YOUCAT has been developed with the help of young Catholics and written
for secondary-school-age students and young-adults.
YOUCAT is an accessible, contemporary expression of the Catholic Faith.
The appealing graphic format includes Questions-and-Answers, highly-readable commentary, summary definitions of key terms, Bible citations and inspiring and thought-provoking quotes from Saints and others in the margins.
On Sale Now at CatholicNews Bookshop for only S$13.00. Get a 15% bulk discount of 10 or more for parishes and schools.
Published in full colour (303 page paperback. 12.7cm x 20.6cm)
For all too long, the topic of sex and sexuality has been narrowly defined and often cloaked in secrecy. Sexuality involves much more than male or female genitals and much more than what happens between two individuals in the privacy of their bedroom.
Sexuality is a total human experience. It is a gift of your creation. It is to be enjoyed, to be valued and prized. But, like all gifts, your sexuality is to be handled responsibly and maturely. Learning to value, enjoy, and responsibly handle your own sexuality is one of the very special and often most difficult tasks of the teen years.Valuing Sexuality: A Guide For Catholic Teens, by Dr. Richard D. Parsons. Now available at CatholicNews Bookshop
About the Auhor:
Dr. Richard D. Parsons is a licensed psychologist and a certified school psychologist, maintaining a private clinical practice. He has given many workshops for parents, educators, spiritual directors, and human service professionals. Dr Parsons has authored many professional articles and books.
All real prayer must begin in wonder.- Tad Dunne, artist and writer
Growing up, I was taught that whenever a siren sounded, I should stop right away and say a prayer for the person, the family, and the police or firefighters involved in the emergency. This action quickly became second nature. I would wonder about the person and family I was praying for, what they might be going through. One time, when I heard the sirens while I was at school, I prayed, not realizing that I was praying for my father and my own family that day.
My father had had a stroke but would soon recover, learning once again to walk and talk. Without even knowing who we were, the people who had prayed the same siren prayer helped my family that day. The telephone rings. Immediately we wonder who is calling. If we have call-waiting, the mystery is taken away and we must only make the decision to answer or not to answer. How many times have we picked up that phone to hear the voice of someone in need or the proclamation of a glorious achievement?
Talk is Cheap, Action Divine
It's easy to talk about how important forgiveness is, but much tougher to actually do it in real life. Real-deal followers take Jesus seriously when it comes to forgiveness. Real-deal followers know forgiveness is not a superficial event; they also know it isn't as cut-and-dried as ignoring "unforgivable" behavior. Forgiveness-true forgiveness-isn't about approving damaging behavior or forgetting about what was said or done. These actions always remain a part of our lives; just ask Betsy! Instead, forgiveness is about making what is tragically broken right again.
Forgiveness is about a deep healing, a thorough repair of broken relationships, a removal of the poison that destroys love and harmony, a restoration of wholeness and open trust. It's the only way to reshape our relationships from the straight line of anger and vindictiveness to the curve of connection. Few of us escape the natural, almost primal urge for revenge. Every single one of us has been hurt by someone else. It may have been a parent who didn't protect us, a sibling who abused us, a friend who betrayed us, a spouse who took us for granted, a pastor who should have been more attentive, a committee member who opposed us, or hundreds of other possibilities that make life's many relationships seem more like land mines of opportunity, ripe for betrayal. Action can be as hurtful as inaction, and vice versa; it may have been something that somebody should have done but didn't. It may be something that took place over many years. It may be something that happened in a moment.
Moreover, communion for Protestants is not what it is for Catholics. We believe that Jesus Christ is truly present in the Holy Eucharist (Body, Blood, Soul, and Divinity); He really is present because bishops who enjoy an unbroken continuity with the original apostles, ordained by Christ, have validly ordained our priests. Protestants, on the other hand, do not have the Real Presence, nor do most of them even believe in the Real Presence in Communion. The only time that a Catholic may licitly receive the Eucharist in a non-Catholic Church is spelled out clearly in Canon 844.2:
There are some exceptions. The most notable is for members or the Orthodox Churches, who may receive Holy Communion, as well as Penance and Anointing of the Sick, when they request them spontaneously. Outside of exceptional circumstances, clearly defined in canon law, Protestants are not to receive Holy Communion, and in no case are the non-baptized to be allowed to receive the Holy Eucharist.
This disposition is not a lack of friendliness with non-Catholics, but simply the consequence of what it means to receive Holy Communion. That act means the person who receives it assents to everything the Church teaches. Non-Catholics do not.
Why do Catholics pray for the dead? … Is there humor in the Bible? … Is Purgatory painful? … Is there a dispensation for missing Mass when traveling? … Can human beings become angels after they die? … Why is the color blue associated with Our Lady? … Was the Catholic Church the first one to say no to contraceptives? (Click here)
Over 2,000 years of tradition can lead to many questions and misunderstandings about the Catholic Faith. If you’re confused, curious, or just wish you had good answers for all the challenging questions or confrontations that come your way – you’re not alone.
Catholic Answers to Catholic Questions provides solid answers to hundreds of common questions asked by people just like you – questions both big and small regarding doctrine, history, morality, the pope, saints, the sacraments, the Mass, prayer, Scripture, and much more.
Last month Pope John Paul issued a 175-page apostolic exhortation, FAMILIARIS CONSORTIO (On family life) which gave his comments on the 1980 Bishop Synod on "The role of the Christian family in the Modern World."
The following are some of the points made by the Pope:
MARRIAGE: It is a fundamental duty of the Church to reaffirm strongly the indissolubility of marriage. The Pope praises and encourages couples who persevere in their marriages despite difficulties and those who, abandoned by their partners, do not remarry. Priests and laity must help them.
The Education Act, 1921, prescribes a formal procedure to be observed by those who wish to provide a new public elementary school.
In the first place, the promoters, whether a local Education Authority or a denominational body, who propose to provide such a school must give public notice of their proposal, and managers of existing schools, the local Education Authority, and ratepayers may appeal to the Board of Education against it on the ground that the proposed school is not required or that a school provided by tEe Local Education Authority or not so provided as the case may be, is better suited to meet the wants of the district concerned than the school proposed; and the Board of Education have to decide whether the proposed school should be allowed or not.
- Malaya Catholic Leader, February 16th, 1935 (1935.pdf pp66)
but are striking, with a cruel hand, direct at the living, loving Heart of God.
Very good, this is the kind of answer I like- I shall willingly simplify it for you. Do you know what the sun is made of?
Chancellor of National Central University at the meeting of the Nanking Rotary Club, (Dec. 6, 1934)
When you asked me, a man in educational work, to speak, I venture to guess that perhaps you would like to test my limited knowledge and information in the Chinese education field. Therefore, I beg leave to bore you for a few minutes on the present educational tendencies in China.
It was pointed out that though the right was not conferred by Statute, it was confirmed by Statute, the Education Acts laying down the conditions of its exercise.
Children being forced to go to Non-Catholic Schools.
A new campaign to obtain educational rights Is hinted at by the Archbishop of Cardiff in his Advent letter.
" Our poor people," writes Archbishop Mcstyn, "have drained their pockets in order to erect school buildings for their children, but lately it has happened that where Catholic parents asked for permission to build a school, and where there were a sufficient number of Catholic children to fill such a school, permission has been re'used and the children have been forced to attend a non-Catholic school, "In some instaaces-ftermigs-ion has been granted to build a school for juniors, that is, children up to 11 years of age, or for seniors, that is, for children over the age of 11 years. Permission to build an all-age school is refused and we are told that those children who cannot attend our Catholic school on account of age, must attend the nearest local authority school.
'This is a matter that we cannot pass over in silence, and unless the Board of Education is prepared to treat us justly the Catholics of the whole country will have to consult together as to the best means to adopt to insist upon our rights being recognised. "This is a matter for Catholic Action, buc before resorting to moral force let us have recourse together that God may move the hearts of those in authority to treat us justly with regard to our schools."
- Malaya Catholic Leader, January 5th, 1935 (1935.pdf pp2)
Although the English-speaking Leagues are few, and their membership comparatively small, their contributions to the discussions, especially on special, industrial, and educational subjects, are followed with interest and attention.
Catholics believe all that God has revealed as handed down by Divine tradition and Sacred Scripture. Their belief may be summed up in five points, as follows:
1. About God Catholics believe, (1) That there is one God. infinitely perfect, who exists of Himself from all eternity; (2) That in God there are three Persons, Father, Son, and Holy Ghost, equal in all perfections; (3) That the Son proceeds from the Father, and the Holy Ghost from the Father and the Son.
The foregoing is the first sentence in Spirago's Method of Christian Doctorine. It is the introduction to a striking and effective presentation of the scope of religious education. It emphasises aspects of the teaching of religion that are often neglected in current practice. Knowledge of God is essential. It is essential too that this knowledge be accurate and precise and that the definitions used be precise. For "it would be a mistake to attach the main importance to an exact knowledge and rehearsing of the words of the catechism," according to our author, and he re-enforces this point with the words of Christ to the woman of Samaria; "God is a spirit and they that adore Him must adore Him in spirit and in truth." And he concludes this point with a vigorous sentence: "It would be degrading rational beings were nothing further required of them than is required of parrots, which can learn to repeat certain words without knowing the meaning of what they say."
ORANGE CAMPAIGN PROVES A FIASCO
(By Henry Somerville) Toronto, Ontario.
A glorious victory for Catholics, who had campaigned on behalf of their schools, was the result of the recent election to the Provincial Legislature.
Since the beginnings of the public educational system in Ontario nearly a century ago . Catholics have had the right to separate -schools." The Catholic ratepayers of the prescribed areas have elected a Separate School Board while the other people have elected the Public School Board.
The Separate School Board has built the Catholic schools and administered them in accordance with the regulations of the Department of Education. The school rates paid by Catholics have been allotted to the Separate School Board. We have had, in effect, two sets of public schools, Catholic and Protestant.
So far, so good. But Catholics have serious grievances. For one thing, it has been ruled that Separate schools may only be elementary schools, not secondary. Therefore Catholics, when they have secondary schools, pay for "them entirely out of their own pockets while paying taxes at the same time for the undenominational public secondary schools.
by the Grace of God and favour of the Holy See Bishop of Leros and Vicar Apostolic of Hong Kong to the Clergy and Faithful of the Vicariate Health and Blessing.
(The following Pastoral by H. E. MGR. HENRY VALTORTA, Vicar Apostolic of Hong Kong to the Clergy and Faithful of his Vicariate, stresses again the importance and need of a regular Catholic Education in these wistable days of perverse doctrines.
Dearest Children in Jesus Christ, One of the most serious tasks that the Church of Christ has had to perform during Her glorious career has always been and still is the Education of Youth. It is a task of vital importance for the very being of the Church and one intimately and necessarily connected with the end for which She was instituted, the guiding of souls to Heaven. Our Holy Father, Pope Pius XI, says:
A. The case concerned King Edward VII and Queen Alexandra, when they were actually occupants of the British Throne. It was in 1908. News had come to England of the tragic death of the King of Portugal. As Portugal was England's ally, a special memorial service was arranged in St. Paul's Anglican Cathedral, which the King and Queen were expected to attend in their State capacity. But King Edward VII declared that he would attend in state the Solemn Requiem Mass in the Portuguese Embassy Church of St. James.
He did so, and was "received in State" by the Catholic Archbishop of Westminster, and the King and Queen were conducted through the church to the Sanctuary and given a place there, apart from all the Ministers and Ambassadors of various countries, who occupied the front seats in the body of the church. Horrified by King Edward VII's presence at the Mass, the Protestant Alliance publicly protested afterwards that, by the William of Orange Act of Parliament, of 1689, the King forfeits the Throne by any act of communion with the Church of Rome, and the people of England are thereby absolved of their allegiance.
But the public was quite unimpressed by the protest. and just went on with its allegiance as usual.
The Malayan Catholic News, January 25, 1959, page 4
Answer: This is a question that appeals to all catholics. Many are troubled in the same way and are ignorant of the means of reconciliation with God that can be used in such circumstances. Let me tell them:
1. That an act of perfect contrition will bring them in to God's grace and friendship at once. Perfect contrition is an act of love which God cannot resist.
" The sweet fragrance of St. Joseph in the Church, is stealing upon us unawares, perpetually increasing and especially filling with itself all the shades of Nazareth, Bethlehem and Egypt, but not reaching to the bare heights of Calvary.
Answer: The body that will rise is not the body as we know it. It will share in the qualities of the body of our Saviour, which while still corporal, was immune from the ordinary conditions of space. It will be almost on the spiritual plane.
Answer.—It is well-known that Catholics have always been forbidden to take part in any form of heretical or dissident public worship, either in a Church or elsewhere. The marriage service must be accounted a public religious rite and so Catholics are not allowed to assist at it in a Protestant Church or before a Protestant minister.
The rule of the Canon law (1258) is this: "It is unlawful for the faithful to assist in any active manner or to take part in the sacred services by non-Catholic.
"Merely passive or material presence may be tolerated by way of civil deference or for the purpose of showing respect to persons, at the funerals of non-catholics, at their marriages and similar solemnities, provided there is danger neither of perversion, nor scandal."
Answer.— I do not decidedly think that you are excused from attendance at Mass on Sunday. Positive precepts bind unless there is a "serious inconvenience." St. Alphonsus excuses people from attendance at mass who have to walk a distance that occupies an hour or more, when such walk may cause a "serious inconvenience." Now such distance to walk may not be of any inconvenience to young people, when, on the contrary it may be a great obstacle to old people and to persons of delicate health. Many are prepared to face greater distances and will not think them any "serious inconvenience" to walk five or six miles to and from the church. So the rule cannot be too rigidly applied and one must try to view matters in their right perspective and sense of proportion.
The most important question in man's life is not: "Will Communism conquer the world'? not "Will man find defence against the atomic bomb!" nor "Will civilization be wiped out in the next war!" The most important question is "Did God speak to man and if He did what did He say?"
This has always been the most important question, and it always will be. But it is remarkable that the same men who will spend almost every waking minute of their life looking for a way to do something difficult like splitting the atom, will not give a second thought to answering this question.
If to clutch a red hot poker did not burn the baby's hands, few children would fail to go out, at a very early age, in a burst of flames! But mental pain, the sorrow of loss, the anguish of evil, also have their use: they provide the pyre upon which the old heart is burned in order that, phoenix-like, it may be born anew and immortal.
Therefore, one must, if one is to be happy, accept pain and understand its warmer and redemptive uses. Without a strong faith in God, the understanding of that most omnipresent of all problems, the problem of pain, is impossible; and life becomes a madness, an unendurable mystery.
- Malaya Catholic Newsletter, July 30, 1950 (1950.pdf pp26)
If God is Power, Love, and Justice, why did He create this kind of world? If He is powerful, why does He permit evil? If He is love, why does He tolerate hate? If He is Justice, why does He allow unrighteousness? These questions have been asked by everyone whose eyes have been and whose mind has known the terrible contrast between the sin of the world and the goodness of God.
Three things are necessary for a sacrament:
1st, the sensible sign, as in Baptism the outward washing of the body with the invocation of the Blessed Trinity;
Answer.—We have already seen that Christ established a divine, infallible authority to teach His gospel until the end of the world, just as He taught it.
Once this is admitted it follows logically that the Supreme Head of this infallible Church must needs be infallible. For if St. Peter or his successor, speaking authoritatively to the Church, could teach false doctrine, then he would instantly cease to be the firm rockfoundation on which Christ built His Church, the gates of hell would prevail, error would be sanctioned by God in heaven (Matt, xvi 18, 19), the prayer of Christ for Peter personally would be fruitless, for the faith of the brethren would not be strengthened (Luke xxii 32), and the whole flock of Christ would be deprived of the true food of divine faith (John xxi 15-17).
THE Chinese New Year, usually ushered in by a string of crackers, was quite prominently celebrated throughout Malaya, judging from the festive attire of the individuals and the joyous red hangings on the doors of houses. The Chinese Catholic Community closed their old year with the usual religious service thanking God for the graces of the past year, and began the new with attendance at Mass to ask this blessing for the New.
There are some who are inclined to object to the celebration of the New Year by Catholics with Church Services, on the grounds that it will be condoning the superstitious practices observed for the season by non-Catholics. The New Year as celebrated by the Chinese has no religious significance in itself. It is a purely secular event: the inauguration of a new year as calculated by a time honoured Chinese system based on the lunar-month. The superstitions and rites practised by the non-Catholic masses are introduced by the private individual as a means of ensuring for himself, according to his belief, a prosperous year.
Thus for Catholics the introduction of a religious element in their celebrations is in the way of sanctifying the year at its outset by asking the blessing of the Author of all good just as one may and should sanctify his day by devoting his first thoughts and acts to his Almighty Maker.
- Malaya Catholic Leader, Saturday, 1st February, 1936 (pdf pp49)
The Church was lavishly decorated for the occasion. The altar was smothered with flowers. Long before 8 a.m. the Church was packed to full capacity.
On Sunday, February 3rd. the Eve of the Chinese New Year, Benediction of the Blessed Sacrament was given at the Church of Our Lady Of Sorrows at 5.30 p.m., during which the Psalm Miserere and the Te Deum were chanted to beg pardon of God for all sins committed, and to thank Him for all graces and benefits received during the past year.
The Church was tastefully decorated for the New Year with flags and banners. The Main Altar was resplendent with lights and beautiful flowers. In fact, everyone and everything around bore signs of unspeakable joy and brightness.
The Chinese reckon their dates by the moon, and the first day of the first moon is the most important, and in this land of firecrackers, the noisiest day of the year. For weeks before, the bustle of preparation was in the air. The sign writers were working overtime in their shops and on improvised tables outside them, writing inscriptions on long strips of red paper that would be pasted around the three sides of every doorway. Stalls appeared in every street for the sale of these scrolls and of the vivid pictures of gods and heroes that would decorate the side walls and the smaller doors of the houses.
There was heavy traffic on river highway, for all who could leave their work were returning home for the New Year, and an abundance of firewood had to be brought in to tide the families over the two weeks when the boat people and the shops would make holiday. The sampans were three deep on the already crowded waterfront, many of them laden with wicker crates of geese, t h e favourite New Year dish, but some bearing pigs, also in wicker tube-like crates, for pork is welcome to the Chinese at all seasons.
By C. E. Joan
Once again the Chinese New Year comes round to gladden us, and we may, this year, sincerely greet our Chinese Readers: "A HAPPY, HOLY and PROSPEROUS NEW YEAR," for we are, doubtless, on the verge of brighter days! The Chinese of Malaya as well as members of other communities have been passing through unparalleled days of anxiety and depression. Unemployment has stalked through the land, and the Chinese as the largest community have probably suffered most; but it is heartening to think the clouds arc lifting and that better days are here. The year that is fast dying has been full of worries and anxiety but the year that is just beginning is pregnant with possibilities of a brighter future for all, and in particular for the Chinese. For there is not the darkest night that has no dawn, no storm that is not succeeded by a calm, no upheaval that does not ring peace in its train. The troubles and disappointments of yesteryear, so patiently borne, must be relegated to the past never to return. It is to the, future that we must look, placing all our hopes and confidence in Divine Providence.