Learning from the Early Church: How to Form Your Conscience

By Elizabeth Slaten – We will inevitably find points in our lives when our conscience was wrong or ill informed, and we made mistakes. Do not let that discourage you. Ask God for forgiveness if you have sinned, thank him for the lessons learned, and praise him for guiding you to the truth. And with God’s grace, continue to strive to properly form your conscience as the early Christians did through the teachings of the Church, the sacraments, Christian community, and prayer.

From the Director: Joy in Evangelization

By Stacy Trasancos – Religious education is an opportunity to bring the love of Christ to a soul who is searching. I think every person wants to be seen and appreciated, especially by those who instruct us. Like St. Philip, evangelists should view our role as us being the ones who run and catch up to others so we can accompany them, and we should take care that we do not make them feel that they need to catch up to us.

Meet the Institute Team: Luke Arredondo, Director of Faith Formation

Interview with Dr. Luke Arredondo – Building up the domestic church is an incredibly important and challenging endeavor. But we need to remember that even small steps are important and will help. Pray together as a family whenever you can, even if it’s just a short prayer. Read scripture, tell stories about the saints, and above all go to the Eucharist and Confession as a family. Start where you are, and make a small step in the right direction. You don’t have to turn your home into a silent retreat hall with a full monastic prayer schedule. But we have to try something, and we have to keep trying. So, again: why not try?!

The Flight from Hypocrisy

By Dr. Donald DeMarco – Encountering counterfeit Catholics is not something that should surprise us, let alone scandalize us. A nurse would not quit her hospital job because she discovered that it housed invalids. One may be disappointed to run into a heretic at Mass, or an infidel at a Christmas party. But these are not occasions that would justify fleeing from the Church. We should trust the Church at least as much as we trust legal tender. Moreover, we should be more accepting of counterfeit Catholics than we are with counterfeit money. The former are reformable, whereas the latter is not.

From the Director: Zoom Meeting with Christ?

By Stacy Trasancos – Protestants perhaps did not suffer the loss of public worship the same as Catholics because they perpetually have a Zoom-call relationship with Christ — always long distance. They do not kneel in the presence of Our Lord in the Holy Eucharist or receive Christ in communion at Mass. For them, it is as if a personal relationship with this man who lived 2,000 years ago is forever remote.

Defending Our Sacred Treasure

By Elizabeth Gillson – As the media swarms with speculation about the upcoming USCCB meeting, Catholics must keep a clear understanding of our sacred Tradition. Though some might try to drag the Church into the mire of partisan bickering, the everlasting Kingdom of God transcends petty politics. The bishop is not a lobbyist or political henchman. He is a successor to the Apostles. The Eucharist is not his to manipulate, rather it is the “sacred treasure of the Church.” It is his great and terrible mission to guard and hand on what he has received from Jesus Christ through the Apostles.

Bishop Strickland Ordains Four New Priests in the Diocese of Tyler

By Elizabeth Slaten – In a special way, these new priests are called by our Lord to follow him, serve him and to care for his Church. As the lay faithful, we are called to love and support these priests in their mission to be servants of Christ and his Church. Let us be sure to constantly keep them in our prayers.

From the Director: Could You Love a Clone or a Chimera?

By Stacy Trasancos – How will we respond if scientists and politicians decide that lab created humans have a lower moral status? How will we treat human–animal chimeras that are the result of research? Will we willingly avail ourselves of cures and medical knowledge gained from this research? Ultimately, it will be up to the people of faith to show society how to love these people too.