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  #1  
Old Sep 12, '11, 10:52 pm
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Default Do you have to believe Marian dogma to be a good Catholic?

I am a Protestant making a transition into the Catholic Church, and well I can't get past Mary. I have listened to a lot of arguments made in defence of the CC teaching on Mary, and I am still not convinced.

If Mary was born sinless, that would not make her human, for the very definition of human is a flawed creature by the Biblical standard. So she would have to be like a goddess or something. I was told that Jesus could not have been inside a sinful woman, yet when we partake of the Hold Sacrament, Jesus ends up inside us, His literal Body, Blood, Soul, and Divinity. Yet we are sinners. Then there is the whole "Mary full of grace" thing, that if she is full of grace therefore she is with out sin. But why is "full of grace" not in the Protestant Bible?

As for her remaining a virgin for the rest of her life, it seems to contradict the Bible, well my Protestant Bible anyways. In, Matthew 1:24-25, it says " Then Joseph, being aroused from sleep, did as the angel of the Lord commanded him and took to him his wife, and did not KNOW her till she had brought forth her firstborn Son. And he called His name Jesus." I don't know what the Catholic version says so, if you could help me out, that would be great.

Then finally the assumption into heaven body and soul. I think if such a miracle had happend, you would at least have seen it in the Bible, and the very early Church fathers would have mentioned it. Other than that, I do believe she intercedes for us just like all the other Saints. I mean I don't mean to argue with the church, for I respect Her and the Pope, but I want to go into Catholicism knowing that what I believe is the truth, and I don't want to lie to myself, or to you, or to God. So could you, I guess, convince me about Mary, and if not, is it still be possible to be a good Catholic without believing in the Churches teaching in Mary? Also, please pray for me. I am not just saying it, I really truly need prayer. This is a hard transition for me, leaving my Protestant roots and coming to the HCC. Pray for me. Thank you for your answers in advance, and may God richly Bless you all.
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  #2  
Old Sep 12, '11, 11:07 pm
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Default Re: Do you have to believe what the CC teaches on Mary to be a good Catholic?

I'm sure others will respond to the specific objections you have raised, but I will answer your central question.

Yes, it is quite possible to be a good and faithful Catholic and not be persuaded that the Church's teaching on Mary is true.

We can't force ourselves to believe something. I shared some of your same doubts about the Church's Marian teaching when I converted.

To be "faithful," you must be open to the possibility that the teaching really is true but that you are simply not understanding it properly. You are also free to question why it is true, but not to claim that it is untrue (ie, you can't be a faithful Catholic and say, "the Church is wrong about this").
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Old Sep 12, '11, 11:12 pm
Dan Daly Dan Daly is offline
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Default Re: Do you have to believe what the CC teaches on Mary to be a good Catholic?

Quote:
Originally Posted by Dndspoon View Post
I am a Protestant making a transition into the Catholic Church, and well I can't get past Mary. I have listened to a lot of arguments made in defence of the CC teaching on Mary, and I am still not convinced.

If Mary was born sinless, that would not make her human, for the very definition of human is a flawed creature by the Biblical standard. So she would have to be like a goddess or something. I was told that Jesus could not have been inside a sinful woman, yet when we partake of the Hold Sacrament, Jesus ends up inside us, His literal Body, Blood, Soul, and Divinity. Yet we are sinners. Then there is the whole "Mary full of grace" thing, that if she is full of grace therefore she is with out sin. But why is "full of grace" not in the Protestant Bible?

As for her remaining a virgin for the rest of her life, it seems to contradict the Bible, well my Protestant Bible anyways. In, Matthew 1:24-25, it says " Then Joseph, being aroused from sleep, did as the angel of the Lord commanded him and took to him his wife, and did not KNOW her till she had brought forth her firstborn Son. And he called His name Jesus." I don't know what the Catholic version says so, if you could help me out, that would be great.

Then finally the assumption into heaven body and soul. I think if such a miracle had happend, you would at least have seen it in the Bible, and the very early Church fathers would have mentioned it. Other than that, I do believe she intercedes for us just like all the other Saints. I mean I don't mean to argue with the church, for I respect Her and the Pope, but I want to go into Catholicism knowing that what I believe is the truth, and I don't want to lie to myself, or to you, or to God. So could you, I guess, convince me about Mary, and if not, is it still be possible to be a good Catholic without believing in the Churches teaching in Mary? Also, please pray for me. I am not just saying it, I really truly need prayer. This is a hard transition for me, leaving my Protestant roots and coming to the HCC. Pray for me. Thank you for your answers in advance, and may God richly Bless you all.
First off, WELCOME. That's great news that you are coming fully into the Catholic Church.

You do not have to be sinful in order to be human.

Jesus Christ was fully human as well as fully divine.

Adam and Eve were both human, even before the fall.

The short answer to your question is- yes. You do have to believe what the Church teaches about Mary in order to be a faithful, orthodox, Catholic. This includes Mary's perpetual virginity, Mary's motherhood of God, the Immaculate Conception, and the Assupmtion.

As far as virginity goes, it is very likely that both Mary and Joseph had made vows of perpetual virginity before even knowing each other. This was not that rare among Jews at the time. They would have made simple vows earlier in life, and solemn vows after being married.

It's also important to note that Perpetual Virginity, includes physical virginity. Meaning Mary was physically intact. Jesus wasn't born the way most babies are born.

Belief in these doctrines has been around in the Church since the beginning- since when they happened. They are not modern inventions.

Mary is often "a stumbling block" for Protestants coming to the Faith. Trust her and trust the Church. Pray to her. She is your heavenly mother. Pray the rosary daily.

Pax and God Bless!
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  #4  
Old Sep 12, '11, 11:16 pm
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Dndspoon Dndspoon is offline
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Default Re: Do you have to believe what the CC teaches on Mary to be a good Catholic?

Quote:
Originally Posted by DavidFilmer View Post
I'm sure others will respond to the specific objections you have raised, but I will answer your central question.

Yes, it is quite possible to be a good and faithful Catholic and not be persuaded that the Church's teaching on Mary is true.

We can't force ourselves to believe something. I shared some of your same doubts about the Church's Marian teaching when I converted.

To be "faithful," you must be open to the possibility that the teaching really is true but that you are simply not understanding it properly. You are also free to question why it is true, but not to claim that it is untrue (ie, you can't be a faithful Catholic and say, "the Church is wrong about this").
Yes, I have had a Catholic tell me he views Mary as a "mystery", doubting the teaching, but still be open minded that he may be wrong about his doubt.
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  #5  
Old Sep 12, '11, 11:31 pm
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Dndspoon Dndspoon is offline
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Default Re: Do you have to believe what the CC teaches on Mary to be a good Catholic?

Quote:
Originally Posted by Dan Daly View Post
First off, WELCOME. That's great news that you are coming fully into the Catholic Church.

You do not have to be sinful in order to be human.

Jesus Christ was fully human as well as fully divine.

Adam and Eve were both human, even before the fall.

The short answer to your question is- yes. You do have to believe what the Church teaches about Mary in order to be a faithful, orthodox, Catholic. This includes Mary's perpetual virginity, Mary's motherhood of God, the Immaculate Conception, and the Assupmtion.

As far as virginity goes, it is very likely that both Mary and Joseph had made vows of perpetual virginity before even knowing each other. This was not that rare among Jews at the time. They would have made simple vows earlier in life, and solemn vows after being married.

It's also important to note that Perpetual Virginity, includes physical virginity. Meaning Mary was physically intact. Jesus wasn't born the way most babies are born.

Belief in these doctrines has been around in the Church since the beginning- since when they happened. They are not modern inventions.

Mary is often "a stumbling block" for Protestants coming to the Faith. Trust her and trust the Church. Pray to her. She is your heavenly mother. Pray the rosary daily.

Pax and God Bless!
Well thanks for the welcome. But I am afraid you confused me more. Now I learn Jesus was not born like other babies? When were the teachings about Mary first mentioned, and by who?
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  #6  
Old Sep 12, '11, 11:42 pm
Trevor Stamm Trevor Stamm is offline
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Default Re: Do you have to believe what the CC teaches on Mary to be a good Catholic?

Quote:
Originally Posted by Dndspoon View Post
I am a Protestant making a transition into the Catholic Church, and well I can't get past Mary. I have listened to a lot of arguments made in defence of the CC teaching on Mary, and I am still not convinced.
Ave Maria and hope a great journey into the Church. I myself am being catechized this year and counting the minutes to Easter.

Quote:
If Mary was born sinless, that would not make her human, for the very definition of human is a flawed creature by the Biblical standard.
Not completely so. We were made without sin in the beginning, Adam and Eve were the definition of humans before the Fall. God "can do all things", and is able to preserve the Mother of Christ from sin.

Quote:
I was told that Jesus could not have been inside a sinful woman, yet when we partake of the Hold Sacrament, Jesus ends up inside us, His literal Body, Blood, Soul, and Divinity. Yet we are sinners.
The Body of Christ was formed in a sinless womb, His entire material being came from Blessed Mary. It would be more logical to assume that God would desire to come into the world through a sinless woman then His human body to be formed in a sinful womb.

Quote:
Then there is the whole "Mary full of grace" thing, that if she is full of grace therefore she is with out sin. But why is "full of grace" not in the Protestant Bible?
http://www.bringyou.to/apologetics/a116.htm

I think what a lot of Protestants overlook is verse 38 And Mary said, "Behold, I am the handmaid of the Lord; let it be to me according to your word." And the angel departed from her.

Reflect on that verse and the underline.

Also "full of grace" is not in Protestant Bibles because that would contradict their views. Though how Sacred Scripture came into being contradicts their position altogether.

Quote:
As for her remaining a virgin for the rest of her life, it seems to contradict the Bible, well my Protestant Bible anyways. In, Matthew 1:24-25, it says " Then Joseph, being aroused from sleep, did as the angel of the Lord commanded him and took to him his wife, and did not KNOW her till she had brought forth her firstborn Son. And he called His name Jesus." I don't know what the Catholic version says so, if you could help me out, that would be great.
http://www.catholic.com/library/Bret...f_the_Lord.asp (under Fundamentalist Arguments)

Quote:
Then finally the assumption into heaven body and soul. I think if such a miracle had happend, you would at least have seen it in the Bible, and the very early Church fathers would have mentioned it. Other than that, I do believe she intercedes for us just like all the other Saints. I mean I don't mean to argue with the church, for I respect Her and the Pope, but I want to go into Catholicism knowing that what I believe is the truth, and I don't want to lie to myself, or to you, or to God. So could you, I guess, convince me about Mary, and if not, is it still be possible to be a good Catholic without believing in the Churches teaching in Mary? Also, please pray for me. I am not just saying it, I really truly need prayer. This is a hard transition for me, leaving my Protestant roots and coming to the HCC. Pray for me. Thank you for your answers in advance, and may God richly Bless you all.
It is in Sacred Scripture, Rev 12.

Here's a thought you need to consider. You accept that Enoch, Elijah, and Moses (all sinners but were found with great favor by God) were assumed into heaven bodily, why not Blessed Mary? Why not the Mother of God the Son?

As far as Marian dogmas, The Immaculate Conception and the Assumption, need to be believed by the individual Catholic for those are the only two instances when Papal Infallibility were invoked.

You might want to do some reading on The Immaculate Conception, good start is:

http://www.newadvent.org/fathers/0847.htm

And the works of Blessed John Duns Scotus on The Immaculate Conception, since it is his works that convinced Pope Pius IX to declare it dogma (but not the only factor).
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  #7  
Old Sep 12, '11, 11:50 pm
Dan Daly Dan Daly is offline
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Default Re: Do you have to believe what the CC teaches on Mary to be a good Catholic?

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Originally Posted by Dndspoon View Post
Well thanks for the welcome. But I am afraid you confused me more. Now I learn Jesus was not born like other babies? When were the teachings about Mary first mentioned, and by who?
At least as far as the Immaculate Conception, I think you could say it was first mentioned by the Angel Gabriel as the Annuciation. When he greeted Mary as "full of grace" and blessed among women.

There's a lot to learn in the faith. I've been Catholic since infancy and am only beginning to learn- how much I have to learn!

For instance, John the Baptist was born without original sin as well. Not conceived without it, but born without it. He (and Elizabeth) were cleansed of original sin at the visitation.

It's also possible that St. Joseph was cleansed of original sin post-conception but pre-birth.

Why do you want to be Catholic?

If it is because you think it is the Church of the true faith, accept that. Even when something is confusing to you, accept that if the church teaches it is true- then it is true. The problem of understanding is on our end of things.

Pax.
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  #8  
Old Sep 12, '11, 11:58 pm
Dan Daly Dan Daly is offline
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Default Re: Do you have to believe what the CC teaches on Mary to be a good Catholic?

Quote:
As far as Marian dogmas, The Immaculate Conception and the Assumption, need to be believed by the individual Catholic for those are the only two instances when Papal Infallibility were invoked.
Mary's Perpetual Virginity and her Motherhood of God are also dogma. It wasn't clear to me if you were saying ONLY the Immaculate Conception and Assumption need to be believed or not.
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  #9  
Old Sep 13, '11, 12:01 am
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Default Re: Do you have to believe what the CC teaches on Mary to be a good Catholic?

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Originally Posted by Dndspoon View Post
I was told that Jesus could not have been inside a sinful woman, yet when we partake of the Hold Sacrament, Jesus ends up inside us, His literal Body, Blood, Soul, and Divinity. Yet we are sinners.
1 Cor 11:27 Therefore, whoever eats the bread or drinks the cup of the Lord in an unworthy manner will be guilty of sinning against the body and blood of the Lord.

We are not supposed to be partaking the Holy Eucharist with sin inside of us. That's why we go to Confession if we have any mortal sins on our souls and confess our venial sins at the start of every Mass prior to Communion. So if anything, that verse above proves against your claim that it's ok for Christ to be inside of a sinful person.
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  #10  
Old Sep 13, '11, 12:02 am
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Dndspoon Dndspoon is offline
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Default Re: Do you have to believe what the CC teaches on Mary to be a good Catholic?

Quote:
Originally Posted by Dan Daly View Post
At least as far as the Immaculate Conception, I think you could say it was first mentioned by the Angel Gabriel as the Annuciation. When he greeted Mary as "full of grace" and blessed among women.

There's a lot to learn in the faith. I've been Catholic since infancy and am only beginning to learn- how much I have to learn!

For instance, John the Baptist was born without original sin as well. Not conceived without it, but born without it. He (and Elizabeth) were cleansed of original sin at the visitation.

It's also possible that St. Joseph was cleansed of original sin post-conception but pre-birth.

Why do you want to be Catholic?

If it is because you think it is the Church of the true faith, accept that. Even when something is confusing to you, accept that if the church teaches it is true- then it is true. The problem of understanding is on our end of things.

Pax.
With all due respect, I can't just switch my brain to believe. I don't want to doubt.
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  #11  
Old Sep 13, '11, 12:09 am
Trevor Stamm Trevor Stamm is offline
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Default Re: Do you have to believe what the CC teaches on Mary to be a good Catholic?

Quote:
Originally Posted by Dan Daly View Post
Mary's Perpetual Virginity and her Motherhood of God are also dogma. It wasn't clear to me if you were saying ONLY the Immaculate Conception and Assumption need to be believed or not.
Of course, I was only pointing to those two dogmas because those are the two he calls into question.
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  #12  
Old Sep 13, '11, 12:11 am
Dan Daly Dan Daly is offline
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Default Re: Do you have to believe what the CC teaches on Mary to be a good Catholic?

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Originally Posted by Dndspoon View Post
With all due respect, I can't just switch my brain to believe.
Neither can anyone else. But God can

This includes Our Blessed Mother, among other things she is the most humble of people (after Christ). Anything that is to her glory, is only through the greatness and glory of God.

Pax!
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  #13  
Old Sep 13, '11, 12:26 am
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Dndspoon Dndspoon is offline
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Default Re: Do you have to believe what the CC teaches on Mary to be a good Catholic?

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Originally Posted by Dan Daly View Post
Neither can anyone else. But God can

This includes Our Blessed Mother, among other things she is the most humble of people (after Christ). Anything that is to her glory, is only through the greatness and glory of God.

Pax!
Well that's a sweet and beautiful statement, but I guess what I am really asking is how do you know all the things about Mary and St john the Baptist? You will probably say the Pope, but where did he get it? Did he find a written eye witness account? Was it revelation? What's the history on the Mary doctrine? I apoligize for asking so much questions. LOL!
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  #14  
Old Sep 13, '11, 12:28 am
Brendan McCabe Brendan McCabe is offline
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Default Re: Do you have to believe what the CC teaches on Mary to be a good Catholic?

You cannot be a Catholic at all unless you accept the Catholic Faith which includes the Churches teachings on Mary.

"The friends of Christ do not tolerate hearing that the Mother of God ever ceased to be a virgin" Basil, Homily In Sanctum Christi generationem, 5 (ante A.D. 379).
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Old Sep 13, '11, 12:40 am
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Linda Marie Linda Marie is offline
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Default Re: Do you have to believe what the CC teaches on Mary to be a good Catholic?

Quote:
Originally Posted by Dndspoon View Post
If Mary was born sinless, that would not make her human, for the very definition of human is a flawed creature by the Biblical standard. So she would have to be like a goddess or something. I was told that Jesus could not have been inside a sinful woman, yet when we partake of the Hold Sacrament, Jesus ends up inside us, His literal Body, Blood, Soul, and Divinity. Yet we are sinners. Then there is the whole "Mary full of grace" thing, that if she is full of grace therefore she is with out sin. But why is "full of grace" not in the Protestant Bible?
Immaculate Conception
The doctrine


Being conceived without sin does not make her a goddess. The definition of a human is not a flawed creature. We were not created flawed. We inherit Original Sin. Mary was preserved from Original Sin by the application of the merits of her Son's death and resurrection at her conception.

ALL bibles in English are a translation. Some are good and some are downright dishonest, seeking to disprove certain doctrines by translating supporting passages differently.
The Latin has:
Quote:
et ingressus angelus ad eam dixit have gratia plena Dominus tecum benedicta tu in mulieribus
The closest translation of gratia plena is Full of Grace.

The Greek has Kecharitomene which conveys an even deeper meaning.
The Meaning of Kecharitomene: Full of Grace (Luke 1:28)
Quote:
Originally Posted by Dndspoon View Post
As for her remaining a virgin for the rest of her life, it seems to contradict the Bible, well my Protestant Bible anyways. In, Matthew 1:24-25, it says " Then Joseph, being aroused from sleep, did as the angel of the Lord commanded him and took to him his wife, and did not KNOW her till she had brought forth her firstborn Son. And he called His name Jesus." I don't know what the Catholic version says so, if you could help me out, that would be great.
It also says that Jesus will be King until he puts all nations under his feet. Does this mean that after that, he will no longer be King?

The use of 'until' here was a literary idiom of the time used to emphasise what occured before an event, but saying nothing about what happened afterwards. Usage has changed and, to us, saying that something was 'thus and so' until 'X' implies that that after 'X' something is no longer 'thus and so'.

The Early Church Fathers on
Mary’s Perpetual Virginity


Quote:
Originally Posted by Dndspoon View Post
Then finally the assumption into heaven body and soul. I think if such a miracle had happend, you would at least have seen it in the Bible, and the very early Church fathers would have mentioned it. Other than that, I do believe she intercedes for us just like all the other Saints. I mean I don't mean to argue with the church, for I respect Her and the Pope, but I want to go into Catholicism knowing that what I believe is the truth, and I don't want to lie to myself, or to you, or to God. So could you, I guess, convince me about Mary, and if not, is it still be possible to be a good Catholic without believing in the Churches teaching in Mary? Also, please pray for me. I am not just saying it, I really truly need prayer. This is a hard transition for me, leaving my Protestant roots and coming to the HCC. Pray for me. Thank you for your answers in advance, and may God richly Bless you all.
The ECF do mention the Assumption.

The fact of the Assumption
Quote:
The belief in the corporeal assumption of Mary is founded on the apocryphal treatise De Obitu S. Dominae, bearing the name of St. John, which belongs however to the fourth or fifth century.<...>
If we consult genuine writings in the East, it is mentioned in the sermons of St. Andrew of Crete, St. John Damascene, St. Modestus of Jerusalem and others. In the West, St. Gregory of Tours (De gloria mart., I, iv) mentions it first. <...> St. John of Damascus (P.G., I, 96) thus formulates the tradition of the Church of Jerusalem:

St. Juvenal, Bishop of Jerusalem, at the Council of Chalcedon (451), made known to the Emperor Marcian and Pulcheria, who wished to possess the body of the Mother of God, that Mary died in the presence of all the Apostles, but that her tomb, when opened, upon the request of St. Thomas, was found empty; wherefrom the Apostles concluded that the body was taken up to heaven.
The Assumption

To be a Catholic, you must assent to the dogma of the Immaculate Conception and to the Assumption. For me, well, God can do anything, such as preserve Mary from original sin and assume her body and soul into heaven. It seems to me it would be the least He would do for His Mother. I know these are not theological arguments, but it worked for me when I had questions regarding Mary. I assented intellectually but believing it in my heart took a bit longer. The Church requires intellectual assent. You don't have to 'feel' that you believe it.

If you assent that the Catholic Church is the Church founded by Christ on Peter and that it possesses the Teaching Authority of God and is protected by the Holy Spirit from ever teaching error, then you believe that it cannot teach a falsehood. It then follows that the Immaculate Conception and the Assumption are Truth.

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