RSSFaith Fundamentals

The gifts of the Holy Spirit

The gifts of the Holy Spirit

| Father Michael Van Sloun | September 16, 2020 | 0 Comments

Seven gifts of the Holy Spirit are imparted on those who receive the sacrament of confirmation.

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Anointing with oil during confirmation

Anointing with oil during confirmation

| Father Michael Van Sloun | August 26, 2020 | 0 Comments

A special kind of oil, sacred chrism, is an integral part of the celebration of the sacrament of confirmation. The minister dips his right thumb into a small bowl of chrism, then raises his oiled thumb, places it on the forehead of the candidate, and with a stroke down and a stroke across, anoints the forehead in the shape of a cross with the words, “Be sealed with the Gift of the Holy Spirit.” The anointing with holy oil imparts the seal of the sacrament.

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The transformative effects of confirmation

The transformative effects of confirmation

| Father Michael Van Sloun | July 28, 2020 | 0 Comments

Confirmation intensifies the gift of the Holy Spirit received at baptism. It is transformative. The person who is confirmed is changed. The recipient is no longer a child or beginner in the spiritual life, dependent upon the faith of others, but rather a full-fledged adult Catholic.

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The biblical basis for confirmation

The biblical basis for confirmation

| Father Michael Van Sloun | June 25, 2020 | 0 Comments

Confirmation is a sacrament instituted by Christ and established in sacred Scripture.

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Confirmation basics, part two

Confirmation basics, part two

| Father Michael Van Sloun | May 21, 2020 | 0 Comments

Last month’s column provided the first half of a list of the basic aspects of the sacrament of confirmation: the duty to receive it, the prerequisites, the appropriate age, preparation with prayer and study, and the qualifications and duties of the sponsor. This article completes the list. Combined, the lists offer a general overview of confirmation.

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Confirmation basics

Confirmation basics

| Father Michael Van Sloun | April 22, 2020 | 0 Comments

Confirmation is one of the seven sacraments, and it belongs to a special group of sacraments, the sacraments of initiation, along with baptism and Eucharist.

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Confirmation: The next series on the sacraments

Confirmation: The next series on the sacraments

| Father Michael Van Sloun | March 26, 2020 | 0 Comments

The objective of this column is to help Catholics, in particular, as well as anyone else who has a desire to learn about our beliefs, to better understand the basic teachings of the Catholic faith. The sacraments are an excellent place to start because they have such a central role in the spiritual life. So important, in fact, that an “active Catholic” is defined as someone who is receiving the sacraments.

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Jesus’ gift to us at Christmas and always

Jesus’ gift to us at Christmas and always

| Father Michael Van Sloun | December 19, 2019 | 0 Comments

Gifts are a big part of Christmas. We shop for gifts, give gifts and look forward to receiving gifts. The practice of gift giving at Christmastime finds its origins in the Magi who brought gifts of gold, frankincense and myrrh to the infant Jesus (Mt 2:11); and in St. Nicholas, who gave his wealth to the poor, food to the hungry, encouragement to prisoners and three separate gifts of gold to a father to pay the dowry for his three daughters. The single greatest gift of Christmas is Jesus himself, the gift of the Father to the human race.

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Tabernacles inside and outside of church

Tabernacles inside and outside of church

| Father Michael Van Sloun | November 21, 2019 | 0 Comments

The tabernacle is where the Blessed Sacrament is reserved. It is usually located in the sanctuary area in the front of the church, often either behind the altar or in its immediate vicinity, or it may be located in a reservation chapel.

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The Litany of the Holy Eucharist

The Litany of the Holy Eucharist

| Father Van Sloun | October 23, 2019 | 0 Comments

A litany is a prayer that consists of a series of invocations, each followed by a response. A litany may be recited or sung with a congregation with the invocations given by a priest, deacon, cantor, lector or layperson and the responses made in unison by the congregation. A litany may also be prayed privately by a single person who recites both the invocations and the responses.

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Eucharistic devotions

Eucharistic devotions

| Father Michael Van Sloun | September 26, 2019 | 0 Comments

Eucharistic devotions are spiritual practices outside of the Mass that give honor to Jesus present in the Blessed Sacrament, as well as opportunities to pray to Jesus in an intensified and personal way in his very presence.

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Reverence for the Eucharist

Reverence for the Eucharist

| Father Michael Van Sloun | August 21, 2019 | 0 Comments

Imagine for a moment a personal audience, not with the president, the CEO of a Fortune 500 company, a Nobel laureate or a highly acclaimed author — but with Jesus himself, the Son of God. What an awesome privilege. Nothing could be better. This privilege happens every time we are in the presence of the Eucharist or receive holy Communion. As we would hold a person of high stature in great esteem, all the more should we offer our utmost respect and reverence to Jesus in the Eucharist. There are ways to express that reverence:

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