Saturday, May 31, 2014

Catechesis on the Blessed Trinity (Part 1)

In preparation for the Feast of the Most Holy Trinity on June 15, and perhaps throughout the month of June, there will be excerpts from the Roman Catechism of the Council of Trent provided for your reflection.

The Trinity Of Persons In God

The Christian faith, therefore, believes and professes, as is declared in the Nicene Creed in confirmation of this truth, that God in His Nature, Substance and Essence is one. But soaring still higher, it so understands Him to be one that it adores unity in trinity and trinity in unity. Of this mystery we now proceed to speak, as it comes next in order in the Creed.

"The Father"

As God is called Father for more reasons than one, we must first determine the more appropriate sense in which the word is used in the present instance.

God Is Called Father Because He Is Creator And Ruler

Even some on whose darkness the light of faith never shone conceived God to be an eternal substance from whom all things have their beginning, and by whose Providence they are governed and preserved in their order and state of existence. Since, therefore, he to whom a family owes its origin and by whose wisdom derived from human things these persons gave the name Father to God, whom they acknowledge to be the Creator and Governor of the universe. The Sacred Scriptures also, when they wish to show that to God must be ascribed the creation of all things, supreme power and admirable Providence, make use of the same name. Thus we read: Is not he thy Father, that hath possessed thee, and made thee and created thee? And: Have we not all one Father? hath not one God created us?

Saturday, May 17, 2014

Can Catholics Believe in Reincarnation?

First, we have to define the term itself.  “Re-incarnation”, as the word itself suggests, deals with the soul being placed into another body (in-carne) after it has already been in another body.  Father John Hardon, S.J., in his Modern Catholic Dictionary, defines reincarnation, which he identifies by the technical term “Metempsychosis”, in the following way: “The theory of the transmigration of human souls from one body, whether human or animal, to another.  Taught by Plato (427-347 B.C.) and nowadays by theosophists, it is the single most characteristic of the Eastern religions, in the Vedic, mainly Hindu, and Buddhist traditions.” 

At the moment of conception God immediately creates a soul, which is destined for eternal life, and ultimately the Resurrection.  Belief in reincarnation is contrary to the Catholic Faith and cannot be believed.  The Catechism of the Catholic Church teaches, “Death is the end of man’s earthly pilgrimage, of the time of grace and mercy which God offers him so as to work out his earthly life in keeping with the divine plan, and to decide his ultimate destiny.  When ‘the single course of our earthly life’ is completed, we shall not return to other earthly lives: ‘It is appointed for men to die once.’ (Hebrews 9:27) There is no ‘reincarnation’ after death.” (CCC., no. 1013)

By Rev. Ronald W. Check

Sunday, May 11, 2014

Upcoming Area Traditional Latin Masses -- Spring/Summer 2014 -- NEW MASSES

The following Traditional Latin Masses will be offered this spring and summer at Nativity of the Blessed Virgin Mary Roman Catholic Church and St. Adalbert Roman Catholic Church in the Port Richmond section of Philadelphia:

Thurs. 5/1/14 - 7 PM - Feast of St. Joseph the Worker at Nativity Parish
                        (Low Mass with hymns sung by Our Lady of Port Richmond 
                        Regional Catholic School; Rev. Harold B. McKale, celebrant)

Tues. 5/13/14 - 7 PM - Feast of St. Robert Bellarmine at Nativity Parish
                        (Low Mass in Upper Church; Rev. Harold B. McKale, celebrant)

Thurs. 6/5/14 - 7 PM - Feast of St. Boniface at Nativity Parish
                        (Low Mass with hymns in Upper Church; Rev. Harold B. McKale, celebrant)

Fri. 6/27/14 - 7 PM - Feast of the Sacred Heart of Jesus at St. Adalbert Parish
                        (High Mass; Rev. Harold B. McKale, celebrant)

Tues. 7/1/14 - 7 PM - Feast of the Most Precious Blood at Nativity Parish
                        (Low Mass in air-conditioned Lower Church; Rev. Harold B. McKale, celebrant)

Fri.  8/22/14 - 7 PM - Feast of the Immaculate Heart of Mary at Nativity Parish
                        (Low Mass in air-conditioned Lower Church; Rev. Harold B. McKale, celebrant)

Fri. 9/12/14 - 7 PM - Feast of the Most Holy Name of Mary at Nativity Parish
                        (Low Mass with hymns; Rev. Harold B. McKale, celebrant)

Nativity of the Blessed Virgin Mary Roman Catholic Church
2535 E. Allegheny Ave.
Philadelphia, PA 19134
Rev. Dennis Fedak, Pastor

St. Adalbert Roman Catholic Church
2645 E. Allegheny Ave.
Philadelphia, PA 19134
Rev. Jan Palkowski, Pastor

Those interested in supporting the Traditional Latin Mass in Port Richmond through singing in the schola (choir) or serving as acolytes (altar servers), or in any other way giving of your time, talent, and treasure, please contact Father McKale at the Nativity rectory, 215-739-2735.

Also visit the Archdiocese of Philadelphia's Traditional Latin Mass website,, for more information on area Traditional Latin Masses in the Delaware Valley Tri-State area.

Saturday, May 10, 2014

Catechesis on the Priesthood

As we prepare for the ordinations to the priesthood this coming Saturday, May 17th, let's take time for a brief Q&A, and close with a prayer.

How is the Sacrament of Holy Orders celebrated?  “The Sacrament of Holy Orders is conferred, in each of its three degrees, by means of the imposition of hands on the head of the ordinand by the bishop who pronounces the solemn prayer of consecration.  With this prayer he asks God on behalf of the ordinand for the special outpouring of the Holy Spirit and for the gifts of the Spirit proper to the ministry to which he is being ordained.” (Compendium CCC, no. 331) 

With what authority is the priestly ministry exercised?  “Ordained priests in the exercise of their sacred ministry speak and act not on their own authority, nor even by mandate or delegation of the community, but rather in the Person of Christ the Head and in the name of the Church.  Therefore, the ministerial priesthood differs essentially and not just in degree from the priesthood common to all the faithful for whose service Christ instituted it.” (Compendium CCC, no. 336)

O Jesus, Eternal Priest, keep Thy priests within the shelter of Thy Sacred Heart, where none may touch them.  Keep unstained their anointed hands, which daily touch Thy Sacred Body. Keep unsullied their lips, daily purpled with Thy Precious Blood. Keep pure and unworldly their hearts, sealed with the sublime mark of the priesthood. Let Thy Holy Love surround them from the world's contagion. Bless their labors with abundant fruit, and may the souls to whom they minister be their joy and consolation here and their everlasting crown hereafter.  Mary, Queen of the Clergy, pray for us: obtain for us numerous and holy priests. Amen.