Answering the Tough Questions

May 01, 2012
Saint Gianna Beretta Molla
By Father Rocky Hoffman

On May, 16 2004 I considered myself extremely fortunate to watch (via TV, of course!) Pope John Paul II canonize Gianna Beretta Molla to become Saint Gianna. I was so moved that I accepted Saint Gianna as my patron saint. Perhaps you can tell me what she has been appointed patron/patroness of?

Also, I understand that somewhere in our country there has been created some type of memorial in her honor and that lay people like myself might become members of! Do you have such information? I...

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April 24, 2012
A reader replies
By Father Rocky Hoffman

I am writing in response to the “Marriage outside the Church.”

I am appalled and disgusted that you would recommend that “all of his Catholic relatives protest and refuse to attend his wedding, unless he gets married in the Catholic Church.”

ARE YOU KIDDING ME . . . who do you think you are?

 You apparently don’t have any idea how stressful weddings are (I’m in the middle of planning a big one right now) and then you want to heap all of this stress on the poor guy. My biggest...

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April 17, 2012
Falling away Catholics
By Father Rocky Hoffman

I came from a practicing, totally loyal Catholic family. However, through the years, some of our children (sons, daughters, nieces and nephews) have had failed marriages and re-married outside the Catholic Church.

Consequently now some of their children are marrying in non-Catholic ceremonies. My question is, should we Catholic relatives be attending and participating in all these non-Catholic celebrations? By doing so, aren’t we condoning and contributing to the erosion of Catholicism...

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April 10, 2012
Spiritual dryness – remedied by the dew of the Holy Spirit
By Father Rocky Hoffman

I have often read that St. Thérèse of Lisieux suffered from spiritual dryness.” Can you please explain exactly what is “spiritual dryness.”

Spiritual dryness is just that: when it comes to conversation with God, you feel like you’ve got nothing to say and that God isn’t saying much either.  If you turned it into a movie, it would be a bust at the box office.  But from God’s perspective, spiritual dryness is a valuable test.  Those who persevere in their practices of piety and...

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April 03, 2012
The uncreated Creator
By Father Rocky Hoffman

I have a non-Christian friend who asked me to explain how it is that God did not have a beginning.  I could not explain this challenging aspect of the Christian faith.  

Would you kindly explain this for me to pass on to him?

Your friend asks a metaphysical question, which is best answered by St. Thomas Aquinas in his “Summa Theologica,” Part I, Article 10, on eternity.  Let me see if I can summarize the argument.
Not only did God not have a beginning, he will have no end, because God...

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March 27, 2012
Do it yourself baptism
By Father Rocky Hoffman

I have friend who has never been baptized. She originally came from Catholic parents who later divorced and for some reason she was never baptized. She believes in Jesus Christ, that she is a child of God, but does not necessarily want to embrace the Catholic faith.  She wants to be baptized a Christian but does not necessarily want to join a church. She is an adult, age 40, and as a practicing Catholic I do not know what to advise her to do.  Can I baptize her myself?

You could baptize her...

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March 20, 2012
Marriage, divorce and canonical form
By Father Rocky Hoffman

I know that the Catholic Church says that as Catholics we cannot divorce and remarry.  But is it true that it will be allowed as long as my first marriage was not held at a church?  I was married in a little "hole in the wall" when I was 18. I was divorced when I was around 27 yrs. old.  I am now 44 yrs old and would like to get remarried. Can I remarry as long as it is held at a Catholic church?

It sounds like your first marriage was invalid because you did not get married in the Church...

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March 13, 2012
Cardinal Law
By Father Rocky Hoffman

I have a question regarding Cardinal Bernard Law, once residing in Boston and now in Rome. It seems evident from the notoriety of the sex abuse scandals in Boston that Cardinal Law was not only complicit but probably also instrumental in the moving around of priests (which many of us faithful and life-long Catholics call the Catholic Shell Game, i.e. under which shell is the real abuser).
In light of this assumption, and if this assumption is indeed valid, it is hard for those of us who try...

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March 06, 2012
Christian archeology
By Father Rocky Hoffman

Do we know when the first church building was constructed and where it was located? If not, what is the oldest known church building that has survived — if not intact, then at least in ruins?

You ask a question about Christian Archeology, a very important topic because of the Catholic’s Church claim of apostolic origin. We can trace the Catholic Church back to the time of Christ by means of the unbroken succession of Roman pontiffs.  In fact, we know exactly where St. Peter was...

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February 28, 2012
New edition of the Divine Office
By Father Rocky Hoffman

Is there going to be a new edition of the Divine Office? I ask because numerous saints were canonized during the papacy of John Paul II and the feast of Divine Mercy as well.

The Divine Office, also known as the “Liturgy of the Hours,” or the Breviary, is a highly recommended resource for the prayer of the faithful.  Ordained clerics and consecrated religious are obliged to pray this prayer of the Church on a daily basis.  The current English version was translated and published in...

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