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Ask a Priest

In the case that you arrive for Sunday Mass in your parish and, to your surprise, the priest does not show and a Communion service is offered instead, you have attempted to fulfill your Sunday obligation, and that is what is important. It’s not your fault.

Only when it is physically or morally impossible for a Catholic to attend Sunday Mass or for higher reasons of charity (such as caring for a sick person), is that person exempt from the Sunday obligation. If people are traveling on Sunday, they should plan in advance.

A convenient resource to help you plan where and when to attend Sunday Mass is found at www.masstimes.org. All you have to do is enter the name of the town or zip code where you will be, and you will instantly receive a list of all available Masses in the vicinity. Please call ahead to confirm that the information on the website is correct.

The cremated remains of a body should be treated with the same respect given to the corporal remains.  This includes the use of a worthy vessel for the cremated remains, the manner in which they are carried; the care and attention to appropriate placement and transport, and the final disposition (Order of Christian Funerals, #416).

It is recommended that cremation take place after the funeral liturgy, however, the funeral liturgy may be celebrated in the presence of the cremated remains (1997 appendix to the Order of Christian Funerals, #426).

Cremated remains of the body should be buried in a grave or entombed in a mausoleum or columbarium (a chamber, wall, or niche for storing funeral urns).

The Eucharist is, for Catholics, both a meal and a sacrifice.  The Lord gave us the Eucharist at the Last Supper because he wanted us to share in the life of the Trinity, the loving communion of the Father, the Son, and the Holy Spirit.  We become united to God at our Baptism, and receive a further outpouring of the Holy Spirit at our Confirmation. In the Eucharist we are nourished spiritually, brought closer to God, again and again.  As Jesus says in John’s Gospel: “Whoever eats my flesh and drinks my blood remains in me and I in him” (Jn 6:56).

This meal of fellowship and unity is also understood as a sacrifice. It is the act of Jesus giving Himself totally on the cross.  The sin that separates us from being fully united with the Father is taken away through the self-sacrifice of the Son.  It is this sacrifice of Jesus that reconciles us to God.

At the Eucharist, we re-present the outpouring of Christ’s life so that our life can be restored.  This gift of life is happening in eternity, always.  We remember this in a special way when we sing the Holy, Holy, Holy at Mass, recalling the words of Isaiah 6:3, the hymn of the angels before God.  We sing our praise before the “Lamb of God,” slain to take away the sin of the world, all that separates us from God (see Jn 1:29).

Catholic Issues / Teachings

Catholic Issues / Teachings

Catholic Teaching

Catholic Issues / Teachings

Catholic Teaching

Catholic Issues / Teachings

Catholic Teaching