A forum of Catholic Thought

Eulogies at Catholic funeralsFather Kenneth Doyle

Q. I recently attended a funeral Mass for a friend -- not at my own parish. The pastor informed the family of the deceased that there could be no eulogy given in church -- before, during or after the ...

Changing God's mind? Father Kenneth Doyle

Q. I'm confused about something and would be grateful for your help. Does prayer change God's mind? Can someone be moved to the head of the line if we pray hard enough? (Cuba, Missouri) A. To answer ...

Leaving right after CommunionFather Kenneth Doyle

Q. I am surprised by the number of people who regularly leave church immediately after receiving the Eucharist. In the diary of St. Faustina, Jesus says how sad he is that people treat him as a dead object ...

How often to anoint? Father Kenneth Doyle

Q. A family member was admitted recently to a hospital in central New Jersey. A local priest was called, and he came and administered the last rites of the Catholic Church. Two weeks later, the patient ...

Mass without singing?Father Kenneth Doyle

Q. Will we ever get the low Mass back? I miss its reverence and simplicity, when I could actually follow along with the priest instead of singing. I would especially appreciate a period of quiet after ...

Incense at Mass Father Kenneth Doyle

Q. I am a Catholic, but I have forgotten why incense is sometimes used at Mass. Please explain, especially with regard to its use at funerals. (Aumsville, Oregon) A. The smoke of burning incense is ...

In heaven for sure?Father Kenneth Doyle

Q. My mother passed away some time ago, and I wonder whether she is now in "God's eternal embrace." How can I be sure? She was a good mother and she dearly loved the church, but we have been taught ...

Fasting and the family Father Kenneth Doyle

Q. About two years ago, I made a promise to the Blessed Virgin Mary that I would fast on the Wednesdays and Fridays of each week, taking only bread and water -- for the poor souls in purgatory and for ...