Throughout the course of the history of Holy Mother Church we have been told that Catholics do not believe in scientific facts or, more recently on our calendar, one cannot believe in God and science, too. Neither of these statements is true. As a matter of fact, MANY scientific proofs and understandings have been brought to the world by the Catholic Church; more specifically by Catholic priests.

     One such priest is Father Georges Lemaître, a Belgian priest and cosmologist. Cosmology is a branch of astronomy that studies the origin and the evolution of the universe. Fr. Lemaître was born in 1894, excelled in math and physical sciences, earned a degree in engineering but ended up fighting in WWI before working in the field of engineering. After the war he continued his science studies, wrote brilliant papers, earned degrees and awards, and in 1929 was ordained a priest.1  

     In 1927, one of those brilliant papers was a manifesto whose title proclaimed that the universe’s mass is constant, but its radius is increasing, causing its galaxies to move apart.2 Seriously? The universe is expanding? He seemed to think so and had the science to prove his theory. That paper was translated into English and astronomers all over the world were convinced Lemaître was correct; the universe does, in fact, expand.

     Why is this important to us? In 1931 Fr. Lemaître explored the logical consequences of an expanding universe and boldly proposed that it must have originated at a finite point in time. If the universe is expanding, he reasoned, it was smaller in the past, and extrapolation back in time should lead to an epoch when all the matter in the universe was packed together in an extremely dense state. Appealing to the new quantum theory of matter, Fr. Lemaître argued that the physical universe was initially a single particle—the ‘primeval atom’ as he called it—which disintegrated in an explosion, giving rise to space and time and the expansion of the universe that continues to this day. This idea marked the birth of what we now know as Big Bang cosmology.3 Father Georges Lemaître is not only a father of the Church but also the father of the BIG BANG THEORY!

     In the beginning, when God created the heavens and the earth and the earth was without form or shape, with darkness over the abyss and a mighty wind sweeping over the waters (Genesis 1:1-2). Well-played father! Fr. Lemaître died in 1966 at the age of 71. He was only one of many priests proving the awesomeness of God through science. His accomplishments are worth reading. Check out the references, you’ll have a cosmic experience!






2 Ibid


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The Gospel of Mark 3:32-35 is a passage that gives fuel for Protestants to believe Mary was not a perpetual virgin. This thought is the heresy of helvidianism that argues the very point of this passage, albeit wrong. Helvidius was an author before 383 AD and wrote a book claiming Mary and St. Joseph had marital relations and other children.1


How do you provide the Truth? First it is important to explain that in Greek the word for brothers used in Mark’s Gospel is adelphois, which, in its literal sense means “brothers; those from the same womb.” This is also in John 1:41 as adelpho. In Acts 22:13 it means "one who shares a common ethnic heritage.”  In Matthew 7:3-5 it means "neighbor." In Colossians 4:7 the word refers to "one who shares the same faith in Christ; a fellow-believer."2  Adelphai, the word used for sister in Marks Gospel, falls under the same complication.


It’s important to defend scripture with scripture and not pick and choose. Is there another verse in scripture that uses the exact same Greek word to mean people not born of Mary? Yes, 1Corinthians 15:6 After that, He (Jesus) appeared to more than five hundred brothers at once, most of whom are still living, though some have fallen asleep.

I am fairly certain Mary did not birth 500 children.


Also, when the Virgin is mentioned in scripture she is called Mary, the mother of Jesus (see John 2:1, Acts 1:14). Mary, Maria in Greek, Miriam in Hebrew, is a common name in Jewish culture. When James and Joseph, also called Joses, are referred to as Jesus’ brothers in Mark 6:3 it SEEMS like the Virgin is their mother but further reading in Marks lands us on 15:40 which says Among them were Mary Magdalene, Mary the mother of the younger James and of Joses, and Salome. The virgin would have been listed as the mother of Jesus, not only James and Joses.


Included as brothers in Mark 6:3 is Judas and Simon. I find it personally interesting that James, Joseph, Judas, and Simon were surprised and fascinated by Jesus Christ as if they had not known Him before introduction. John the Baptist was the cousin of Jesus and it is possible not to live around your cousins and therefore not know them well, but siblings tend to live in the same house. Would they not have known Jesus if they were brothers? Would they not have needed to ask “Where do you live”? If Mary, the mother of Jesus had been their mother as well, they would have followed Him out the door not found him on a beach and elsewhere.





Lights, Camera, Action!

There are few pastimes more entertaining than a good movie and hot, fresh popcorn. Everyone has their favorite actors, genres, even movie lines and there is always room for a new option. In 2004 the publication National Catholic Register compiled a list of 100 pro-Catholic movies. Perhaps you will find a new favorite, or an old friend in the list. As summer approaches there might be a fun movie night lurking on the list.


WARNING: Not all of these movies are family-friendly. Movies with asterisks are known to have adult content. (NCR)


1. The Passion of the Christ (2004)* 
2. The Sound of Music (1965)
3. A Man For All Seasons (1966)
4. The Song of Bernadette (1943)
5. It’s a Wonderful Life (1946)
6. The Ten Commandments (1956)
7. The Scarlet and the Black (1983)
8. Jesus of Nazareth (1977)
9. Schindler’s List (1993) * 
10. The Bells of St Mary’s (1945)
11. Thérèse (2004)
12. Braveheart (1995) *
13. The Miracle of Our Lady of Fatima
14. The Mission (1986) *
15. Lilies of the Field (1963)
16. The Miracle of Marcelino (1955)
17. Les Miserables (1998) *
18. The Quiet Man (1952)
19. Ben Hur (1959)
20. Rudy (1993) *
21. The Robe (1953)
22. Return to Me (2000) *
23. We Were Soldiers (2002) *
24. Becket (1964) * 
25. Going My Way (1944)

26. Romero (1989)
27. Sister Act (1992) *
28. Pope John Paul II (1984)
29. Jonah: a Veggie Tales Movie (2002)
30. Shoes of the Fisherman (1986)
31. Brideshead Revisited (1981) * 
32. The Keys of the Kingdom (1944)
33. On the Waterfront (1954)
34. I Confess (1953)
35. Boys Town (1938)
36. Molokai: the Story of Father Damien (1999) * 
37. Quo Vadis (1951)
38. The Trouble With Angels (1956)
39. Babette’s Feast (1987)
40. The Rookie (2002) * S
41. The Reluctant Saint (1962)
42. One Man’s Hero (1999)
43. Brother Sun, Sister Moon (1972)
44. The Exorcist (1973) * 
45. Dead Man Walking (1995) *
46. Joan of Arc (1948)
47. The Agony and the Ecstasy (1965) *
48. The Passion of Joan of Arc (1928) *
49. Angels In the Outfield (1951)
50. Moonstruck (1987) *

Lights, Camera, Action - Take 2!

Last week we read the first 50 of 100 pro-Catholic movies published in a 2004 publication of National Catholic Register. Here are 51-100.


WARNING: Not all of these movies are family-friendly. Movies with asterisks are known to have adult content. (NCR)

51. The Miracle Maker: the Story of Jesus (2000)
52. Henry V (1989) *
53. Heaven Knows, Mr. Allison (1957)
54. Entertaining Angels: the Dorothy Day Story (1996)
55. Knute Rockne: All American (1940)
56. The Greatest Story Ever Told (1965)
57. The Singing Nun (1966)
58. Marty (1955)
59. Monsieur Vincent (1948)
60. The Assisi Underground (1985)
61. Au Revoir Les Infants (1987) *
62. Come to the Stable (1949)
63. Diary of a Country Priest (1951)
64. In This House of Brede (1975)
65. The Jeweller’s Shop (1988)
66. The Miracle of the Bells (1948)
67. The Fighting Sullivans (1944)
68. The Fourth Wiseman (1985)
69. The Juggler of Notre Dame (1970)
70. Barabbas (1962)
71. King of Kings (1961)
72. Francis of Assisi (1961)
73. The Adventures of Robin Hood (1937)
74. The Decalogue (1987) *
75. The Gospel According to Saint Matthew (1966)

76. Angels With Dirty Faces (1938)
77. The Fugitive (1947)
78. The Longest Day (1962)
79. Thérèse (1986)
80. The Gospel of John (2003)
81. A.D. (1985)
82. Faustyna (1995)
83. The Son (2002)
84. Francesco (1989) *
85. The Flowers of St. Francis (1950)
86. Brother Orchid (1940)
87. Demetrius and the Gladiators
88. Nazarin (1958)
89. The Silver Chalice (1954)
90. When In Rome (1952)
91. Not of This World (1999)
92. Open City (1945) *
93. 3 Godfathers (1948)
94. Don Bosco (1988)
95. Abraham (1994)
96. The Detective (1954)
97. The Hoodlum Saint (1946)
98. The Sign of the Cross (1932)
99. The Wrong Man (1956)
100. Padre On Horseback (1977)





From a sermon by a sixth century African author

The disciples spoke in the language of every nation. At Pentecost God chose this means to indicate the presence of the Holy Spirit: whoever had received the Spirit spoke in every kind of tongue. We must realize, dear brothers, that this is the same Holy Spirit by whom love is poured out in our hearts. It was love that was to bring the Church of God together all over the world. And as individual men who received the Holy Spirit in those days could speak in all kinds of tongues, so today the Church, united by the Holy Spirit, speaks in the language of every people.

Therefore if somebody should say to one of us, “You have received the Holy Spirit, why do you not speak in tongues?” his reply should be, “I do indeed speak in the tongues of all men, because I belong to the body of Christ, that is, the Church, and she speaks all languages. What else did the presence of the Holy Spirit indicate at Pentecost, except that God’s Church was to speak in the language of every people?”

This was the way in which the Lord’s promise was fulfilled: No one puts new wine into old wineskins. New wine is put into fresh skins, and so both are preserved. So when the disciples were heard speaking in all kinds of languages, some people were not far wrong in saying: They have been drinking too much new wine. The truth is that the disciples had now become fresh    wineskins, renewed and made holy by grace. The new wine of the Holy Spirit filled them, so that their fervor brimmed over and they spoke in manifold tongues. By this spectacular miracle they became a sign of the Catholic Church, which embraces the language of every nation.

Keep this feast, then, as members of the one body of Christ. It will be no empty festival for you if you really live what you are celebrating. For you are the members of that Church which the Lord acknowledges as his own, being himself acknowledged by her, that same Church which he fills with the Holy Spirit as she spreads throughout the world. He is like a bridegroom who never loses sight of his own bride; no one could ever deceive him by substituting some other woman.

To you men of all nations, then, who make up the Church of Christ, you, the members of Christ, you, the body of Christ, you, the bride of Christ—to all of you the Apostle addresses these words: Bear with one another in love; do all you can to preserve the unity of the Spirit in the bond of peace. Notice that when Paul urges us to bear with one another, he bases his argument on love, and when he speaks of our hope of unity, he emphasizes the bond of peace. This Church is the house of God. It is his delight to dwell here. Take care, then, that he never has the sorrow of seeing it undermined by schism and collapsing in ruins.

File Attachment:

Remember, Man, You are Dust

Part 2

Part one of this title explained the history of the reason Holy Mother Church banned cremation. Although there is no longer a ban, the Church maintains the importance of our natural bodies and the reverence thereof after death.

Bishop Morlino of Madison, Wisconsin reminds us that our bodies are heaven-bound. They will one day be glorified, as taught in 1 Corinthians 15: 42-44. He explains that the body’s destiny is heaven, not the grave. “We’re not disposing of the body in the grave…we’re allowing it to rest in order to have it raised up,” he said. “God has further use of that body. It is not a throw-away.”1 These teachings are only understood in the shadow of the second coming.

The Catholic understanding and practice of preparing a body for burial comes to us from Jewish tradition. This is called the Tahara, a simple, yet dignified ritual that allows the person to meet his or her Maker with the utmost respect and dignity. 2The Tahara ritual includes cleansing, washing and dressing. Sound familiar?

Finally, how the remains of someone are handled goes far to the expression of respect. If we do not do something to a body, we should not with cremains. We would not leave Grandpa in the living room in a casket, so we should not leave his urn on the mantle. We would not cut pieces of Mom to make jewelry with, so we should not with her ashes. We would not dismember Uncle Frank and spread him throughout the land, so we should not with his cremains.  The Church is quite clear on the disposition of remains:

5. When, for legitimate motives, cremation of the body has been chosen, the ashes of the faithful must be laid to rest in a sacred place, that is, in a cemetery or, in certain cases, in a church or an area, which has been set aside for this purpose, and so dedicated by the competent ecclesial authority.

6. … the conservation of the ashes of the departed in a domestic residence is not permitted. … the ashes may not be divided among various family members and due respect must be maintained regarding the circumstances of such a conservation.

7. In order that every appearance of pantheism, naturalism or nihilism be avoided, it is not permitted to scatter the ashes of the faithful departed in the air, on land, at sea or in some other way, nor may they be preserved in mementos, pieces of jewellery [sic] or other objects. These courses of action cannot be legitimised [sic] by an appeal to the sanitary, social, or economic motives that may have occasioned the choice of cremation. 3

Because we continue to remember our deceased loved ones in our memories and prayers, having a place we can visit is important to aid in our continuous healing. Likewise, a grave or mausoleum with a tombstone or marker helps to keep us grounded in the understanding that one day Christ will come and our loved ones, as well as we will rise from our graves with our glorified bodies to live again on the new earth. One hundred years from now, if this has not yet happened, people will visit our graves and know that a person precious in the sight of God is buried there, will offer a prayer for our souls, and will look forward to seeing us again in the second coming.



3 Instruction Ad resurgendum cum Christo regarding the burial of the deceased and the conservation of the ashes in the case of cremation, 25.10.2016

- Tiffany J Gallozzi

Remember Man, You Are Dust – Part 1

When planning a burial we are faced with the question of casket or cremation. Catholics are very aware that Holy Mother Church, until fairly recently, did not permit cremation. It wasn’t until the 1960’s that a shift was made.

Although Catholics know it was not an option, most cannot explain why. Historically, pagans did not believe in the resurrection of the body, believed in re-incarnation, and insisted death the end so reverencing a body was pointless. They cremated their dead to prove their theological point. In order to keep theological differences separate, early Christians in Rome buried their dead in the catacombs outside the city walls. Therefore, if a Catholic chose to be cremated it was seen as a loss of hope in the resurrection of the body and/or a scoffing at a fundamental belief of the faith. The Catechism of the Catholic Church addresses the issue in a single sentence: “The Church permits cremation, provided that it does not demonstrate a denial of faith in the resurrection of the body” (no. 2301).

The rise of cremation since the Church lifted the ban is due mostly to cost and, in some cases of family plots, space. The Church still considers body burial the preferred practice; if cremation is to take place She favors the body present at the funeral.  Canon law gives some insight as well.

Can.  1176

§1. Deceased members of the Christian faithful must be given ecclesiastical funerals according to the norm of law.

§2. Ecclesiastical funerals, by which the Church seeks spiritual support for the deceased, honors their bodies, and at the same time brings the solace of hope to the living, must be celebrated according to the norm of the liturgical laws.

§3. The Church earnestly recommends that the pious custom of burying the bodies of the deceased be observed; nevertheless, the Church does not prohibit cremation unless it was chosen for reasons contrary to Christian doctrine.

Bishop Robert Morlino had a study executed in Madison, Wisconsin and found that in areas where the Catholic faith is stronger, cremation is chosen less frequently. Depending on the region of Madison, cremations make up 20 to 40 percent of all burials. I imagine the same is true for other cities, too. Why the body? Stay tuned for part 2!

- Tiffany J Gallozzi

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