What is purgatory? Why do Catholics believe in it, rather than just heaven and hell?

03-26-2023Why do we do that?Fr. George Teodoro, S.J.

From the foundations of Christianity, there was a belief that there were two options for the afterlife – the reward of Heaven for the just, and the pains of Hell for the unjust. And while these concepts are clear in the Gospels and easy to understand, there wasn’t much specific instruction for who goes where, other than the judgment scenes found in Matthew (24), Mark (13), and Luke (21) – “whatever you did for the least of my people, that you did to me.”


Q. What are the stations of the cross? Why does every Catholic church have a set?

03-19-2023Why do we do that?Fr. George Teodoro, S.J.

The stations of the cross originate in the Via Dolorosa – or the path that Jesus walked from his condemnation to the crucifixion. Christian pilgrims to Jerusalem would recreate this path as they journeyed from site to site. When the Franciscan were given official custody of the holy sites in Jerusalem in the 13th century, they established a specific route with designated locations for prayer.


Why don’t we sing the Gloria or the Alleluia during Lent?

03-12-2023Why do we do that?Fr. George Teodoro, S.J.

Alleluia in Hebrew means “Praise God!” And obviously, the words of the Gloria come from the song of the angels at Christmas when they proclaim “Glory to God in the highest and on earth peace to people of good will!” Both songs, therefore, are expressions of joy – the celebration of God’s saving work and the proclamation that the Kingdom of God is at hand here in our Church, even as we await the Kingdom of Heaven which is our Christian reward. The Kingdom is already here, even though we have not yet seen it in its fullness.


Q. What is fasting? What is abstinence? Why Fridays?

03-05-2023Why do we do that?Fr. George Teodoro, S.J.

Ash Wednesday and the Fridays of Lent are “obligatory days of fasting and abstinence for Catholics.” But what do these terms mean?