The following are answers to some frequently asked questions.
Why is the tabernacle in the chapel rather than the church?
The current liturgical norms allow for the placement of the Blessed Sacrament in the main church. It cannot, however, be in a direct axis from the altar, i.e., it cannot be centered on the wall or space behind the altar (presuming it is located in the center of the sanctuary, from side to side). The guidelines also allow and encourage the tabernacle containing the Blessed Sacrament to be located in a separate chapel, very near the main church and visible to the people.
Why don't people genuflect in the new church? What is appropriate to do as you enter the church?
Genuflection is done our of reverence to the real presence of Jesus in the Blessed Sacrament. Therefore, if the tabernacle is not located in the main church there is no genuflection. Instead the norms call for a head bow before entering the pew.
At daily Mass, why do we skip the ending prayer at certain Masses?
The norms are:
If the Blessed Sacrament is placed on the altar or other place for adoration of the faithful immediately after communion, then that ends the Mass with no further prayer or blessing.
If the Blessed Sacrament is place for worship after the Mass, then the Mass concludes as usual.
What does a deacon do?
This question usually seeks to discover what a deacon can do that a priest can do, or conversely, what a deacon cannot do that a priest can do. The deacon may preach, proclaim the Gospel, baptize solemnly, witness marriages, conduct funerals and preside at Benediction and Exposition of the Blessed Sacrament. He may also perform certain blessings and is an ordinary minister of the Eucharist. He may not celebrate Mass, hear confessions or administer the Sacrament of the Sick.
When defined in terms of functions, the deacon is permitted to perform certain liturgical functions by virtue of his ordination, but all such functions may be delegated to lay persons by the bishop in extraordinary situations.
The diaconate is a ministry of service. The authenticity of a deacon’s ministry is not judged by the extent of his liturgical functions or if he preaches at Mass. Rather, the authenticity of a deacon’s ministry is determined by his service to the parish community and the witness of his life and ministry.
What is the difference between stewardship and capital contribution?
Stewardship supports the ordinary operation of parish activities and facilities. Capital funds support the construction or pay for the debt incurred through capital improvements. In the current situation, capital funds are used to pay the $3.3 million debt on the recent completed project (church, parking lots, plaza, class/meeting rooms. If there is a shortfall in capital, we then use money (if available) from stewardship for debt service.
Will we build an elementary school?
The decision as to a parish elementary school is ultimately one to be made by the members of the parish.
Will we build a high school?
Currently there are neither discussions nor plans for a high school. The cost (both construction and operations) is far greater than that for a primary school.
What is High School Ministry?
The High School Ministry program is a comprehensive youth ministry program for teens in grades 9 - 12 with a strong focus on the Eucharist. Starting with a weekly youth Mass, high school teens are placed in an environment where they have the opportunity to experience fully the greatest gift we have as the Church. This liturgy provides the cultural connection for the teens - allowing them to take ownership of their faith. They begin to develop a relationship with Jesus that is both real and personal. Immediately following the Mass, teens gather for the 242 Night to learn about the Church and their faith in challenging ways. To learn more click here
Tell me about "Fasting" and "Abstinence" during Lent.
The law of fasting and abstinence in the Diocese of Dallas and the National Conference of Catholic Bishops has determined that the following practice shall prevail in the United States. Fasting is to be observed on Ash Wednesday and Good Friday by all who have celebrated their 18th birthday and have not yet celebrated their 60th birthday. Abstinence from meat is to be observed on Fridays of Lent by all who have celebrated their 14th birthday.