Why do we do that?  Catholic Traditions Explained.

 What is the difference between Catholic and Christian?

Thank you very much for asking this very important question regarding the differences between ‘Catholic’ and ‘Christian.’ The term “Christian” in its simplistic terms means ‘follower of Christ’ or ‘little-Christ’. The term “Catholic” for the most part means universal; this term was used starting around 110 A.D.

There were 1,500 years of having just one Catholic Church based in Rome, who oversaw Western Christendom. But then some felt that corruption had entered the church and so they protested some of the practices. This is where we get the term “Protestant”. Martin Luther began his protest in the 1530’s and from that time to this day we get newer Christian churches who have left the Catholic Church to seek out their own faith practices apart from the Church Jesus founded.  The major differences and similarities are:

Roman Catholic Christians

Protestant Christians

Belief in the Apostolic succession (Tradition)

Sola Scriptura—Only the Bible

Jesus Son of God

Jesus Son of God

Belief in only One True God

Belief in only One True God

Mary was conceived w/o Original Sin

Mary was sinful like us

Mary Queen of Heaven and of all saints

Mary died, and was buried

Jesus’ second coming

Jesus second coming

Pope head of the Church

Many are leaders of their churches

Written (Bible) and Oral teachings handed on

Only scripture and no other authority

Sacramental system

Some have a system, while others do not

Confession to a priest

Belief in confessing directly to God


It was Jesus’ prayer that we all be one as He and His heavenly Father are one. When we are united in love, mercy, and forgiveness, we can accomplish many wonderful and beautiful things on behalf of our Lord.

Thank you for tour inquiry and it is my hope that this assists you.

Many God’s blessings upon you and your family.

Reverend Alonzo M. García, Pastor


QUESTION: We celebrate the Feast of Holy Name of Jesus on Jan 3rd. Why is it so important?

Those of us who are parents know how much time we spend thinking and discussing about what name to give our newborn children. It is the same with the church. Recall the Scripture passage about how the animals were named in Genesis. Changing our name is also a way to mark an important moment in our lives. Think of Saul who persecuted the Christians. His name was changed to Paul when he realized that Jesus was the Son of God. And even our popes change their names and take on a new name; Jorge Mario Bergoglio became Francis.

The entrance antiphon for the feast of the Most Holy Name of Jesus gives us a glimpse into how important Jesus' name is:

At the name of Jesus, every knee should bend,

of those in heaven and on earth and under the earth,

and every tongue confess that Jesus Christ is Lord,

to the glory of God the Father.

The history of the Holy Name of Jesus goes back to the earliest years of Christianity. How many of you remember the symbol IHS? It is a monogram. It comes from the Greek word for Jesus. This reverence continued into the medieval devotions promoted by St. Anselm of Canterbury. It was only during the Council of Lyons in 1274 that the Church added the date to our liturgical calendar. There are some writings that call the Holy Name of Jesus a healing ointment for the soul. So the next time you think of the name of someone, recall the long and important history of Jesus' name and why we hold, with such reverence, Jesus' holy name.


Question:              Why can't everyone who wants to receive Communion, receive Communion at Mass?



Outside of the Church, many organizations have all sorts of requirements for membership: dues, achievements, professional standings, etc. The requirements bring the group together in common purposes and goals. Within the Church, there are also basic "requirements" for receiving the sacraments. As Catholics, we believe that the Eucharist is the true "Bread of Life." It is the Body, Blood, Soul, and Divinity of Jesus Christ. When we receive the Eucharist, we are receiving Jesus. Out of reverence for Christ, only those in union with this teaching and in a state of grace should receive communion. As Catholics, we should abstain from communion if we are in mortal sin.

While we share many articles of faith with our Protestant brothers and sisters, their understanding of this teaching is fundamentally different. For most non-Catholic churches, they do not believe that Christ becomes truly present in the Eucharist. As such, they should not receive communion in a Catholic Church. These differences are greater for people of non-Christian faiths, and even more apparent for those who do not believe in God. Receiving communion is not a right, but a gift to be accepted in humble, trusting faith.


Question:What is the difference between mortal and venial sin?


Sin is a deliberate thought, word, action, or omission contrary to God's law. Since the beginnings of the Church,sin has been distinguished by its gravity. "Grave matter" is traditionally defined by the Ten Commandments. If a person commits a grave sin with full knowledge of the action's evil and with the complete consent of their will, this is a mortal sin. The effects of mortal sin are grave -- the loss of sanctifying grace, which can be restored by a fresh outpouring of God's mercy in the sacrament of Reconciliation.

Venial sin does not fit one or more of these conditions (for example, a less serious matter still freely chosen or grave matter committed while under force or ignorance of God's law). The effects of venial sin -- while still damaging to the human heart and human society -- are less severe. Even so, smaller sins build habits, which can obstruct our growth in virtue. When we are serious about following Jesus, we should do our best to avoid all sin, whether large or small!



There seems to be a lot of division in some Christian churches over moral issues, especially abortion, ordination, and end-of-life care. If all Christians follow the Gospel of Jesus, why is there such a difference of opinion?

There is always a struggle between culture and religion,and part of that struggle is politics. To be politically correct means that you must embrace the secular virtue of the moment so that you are "enlightened," "sensitive,""aware," and, most importantly, "open-minded."Unfortunately, common sense can be sacrificed in the race to be "PC." Some factions within Christian denominations have tried to redefine tradition, history, and biblical teaching to bend it around the politically correct religious thinking of the day. On the life issues that you mention, there are those who began with their own conclusions and have tried to bend theology around their conclusions. This is possible in part because of a lack of a central teaching authority and partly because society has become apathetic to these issues. It will result in a lot of division, factions, and schisms. The Gospel calls all believers to embrace the truth, to turn from sin, and to seek holiness and justice. No matter how hard some may try, a square peg will not fit a round hole. The camel cannot fit through the eye of the needle.


Question: Who invented the Stations of the Cross?

Answer: The first Stations of the Cross were walked by Jesus himself on the way to Calvary. Known as the "Via Dolorosa" ("The Way of Suffering") or the "Via Crucis" ("The Way of the Cross"), it was marked out from the earliest times and was a traditional walk for pilgrims who came to Jerusalem. The early Christians in Jerusalem would walk the same pathway that Jesus walked, pausing for reflection and prayer. Later, when Christians could not travel to the Holy Land, artistic depictions of "The Way of the Cross" were set up in churches, or outside and
Christians would walk from station to station, reading the Gospel account of the Passion, or simply praying and reflect-ing on each event. While the content or place of each
station had changed, the intention was to make a
mini-pilgrimage and follow--literally--in the footsteps of Jesus. This devotion became better known in the Middle Ages, and the Franciscans are credited with its spread. Lent is a time when many people make the Stations and some churches present Passion plays or Living Stations. But anyone can pray the Stations at any time. It is a simple and personal reflection on the passion of Jesus and what it means to us.

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