Catholic Diocese of Spokane, Washington

From the

Official News Magazine of the Diocese of Spokane

Eric Meisfjord, Editor
P.O. Box 48, Spokane WA 99210
(509) 358-7340; FAX: (509) 358-7302

The Best of The Question Box

by Father I.J. Mikulski

(From the February 21, 2013 edition of the Inland Register)

Father I.J. Mikulski Q. As far as we know our Virgin Mary, Mother of Jesus, never thought of herself as one of the Twelve Apostles although she was in the inner circle. Does she tell us that women cannot be priests? Yes, of course. I can’t think Jesus overlooked her presence although he did not ask her to be at the Last Supper.

A. You must know there is not a minuscule bit of evidence to support a major or minor premise that the Virgin Mary was thought to be one of the Twelve Apostles, although she was surely in their company.

We can surmise that she was most welcome in the early liturgies. We can imagine that she was given a prominent place whenever the community gathered. But celebrating Eucharist? No.

There have been some visionary saints, men and women with celestial imaginings, but even they shy away from ordaining her.

Q. I don’t get much out of Mass. It’s mostly a childhood habit I have kept. I don’t prepare as I should except when I need to make decisions. Do you think I may someday regain my early sense of faith?

A. Let’s make a simple comparison. You have been invited to someone’s home for a friendly visit, a dinner, a TV special, whatever. Do you go there expecting to “get something out of it” or do you bring something to offer the group? Can you provide good conversation, your full attention to make commentary about current events, good stories with a touch of good humor? Do you sit back and let others entertain you or are you ready to join them in actively sharing a good time?

If you’re seeking a Q.B. comment, here’s a suggestion. Many people prepare mentally for their Mass by “reading the Readings” for the day before they leave home. They say it works just fine.

Q. Someone said the Catholic emphasis on ecumenism shows the Catholic Church’s true purpose of converting non-believers to the Catholic Faith. How do you answer that?

A. Isn’t that what we’re supposed to be doing? “Go and make disciples of all nations, baptizing them….” (Matt:28: 19)

Pope John XXIII started the movement when he invited the leaders of all denominations, whom he called “our separated brothers,” to Vatican Council II and ushered them into the front row seats. When they were comfortably settled he reminded the Catholic delegate-bishops ‘’we can no longer defend our faith by condemning the errors of others.”

It wasn’t always this way. Bigotry is the illegitimate child of fear and ignorance. In dealing with such attitudes logic makes no impression. Only the passage of time will prove such suspicions were groundless and new charges will appear.

Pope John reserved the front row seats for “our separated brothers” but some of them refused his invitation. They may have been descendants of the people who, some years before, literally ran the pope’s apostolic delegate out of town.

Q. Are you familiar with the old Baltimore Catechism? Where can I get a copy? I remember the blue book we used before First Communion. Why has that gone out of style?

A. The Baltimore Catechism was a classy Q&A format that filled a void long ago. Better manuals are available now. Check what your parish religious ed teacher has for adult-level theologically sound books.

When you find something you really like, get a couple. It’s the old adage: When you find something you really like, better buy two, because they’re going to stop making them.

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