The 4 Prophetic Catholic Warnings on the Effects of Chemical Contraception

By Fr. John Hollowell, On This Rock:

“Do you not know that your bodies are members of Christ?  ..the immoral person sins against his own body.  Do you not know that your body is a temple of the Holy Spirit within you… Therefore glorify God in your body.”

As every scripture scholar acknowledges, St. Paul is here warning the Corinthians about a particular type of sin – sexual immorality that was so rampant at the time in Corinth

Pope Paul VI

I read an article this week not even preparing for this homily, but it ended up talking about how this letter from Paul to the Corinthians that we have this weekend was the FIRST sexual revolution – a preaching to Corinth a way of viewing sexuality which would have been almost completely foreign to them and the rest of the world

There is a certain basic reality that St. Paul is speaking to that makes Catholicism unique in so many ways – the idea that each of us have a body and a soul and that our bodies and souls are not a ghost and a machine

Virtually no one else holds the classic Catholic understanding of the body and soul relationship.

1)   Some go really far towards the bodily and material: “all that is real is what is the physical world”

2)   Others go too far to the spiritual: “everything that matters is only on the spiritual realm and what we see around us, all that is “bodily” is bad or is an illusion”

3)   and most everyone else has the problematic view that body and soul are real but almost completely unrelated – “I can do with my body whatever I want, and my soul will remain unharmed.  And I can do whatever I want on the spiritual plane, it will not affect me bodily”

That’s why St. Paul URGES the Corinthians: “Glorify God IN YOUR BODY!”

2018 is the 50th Anniversary of the most talked about encyclical of all time: Humanae Vitae

It too, like St. Paul to the Corinthians, seeks to speak to humanity about the importance of keeping the body and soul together.

A central idea of the encyclical is that in married love, the coming together of spouses (the unitive dimension of married love) must always be linked, in every act, to the procreative dimension of married love (the openness to life)

The Church has always condemned contraceptives that, in a physical way, intervened in married love, but a new question arose with the advent of the birth control pill.  Would it be permissible for marriages to allow a chemical form of birth control?

Pope Paul VI wrote the encyclical, then, and ruled that no, couples could never use chemical means of birth control either, that chemicals also serve to sever the unitive and procreative – the body and the soul of marriage

Pope Francis reaffirmed all the teachings of Humanae Vitae last year with his letter Amoris Laetitia (paragraph 80, among others)

What I’d like to look at for the moment is the prophetic nature of Humanae Vitae.  It is probably the most prophetic Church document of all time

Humanae Vitae made 4 predictions if use of the contraceptive pill became widespread in our wider culture:

1)   An increase in marital unfaithfulness and a general lowering of morality

  1. Would anyone deny that over the last 50 years that has happened?
  1. In 1968 he was mocked for worrying about this, but only a couple of years after the contraceptive pill was legalized in the United States, the divorce rate doubled, some of those divorces caused BY infidelity

2)   Objectification of women

  1. Again, many in 1968 would have asked what the worry is about?
  1. In the wake of the Harvey Weinstein scandal and so forth, would anyone deny this now?  With pornography being the number one thing the internet is used for, would anyone question his prophecy now?

3)   Governments would begin to use contraception and encourage it on their populations

  1. Surely in 1968 people probably thought he was crazy
  1. In 2018, when China and other countries have done this for years
  1. In 2018 when our own country and Canada and others have been guilty at times of tying our foreign aid to countries only if they are distributing to their people contraception.  As Mary Eberstadt rightly noted: “This spectacle of pale people in increasingly barren societies telling certain other people not to have their own children is going to look grotesque in history’s rear view mirror” Mary Eberstadt
  1. In 2018, when the Little Sisters of the Poor are still in appeals courts and are currently required to pay for contraception for people, would anyone call Pope Paul VI crazy now?

4)   People would begin thinking they have total dominion over their bodies

  1. In 1968 – what does that even mean?
  1. In 2018, when people say that if you are male, but you think you are female, then you are – that merely thinking something in your mind is enough – would anyone say that in 2018 Pope Paul VI was off the mark?

These 4 predictions – to those who mocked them 50 years ago today, Paul VI might say today “you mocked me 50 years ago, but can you hear me now?”

St. Paul said the body and the soul are one, nothing can come between them

Pope Paul said the body and soul of a marriage are one, nothing can come between them

Bishop Fulton Sheen put it this way “Nothing is more psychosomatic that the union of two in one flesh; nothing so much alters a mind, a will, for better or for worse.  The separation of soul and body is death.  THOSE WHO SEPARATE SEX AND SPIRIT ARE REHEARSING FOR DEATH.”

As we think about these warnings of Paul VI in Humanae Vitae, the warnings about separating body and soul in married love, we of course have likely heard about those who have, over the last 50 years, not given their assent to the teaching.  But St. John Paul II said the following – “Humanae Vitae’s teaching on Contraception does not belong to matter that can be freely disputed among theologians.  To teach the contrary is equivalent to leading the moral conscience of spouses into error.” Address of June 5, 1987

Solution put forward by Humanae Vitae – Natural Family Planning

Again, just as the proof of the accuracy of Paul VI’s predictions are obvious and apparent, equally impressive are the positive statistics of those who utilize Natural Family Planning that Humanae Vitae proposed

1)   Natural Family Planning has a success rate of 97-99% for those who discern that they ought to abstain during fertile windows for the time being for various reasons discover in prayer before God.

2)   The divorce rate for couples using NFP is between 1-3%

May our world recapture the Christian vision of human persons as embodied souls, may we recognize the link between our bodies and souls, and thus begin again to affirm, as a culture, that our bodies are Temples of the Holy Spirit, and we are called, by Paul in today’s reading and also called by the Church in all Her teachings, we are called to glorify God in our bodies.

May we again be people who are able to say, in different ways, to all those we are called to love, may we say what Christ says to those HE loves: “This is my Body, given up for you!”

Read humanae vitae by clicking HERE

What to learn more about Natural Family Planning?  Click HERE

What Every Family Needs.

By Fr. John Hollowell, On this Rock

Growing up in my home parish, being the oldest of 11, people would come up to us after Mass and say things like “Oh, what a lovely, well behaved family you have” and my brothers and I would all laugh quietly to ourselves because we knew all the stuff that had been going on during Mass between us while we were punching each other, stealing things from each other, and squeezing each others hands as hard as we could during the “Our Father” and the sign of peace.  We also, knew, as all families do, about all the stuff that went on at home – the fights, the losing of patience, the arguments, etc.

I know as a priest walking with lots of families as a pastor that ALL families have struggles and adversity.  All families have relationships that are strained, all families have struggles and challenges and pain and woundedness.  Sometimes there are strains and problem spots that are decades long!

And it seems to me that it is a great temptation for people to look around and think that other families are good, other families are well-behaved, OTHER families are “perfect” but that our family is a dumpster fire.

If that’s the temptation for families, then how much more so is that the case for the Holy Family???  How in the world would we ever feel like they have anything in common with us???  They are up on Mt. Olympus, and we’re down here 100 miles away looking at them – how could we look to them, as the opening prayer of Mass says, as an EXAMPLE???

But what does Scripture say?  I think, when we look at the evidence in Scripture, we see a family that, although we have no record of sin being in their family, they still faced great difficult, adversity, and temptation

1) The Annunciation – Mary is visited by an angel and told that she’s going to become pregnant by God, and that her child would become the savior of the world.  That’s HARD.  That’s ADVERSITY.  God coming and telling you all that.

2) Joseph, too.  He had these plans to “divorce her quietly” to do the honorable thing so that no shame or harm would be brought to Mary.  But God comes to him and says “I hear your plans, but I’m changing them”  That’s HARD.  That’s difficult to accept from God, to learn that our plans that we had come up with need to change dramatically.  That’s adversity.

3) In Today’s Gospel, Mary and Joseph, in bringing Jesus to the temple when he’s 8 days old, they are told by the holy sage prophet at the temple – “Mary, your heart will be PIERCED because of this child”  That’s HARD.  That’s ADVERSITY.

4) Finally, Mary watched her son be tortured and murdered.  Are you still tempted to think of the Holy Family as a family of virtuous robots whose lives were the equivalent of vacationing in Tahiti?

The Devil wants you to think that the Holy Family is so aloof from your family, so different that your dumpster fire of a family has nothing it can learn from the Holy Family because your experiences and struggles are SO different from your own.

So what is needed to help families move closer to the example of the Holy Family?  In our second reading St. Paul says one of the biggest keys for families that I’ve seen – FORGIVENESS!!!

Forgiveness is the oil that keeps the engine of the family working properly and running well.  Oil keeps parts of an engine that would otherwise get overheated and strained – oil keeps those spots of the engine cool enough to not fall apart.

FORGIVENESS is just that.  So many families need forgiveness in so many relationships.

But forgiveness is certainly hard.  It is hard to offer, and it can be hard to receive.

So let me suggest one way to get better – the sacrament of confession.  Everyone is afraid of confession and dreads it, but everyone experiences a great freedom and peace afterwards.  It is place to ask for and receive the forgiveness of God, and after that, you are so much better disposed to forgive and seek the forgiveness of others in your family.

Finally, then, let me conclude by noting that through our baptism we are adopted brothers and sisters with Christ.  So the Holy Family isn’t JUST a virtuous example, it is also true that St. Joseph is our adoptive father and Mary is our adopted mother – so they live now to intercede for us, for fathers and mothers and husbands and wives and children and siblings…so if you are struggling, know that the Holy Family knows adversity too, and also that because of your connection and life IN their family, we can draw strength from their prayers for us in our earthly families as well!

Kick Contraception to the Curb

What Causes the Breakdown of the Family?

By Fr. John Hollowell:

Fr. John Hollowell

Fr. John Hollowell

I was at an event recently where an evangelical Christian was speaking about the problem our society faces being the breakdown of the family.

He made fine and true points. But here’s the deal. If we want to solve the problem we have to know what caused it. If there’s 10 inches of water in the basement one ought to be applauded for noticing, but the question that ultimately needs answering: “where did the water come from so we can FIX the problem”???

The problem is actually found in a source most people don’t want to acknowledge: contraception. The Catholic Church has held the line on this teaching and Paul VI, in the late 60’s, said that if contraceptive use became widespread, then our culture would arrive at precisely the disaster we are in.

If you look at society and say the problem is “the breakdown of the family” you get half credit for that answer. But it’s time to treat the cause. Simply shouting at families “STOP BREAKING DOWN” will not work.

Start with your marriage. Kick contraception to the curb. And then have the courage to invite others to do the same. Or waste your time hoping families will stop breaking down.

Addendum after reading people’s comments below: This is precisely why we lose the argument, because we all say “Yeah, the break down of the family is contraception, you’re right, and it’s also _____________” We have to stop saying “also ________________” and start treating it at the source. Contraception is always evil. Full stop. We need to keep saying that if we want to get through to people. Inserting another 100 other related social ills (which are all true…nihilism, socialism, selfishness, pride, vanity, materialism, no fault divorce, greed, adultery, and on and on and on…those are all bad too, and related to contraception) inserting those other things in the argument just waters down our effectiveness when speaking about what has destroyed the family

This is Super Serious: Fortune Telling, Ouija Boards, Tarot Cards . . .

Ouija Boards and Demonic Oppression

By Fr. John Hollowell, On This Rock:

I spoke with a young man who was battling authentic demonic oppression for over twenty years after being in a room where a Ouija Board was being used when this young man was in seventh grade.

He shared that he felt something come into him and that from that point on in his life, he knew he was battling a Demon that had considerable ability to harm him (head aches and weariness) and to suggest things to him denigrating himself, his family, discouraging him from going to Church, discouraging him from confession and priests, and much more.

Stay away from fortune telling, Ouija boards, Tarot Cards, and all that other garbage.  EVIL IS REAL.  

“All forms of divination are to be rejected:  recourse to Satan or demons, conjuring up the dead or other practices falsely supposed to ‘unveil’ the future.  Consulting horoscopes, astrology, palm reading, interpretation of omens and lots, the phenomena of clairvoyance, and recourse to mediums all conceal a desire for power over time, history, and, in the last analysis, other human beings, as well as a wish to conciliate hidden powers.  They contradict the honor, respect, and loving fear that we owe to God alone”
– Catechism 2116

Note that Deuteronomy compares all these evil consultations with killing children: “Let there not be found among you anyone who immolates his son or daughter in the fire, nor a fortuneteller, soothsayer, charmer, diviner, or caster of spells, nor one who consults ghosts and spirits or seeks oracles from the dead.”
– Deuteronomy 18: 10-11

St. Paul and Deuteronomy note that those who engage in these types of acts commit mortal sins.  It is SUPER SERIOUS

As noted from this particular young man’s story, even those AROUND this type of activity can be harmed in serious ways.

What is Infinitely More Important for Lent?

Annual Lenten Reminder

By Fr. John Hollowell, On This  Rock:

Going to Mass EVERY weekend is INFINITELY more important than giving up something for Lent.

The Church NOWHERE requires Catholics to give up anything throughout Lent.

The Church does say that it is a grave sin to not attend weekend Mass (exceptions of illness/caring for someone who is ill/dangerous or overly burdensome travel etc.)

Sadly, some ignore the commandment concerning weekend Mass but would run through a brick wall in order to keep their Lenten pledge.

Don’t get me wrong – it is good to have zeal for a Lenten commitment, but it makes no sense if the more basic apparatus of the Faith is not in place as well.

It doesn’t make any sense to say “I’m giving up sweets for Lent even though the Church doesn’t require it, but I go to Mass once a month even though the Church says Sunday/Saturday pm Mass is what I am to build my life around.”

Said yet another way: don’t give up anything for Lent until you have first committed to going to Mass every weekend of Lent.



1) I’m not saying “do something positive instead of giving something up for Lent” I’m saying go to Mass every Sunday before worrying about doing something for Lent.

2) Also, this isn’t me “judging” anyone. Neither is this me saying I’m better than anyone. This is me pointing out an ACTION that is problematic and in need of correcting in order for a person to find true happiness. I share this out of love – weekly Mass is critical for a person to find peace.

Our Greatest Threats: Abortion and Euthanasia

By Father John Hollowell, On This Rock:

We’ve hear that we are all one Body in Christ so MANY times, which is good, but we probably lose the REVOLUTIONARY nature of what St. Paul was saying.

Every culture before Christ had, in one way or another, looked at some people as “more human” and other people as “less human” or even “expendable non-humans”

Saint Paul says – “THOSE DAYS ARE OVER”

Additionally, not only does St. Paul say the days of marginalizing the weaker members of the Body of Christ over, he also says those

“That seem to be weaker are all the more necessary, and those parts of the body that we consider less honorable we surround with greater honor”

The Church is the immune system of the Body of Christ.  It looks for threats to the Body of Christ, threats that attack the dignity of any single member of the Body of Christ, and the Church points out those threats.

A great example of the “Church as Body of Christ immune system” is this very month that we are in right now.  January is

1) Poverty Awareness month

2) Mid January – Migrant awareness week

3) This past week, we, for the 43rd year, remembered through prayer and fasting the anniversary of Roe v. Wade

There are a lot of ways the Body of Christ is attacked.  The Church speaks to all of the threats and attacks.

Several years ago, the bishops of the US wrote a letter addressing all these attacks to the dignity of the human person.  They mention:

1) starvation,

2) denial of health care

3) deadly violence of armed conflict and the scandalous arms trade that spawns such conflict.

4) domestic violence,

5) the spread of drugs,

6) a reckless tampering with the world’s ecological balance. 

But the document goes on: “Yet abortion and euthanasia have become preeminent threats to human dignity because they directly attack life itself, the most fundamental human good and the condition for all others.  They are committed against those who are weakest and most defenseless, those who are genuinely “the poorest of the poor.”

Military people are always assessing – “What are our GREATEST threats…most eminent threats”?


A question for us as Catholics – “Who do we listen to on this topic?”  Whose “humanity threat assessment do we utilize?”

EVERYONE believes that SOME of these threats are a problem.  But which one’s are MOST EMINENT?  Some people listen to the UN on how to order these threats.  Some people listen to news outlets.  Some listen to political parties, some listen to celebrities, and some listen to Jesus through the Church He founded.


This whole assessing of threats and deciding which are most eminent leads some to say two things (which are equally wrong)

1) Some say: “We can’t speak up against abortion and euthanasia because it will water down our speaking up on the other threats against the human person.

2) Some say: “I won’t speak up against anything else except abortion and euthanasia, lest someone think I’m wavering on abortion and Euthanasia”

These are both WRONG!

We can speak up vociferously against abortion and euthanasia AND still care and work very diligently for the poor in our community.  We can speak out against abortion and euthanasia AND protect all that God has created.

On Friday, we diverted our planned trip to Washington DC for the March for Life and instead went to Indy to avoid “snowmaggedon”.  Archbishop Tobin had two beautiful homilies at our vigil and Mass for Life.

He noted the same thing that our US bishops noted several years ago – there are a lot of attacks on the Body of Christ, but he too singled out abortion and euthanasia as the two preeminent threats. He noted that what is most troubling about them is that they are both often done by people who have been trained to bring healing and health to people.

Archbishop Tobin also talked about what we, as faithful Catholics, ought to be doing about all these issues.

“We do not fight against darkness and the culture of death with violence…but we do not take a vow of silence either, we speak the truth”

Saint Boniface:  Let us be neither dogs that do not bark nor silent onlookers nor paid servants who run away before the wolf.  Let us preach the whole of God’s plan to the powerful and the humble, to rich and to poor, to men of every rank and age, as far as God gives us the strength, in season and out of season.

May the Eucharist strengthen us to preach the WHOLE of God’s plan, and not just the parts that suit our politics.


The Run Away Shepherd: The Redefining of Marriage Debate

Are You a Run Away Shepherd?

by Fr. John Hollowell:

“A hired man, who is not a shepherd sees a wolf coming and leaves the sheep and runs away”

The Shepherd Running Away from His Sheep

When I’ve preached on abortion, I’ve been accused of being a right wing republican

When I’ve preached about the REQUIREMENT that Christ makes of us to help the poor I’ve been accused of being a left wing liberal

When I’ve preached on religious freedom – right wing republican

When I’ve preached on the Church’s teaching on immigration – left wing liberal

This Comes with the “job.”  In fact, it just comes with being Catholic.  That being said, it is important to note that despite the accusations, the Church is not a political party.

There is a wolf coming that is threatening the sheep that must be preached on as well because our Church is very clear on this topic.  Like the prophets, like Christ, like the Apostles, like those being martyred today for their Catholic Faith throughout the world, we preach the truth in season and out of season.

“A hired man, who is not a shepherd sees a wolf coming and leaves the sheep and runs away”

This week at the Supreme Court arguments will be heard about whether marriage ought to be redefined

What I’ve been amazed at over the past few years is how quickly the tone of this debate has turned.

If you even raise the possibility today that marriage is between a man and a woman you should prepare for an all-out assault.  You should prepare to be labeled a bigot, angry, hateful, a Pharisee, etc.

One Catholic evangelist notes that we hear a lot about tolerance.  Tolerance is a good thing, but it implies that I first disagree with a person before I can tolerate them.  We don’t tolerate the sunshine, we tolerate the rain, and so tolerance can only take place in a climate of disagreement, and yet tolerance is no longer extended to those who believe that marriage is between a man and a woman.

One objection to this homily is that “The Church should stay out of politics”

But this, at the end of the day, makes no sense

If something is talked about by politicians or judges or whomever, does that mean it is no longer in the realm of Faith?  If something is part of our civil discourse, that we have to STOP talking about it here?

People likely told Fr. Theodore Hesburgh to keep his religion out of politics when he walked arm in arm with Dr. Martin Luther King to protest discrimination against African Americans – but he did it any way, and thanks be to God that he did.

People likely told John Paul II to keep his religion out of politics as he worked in the political realm to take down Communism – but he did it anyway, and thanks be to God

The idea that if something is being talked about in the political sphere means it can’t be talked about as a religious issue just doesn’t pass muster

If murder were up for discussion at the state house, no one would tell priests not to preach against murder

Pope Francis, in a daily homily recently, attacked this belief that if something is in the political realm we should stop talking about it in Church.

He said: “Some say a good Catholic doesn’t meddle in politics.  That’s not true. That is not a good path.  A good Catholic meddles in politics, offering the best of himself, so that those who govern can govern… Politics, according to the Social Doctrine of the Church, is one of the highest forms of charity, because it serves the common good. I cannot wash my hands

The Church actually compels us to be active in the political sphere because it is in the political sphere that decisions that affect the world are made.

The Church has a most important book called the “Compendium of Social Doctrine of the Church” – and it is a guide to how we are to be active and what we are to work for as people who are engaged in the civil realm.  To say that we should stay out of these issues civilly is a non-Catholic stance.

Now, on the particular topic of same-sex marriage – what does the Church say?  This is absolutely crucial and so often confused, and if we want to continue to see marriage being only between a man and a woman, we have to understand this crucial teaching.

The most important takeaway is this, if you remember nothing else is that the Church says in its book on these issues – in order to defend marriage you don’t need the Church, the Bible, or Jesus.

So often people make this mammoth mistake in talking about this issue.  Someone asks you: “Why do you believe marriage is between a man and a woman” and people  respond “because Jesus said so”, or “The Bible says so,” or “The Catechism says so” – but the quick follow up question by those who want to redefine marriage is quite clear – “you can’t make me do something because your religion says it!”

At this point – most Christians and Catholics go slinking back home telling themselves “They’re right; I can’t say something ought to be this way because of religion.

The Church says, however, that in order to say that marriage is between a man and a woman you don’t need the Bible or Jesus or the Church to win the argument.  Marriage being between a man and a woman, according to the Church, is a first principle – something that you need not be a follower of Christ to understand.

The Church is not in the government running business anymore.  We were for many centuries – Popes and Cardinals were highly intertwined with governments, kings, etc.

We don’t run countries anymore, and as George Weigel notes, “In separating the Church from the State, what is clear is that the Church is better off for it.  What isn’t clear is whether the state is better off for it!”

The Church sees its role as political advisor – particularly in offering first principles up to nations.  What the Church does is say to all governments, kingdoms, etc. – here are some first principles, some things that all just societies must put into practice if they hope to endure.  If you build your nation on other principles that contradict these, your nation will not endure.

“First principles” are the “cornerstones” that any society must be built on, and we need not be a Christian to understand that these first principles must be cornerstones, nor do we need to use Christ to justify working to ensure that our country is founded on these cornerstones.

And everyone has first principles.  I was on a marriage panel at Rose Hulman about a year ago and one guy who was arguing for redefining marriage said “I really think it ultimately comes back to harmony and justice” – Okay, so those are your first principles, the axioms on which you think the country should be founded, the non-negotiables that everything is built off of.  Of course the question quickly becomes “what is harmony to you?”  “who defines harmony?”  “What does justice mean?”  “Who defines what justice is?”

Others say a founding axiom should be that “love is love.”  Okay, fair enough, you think that should be a first principle of our society.  Let’s flesh it out.  You think that all love is the same?  What if 8 people all love each other…is that marriage?  What if two cousins love each other?  What if a 55 year old and a 16 year old love each other?  Is the government in the “congratulating people on being in love” business.

Everyone has first principles, and we have just as much of a right to work for the first principles that we think our nation should have as anyone else has a right to work and advocate for first principles that they think our country should have.

So as Catholics, we work to ensure that marriage being between a man and a woman is a first principle in our government.  We believe that if it is not, then what will result is vastly different than a just and healthy society.

“If, from a legal standpoint, marriage between a man and a woman were to be considered just one possible form of marriage, the concept of marriage would undergo a radical transformation, with grave detriment to the common good.” (Compendium of Social Teaching, paragraph 228).

A solution that some propose but which can not actually work because it does not actually understand what the Church teaches is the proposed solution that the Church “get out of the civil marriage business” – civil marriage and if you want to get married in the Church, go do that too

It is NOT appropriate for Church authorities to remain neutral toward adverse legislation even if it grants exceptions to Church organizations and institutions. The Church has the responsibility to promote family life and the public morality of the entire civil society on the basis of fundamental moral values, not simply to protect herself from the application of harmful laws” – Congregation For The Doctrine Of The Faith

These are not easy issues.  I spent the last two years working on a documentary on what the Church teaches about same sex attraction.  I interviewed a lot of beautiful people who experience same sex attraction and heard their stories.  It was an amazing experience for me.  The way we grow toward unity is through dialogue – not through name calling, labeling, and ignoring what the other side is saying.  I look forward to these opportunities to gather and keep the conversation going.

In Conclusion – I am not the only shepherd in this room.  We are all, through our baptism, called to shepherd those around us.  Do we see our role in society to be a light to the world – do I believe that I am called to shepherd and get involved in the civil society I find myself placed in – or do I retreat to my home or my Church building and say to God, like Cain did – “AM I MY BROTHER’S KEEPER?”


“A hired man, who is not a shepherd sees a wolf coming and leaves the sheep and runs away”

 We pray for the strength to be authentic shepherds, to work for the first principles that our Church puts forth for all societies.  Pope Francis said that we shouldn’t always talk about contraception and same sex marriage, and I wholeheartedly agree!  What the Pope implies in that comment is that we should talk about them some of the time.  May we have the courage to do that, and not see problems arising in our country and simply run away.

Father, You’re Off-putting and Mean

Archbishop Joseph W. Tobin and Father John Hollowell, left

Ask  A Priest:  Missing Mass

By Fr. John Hollowell:

I’ve had a very similar conversation with several different people at multiple parish assignments.

The same person will ask two questions maybe a few days or weeks or months apart:

1) “Father, why do you talk about missing Mass and mortal sin?  It’s so off-putting and mean.”

and then, at some other point:

2) “Father, why have my kids stopped going to Mass?”


If no one tells the next generation that going to Mass is SERIOUSLY important, and that their salvation is on the line, then why would they go?

Canon Law, 1247:  On Sundays and other holy days of obligation the faithful are bound to participate in the Mass.”

The Catechism, 2180: “The faithful are obliged to participate in the Eucharist on days of obligation, unless excused for a serious reason (for example, illness, the care of infants)…Those who deliberately fail in this obligation commit a grave sin.”
“Train up a child in the way he should go: and when he is old, he will not depart from it.”  Proverbs 22:6