Thursday, July 26, 2012

Ask Ellen: Who is the patron saint of art? Anna.

I have to admit, Anna, I had to look this one up.  Officially it is St. Catherine of Bologna.  Her feast day is March 9th.

I think she was named the patron saint of art because she painted the many glorious visions she saw.  She also drew lovely pictures that were contained in manuscripts.

She lived a very private and simple life.  She died when she was 49.  Eighteen days after her death, the people reported a beautiful fragrance around her grave.  It was discovered that her body remained untouched.  It is now housed in the Chapel of the Poor Clares in Bologna.  You should get your dad to take you there.  Get some spaghetti while you are there.

A great way to honor St. Catherine would be to have an exhibit of your art on her feast day.  You could have some fun party foods and celebrate the gift of art in your life.

Thursday, July 19, 2012

Best Of....Ask Ellen If I am divorced, that means I can’t receive Communion, right? Lisa.

Thanks for the question, Lisa.  This is one of the most misunderstood things in the Church today.  Yes, you can receive Communion if you are divorced.  You may not receive if your marriage hasn’t been annulled and you are involved with or married to someone else.

In the eyes of the Church, a legal divorce does not end the marriage.  It is still a sacramental marriage (meaning a sacrament took place)  So you can receive Communion as you did in your married life. (assuming you are free from any other mortal sins).

The problem becomes when you are involved with someone or remarry without an annulment.  See, cause in the eyes of the Church you are still married to person number one.  Therefore, you aren’t free to marry anyone else. 

In order to do so, you must seek an annulment.  This is a process the Church uses to decide whether or not a sacramental marriage occurred.  Many times and for many reasons it might not have been a sacramental marriage and it is annulled.  This means you are fee to remarry and to continue to receive Communion.  Does that make sense?  If not, I encourage you and anyone else with questions about annulments to ask your parish priest.  If you are unable to do so, contact me and I will put you in touch with someone who can help.

Thursday, July 12, 2012

Ask Ellen: Are Catholics even Christians? Julie.

I do not usually answer questions as forcefully as I will this one but it pushes my buttons.  Yes, Catholics are Christians and anyone who told you we aren’t was telling you a lie.  All Catholics believe in Christ which is what defines a Christian.  But there is more to it.

Catholics are different from all other Christians in that we do not belong to a denomination.  All other Christians denominated from Catholicism.  The term “catholic” means “universal.”  From the very beginning, the Church spread universally.  In the Early Church, if you were Christian, you were Catholic.  It was that simple.  That is all there was.

The Catholic Church was founded by Christ Himself.  He made Peter the Rock on which He built the Catholic Church.  This Church is apostolic, meaning it has been passed on through unbroken succession for the last 2000+ years.

All other denominations broke off from this one, holy, Catholic and apostolic Church and were founded by a man or woman.

So, yes, Catholic are Christians.  I would go as far as to say the original Christians.