Why do Catholics worship Mary? Why do they pray to her? In this week’s video we discuss how Catholics honor Mary as the mother of God. And in that honoring, we don’t worship Mary, but we ask her to pray for us since she is seated next to Jesus in Heaven. Just like he listened to her at the wedding of Cana, he listens to her pleas, so we ask her to pray on our behalf, especially when we are unable to pray to God ourselves. The prayer “Hail Mary” comes directly from scripture and uses the words that St. Elizabeth greets Mary with when she finds out that Mary is pregnant with Jesus. “Blessed are you among women.” Mary was chosen out of all the women of the world to be the mother of the Savior of the world, so why would we not give her the honor that God saw in her? Next time you need someone to pray for you, consider asking Mary, your heavenly mother, to intercede on your behalf so that when you aren’t able to pray at a certain moment, her prayers can continue as she sits next to and talks to her son in Heaven.
3-Minute Theology Videos
“He took bread and, giving thanks, broke it, and gave it to his disciples, saying: take this, all of you, and eat of it: for this is my body which will be given up for you.” Did you know that the word “Eucharist” is derived from the Greek word “eucharistia” meaning “thanksgiving?” Jesus gave thanks to the Father in Heaven and each time we celebrate Mass and the sacrifice at the altar, we are participating in this act of giving thanks to God, just as Jesus did, and just as is happening all the time in Heaven. In this week’s video, alumnus Dennis Stoll ’02 explains to us the beauty of the gift we get to receive in the Eucharist, and challenges us to read Jesus’ words in John 6, to believe that the consecrated bread and wine truly are Jesus’ body, blood, soul, and divinity.
The next time you go to Mass, instead of expecting “to get something out of it,” (because that is not the purpose of Mass), instead ask yourself, “what can I offer during this Mass; what thanks and praise can I give to our Lord in Heaven?” The latter attitude will reap many more benefits than the former. Remember: “It is truly right and just, our duty and our salvation, always and everywhere to give [Him] thanks.”
Thank you to all veterans who have served or are currently serving our country. In this week’s video, guest speaker, Fr. Brian Reedy, S.J., Jesuit priest, professor of philosophy at Loyola Marymount University, and lieutenant in the U.S. Navy, talks about the risks and sacrifices that the military service members expose themselves to each day. Fr. Reedy serves as a chaplain in the U.S. Navy and is able to provide the sacraments, counseling, and advice to his battalion of more than 500 service members. He highlights how important it is for all of us to be praying for those who serve—not only because of the risks they take upon their lives, but because of the many sacrifices they make by leaving their families and often living the rest of their lives with injuries in mind, body, and spirit. Let us be grateful to these men and women who protect our freedoms and remember them daily in our prayers. St. Ignatius, St. Sebastian, and St. Longinus, patrons of the military, pray for us!
Why do we pray for the dead? In this week’s video, Fr. Zac Povis ’07 explains how our souls go on to live forever, despite the mortality of our bodies. When a person dies without full detachment from sin, he or she cannot enter Heaven immediately, for Revelation 21:27 tells us that “no unclean thing shall enter Heaven.” As Catholics, we believe that these souls go to Purgatory. Purgatory is not a state of punishment, but rather an extension of God’s mercy upon us. The souls in Purgatory will eventually enter Heaven after they’ve been cleansed and fully detached from sin. As a community, one body in Christ, we can pray for the deceased so that their souls might be cleansed and they can enter Heaven. We do not know where the souls of our loved ones go when they die, so we should pray and offer sacrifices on their behalf. If they are already in Heaven, God can use our prayers for another soul in Purgatory.
Have you ever wondered what that smell was at church? Why do Catholics use incense during Mass? This week, Mr. Manaker, SJ, explains how the use of incense dates back to the ancient Israelites to demonstrate the presence of God. Moses constructed an altar of incense to be placed before the Tabernacle in the tent. Now, as Catholics we use incense in the same way, to show how God is really present at Mass, through the Word of God that is proclaimed and physically in the bread and wine as they become Jesus’ body and blood. Furthermore, incense has long been used to symbolize human’s prayers as they rise from Earth up to God in heaven. The next time you are at Mass and see or smell incense, take a moment to pray using your senses and watch as your prayer rises to heaven.
What is an icon? Why do Catholics have so many pictures of Jesus, the Trinity, and the saints—and what are they used for?
This week, Deacon Frank Olmsted, a retired De Smet Jesuit theology teacher of 34 years, shares with us how icons help draw us deeper into reflection about the person or image it is depicting. We’ve been focusing on the Saints this month, and icons can help us reflect upon their lives and how they can be models for us. The next time you see an icon, take note of the message it is depicting, and let it draw you more closely to Jesus in prayer.
Have you missed a week from our 3-Minute Theology series? Explore the video archive here.
Who are your favorite saints? How do you call upon the saints to intercede for your intentions? In a follow-up from last week’s video, this week we hear from some De Smet Jesuit students, faculty, and staff as they reflect upon their favorite saints and blesseds. Do you see yourself becoming a saint? Let us look to these holy men and women who have gone before us and have shown us that no matter the circumstances, there is always a chance to accept God’s grace and forgiveness and to live our lives for his greater glory so that we may one day live with him forever in Heaven.
Have you ever wondered why we as Catholics talk so much about the saints? Who were they and why are so important? Do Catholics pray to or worship saints? This week, Mr. Henry Samson explains what it means to be a saint and why the Church looks to these important figures in our history as role models to emulate in our lives. He continues by explaining how they can intercede for us to the Lord, much like when we ask a friend to pray for us when we have a special need. Who are some of your favorite saints? Perhaps you can look up the saints who have a feast day on your birthday or who had the same interests as you. Next time you need someone to pray for you, don’t be shy to ask the saints to intercede for you so that someone will always be asking God for your need, even when you aren’t able to pray for yourself.
Last week we heard about the Sacraments and how they are outward signs of God’s grace instituted by Christ for our sanctification. This week Mr. Manaker, S.J., explains the Sacrament of Reconciliation. Why do we have to confess our sins to a priest? Why can’t we just say we’re sorry to God directly in our prayers? After his Resurrection, Christ breathed on the Apostles and gave them the power to forgive and retain sins.
Not only does the Sacrament of Reconciliation forgive our sins, it also gives us grace, which renews our hearts and minds and gives us the strength to respond to God’s call for our lives. Need some grace? The Sacrament of Reconciliation is available upon request by scanning the QR code in the hallway and during Friday advisories in the chapel. Face-to-face or behind-the-screen options are both available!
What exactly are the sacraments, and why does the Church promulgate them? This week, seminarian for the Archdiocese of St. Louis, Ryan Quarnstrom ’15 talks to us about how these sacraments are outward signs of God’s grace to sanctify us. He explains how the components that make up the sacraments, both matter (physical elements: bread, wine, water, oil) and the form (the words that give meaning to the elements) mimic how we are created as humans, both body and soul.
Anyone who wishes to receive more information about sacraments are invited to reach out to their parishes or contact De Smet Jesuit Campus Ministry for resources and support. The Sacrament of Reconciliation is available upon request by scanning the QR code in the hallway and the Sacrament of Holy Eucharist is available every morning at 8 a.m. in the chapel (except Wednesdays). Take a moment to watch the entire explanation about the Sacraments.
What is the Sign of the Cross and why do we do it? This week, De Smet Jesuit alumnus from 2012 and Jesuit Scholastic, Nick Blair, explains to us the origins of the Sign of the Cross and how in doing so we remember the passion, death, and resurrection of Christ. Signing ourselves is a way to consecrate and recommit ourselves to our Baptismal promises of a life of love and relationship to each other and to God. Watch the entire explanation here. Will you be more intentional the next time you make the Sign of the Cross?
September 8 is the feast day of St. Peter Claver, a Jesuit priest who dedicated his life to serving the slaves as they disembarked in Colombia. We invite you to check out this week’s 3-Minute Theology video, which is a collaboration between Campus Ministry student leaders and the Black Student Union to hear their perspective of how St. Peter Claver’s example is relevant to our lives today. How do we work to fight against injustices in the world?
In this week’s 3-Minute Theology video, former faculty member of more than 40 years, Ken Luecke, shares with us on the topic of prayer. What is prayer? What are good ways to pray? We encourage you and your family to discover new ways to pray together and build a strong relationship with our Lord. Ask your son about his preferences of prayer. If you struggle with prayer, perhaps you could designate a set time each week to pray as a family or talk about your spiritual life. If you would like resources on how to pray as a family, please contact Campus Ministry.
In this week’s 3-Minute Theology video, Fr. Zachary Povis, alumnus of 2007, talks to us about how, despite popular belief, faith and reason are interconnected. He encourages our students to dig deeper into their faith, ask questions, and seek the answers. Take a moment to watch and discuss with your son. Encourage him to ask the difficult questions. Campus Ministry, theology teachers, parish priests, and deacons, are great resources to help students and families find the answers to these ponderings.
Do you know how Mass came to be? Where did the tradition start? In our new video series, Campus Ministry will be sharing a snippet of our faith with the student body each Thursday. The hope is to talk about and reflect upon common questions about our Catholic faith. In this week’s 3-Minute Theology video, Fr. Burshek talked about the origin of Mass and what it means to celebrate as a community. We encourage parents to watch the videos as well, and discuss with your sons.