Ask a Franciscan

Painting of Bartolomé de las Casas

Admitting Gross Historical Injustices

Call it tribalism, but I’ve always cast a skeptical eye on the Dominicans ever since I learned about their role in the Inquisition. Do you have any advice for thinking about historical misdeeds?
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Sky with clouds and light shining through

Questions about Heaven

Where is heaven? Will my husband who died two years ago know me and still love me? If we have hurt people, will they have forgiven us by the time we get to heaven? What if there's nothing beyond a ...
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Statue of Blessed Virgin Mary

Why Pray to Mary and the Saints?

Why do Catholics pray to the Blessed Virgin Mary and to various saints? Is there anything in the Bible to back this up? Can't this be considered idol worship? Why not pray directly to God? The mother of Jesus Christ ...
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Why Does God Make the Devil So Powerful?

If God created the angel Lucifer, who failed God through pride, why didn't God simply dump him in hell instead of allowing him to torment and wreck so many human lives? Isn't God more powerful than Satan? I have heard ...
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People gathering at a funeral

Homily? Eulogy?

Some dioceses allow eulogies at funerals, and others do not. Why is this? This question arises frequently. According to the 1989 Order of Christian Funerals (the ritual book used by Catholics in the United States), "A brief homily is given ...
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Help for Nurturing a Franciscan Spirituality

I need some practical advice for how to live and grow in Franciscan spirituality as a layperson. Because I am not close to a Secular Franciscan group, I need to do this on my own.
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Use a Cross or a Crucifix?

During the Good Friday liturgy at our parish, we venerate a plain cross and not a crucifix with a representation of Jesus' body on it. The crucifix is kept out of sight in the sacristy. Because this doesn't seem right ...
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Do you have a question for Father Pat McCloskey, OFM? The author of St. Anthony Messenger’s popular “Ask a Franciscan” column is ready to answer your toughest questions!

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