact that we worship with our whole person: body, mind and spirit. Sometimes we do this so routinely and automatically that we are not even mindful of doing it or forget why we do so.
God gives charism to each person to share, unique as DNA
Sister Joan Pytlik, DC
All is a gift. We all know that God is always giving us gifts like the beautiful spring flowers, the people who love us, himself in the Eucharist.
Easter gives 50 days to focus on ‘going forth’ in name of Jesus
Judy Hoelzeman
On Easter Sunday we may sing, “Jesus Christ is risen today” but the mystery and joy of the resurrection could never be expressed in a single day.
Do not leave your gifts from Holy Spirit in a box: Use them
Kelli Nugent
I received the sacrament of confirmation as a sixth grader. I remember having to memorize answers to a set of questions that the bishop may ask us, the candidates.
Follow God’s example by offering clemency to those who do us wrong
Betsy Wiederkehr Huss
Do we sometimes forget the amazingly marvelous things God does for us? Especially, if we look at what we truly deserve or could justly receive from him. Clemency has been offered to us. We are sinners, yet God loves us and sent his Son, Jesus, to die for us so we could experience true life.
Remembering we are dust reminds us of our eternal salvation
Deacon Matthew Glover
About this time each year, Catholics around the world go through what some may call a rather morbid practice: having ashes smeared across our foreheads, while hearing the words: “Remember that you are dust, and to dust you shall return.”