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April 2014
Ask a Franciscan
© ARCHMEN/FOTOLIA No Mass on a Cruise Ship
I have booked a cruise on a ship that has no Sunday Mass, but instead provides a nondenominational service. I have been on other cruises that had a priest who celebrated a Sunday Mass. If I go on this cruise, must I confess that I missed Mass that Sunday?
Answer
Hungry People along the Road
What should we do when we’re driving and we see a man by the side of the road holding a sign that reads, “Family hungry. Will do anything for food”?

When I see this, I feel sad and confused. What if the person is not really in need, but hoping to get money for drugs? What if the person really is in need, but I can’t stop to help?

If I could stop, how should I help? A little voice in my head recalls, “Whatever you did for one of these least brothers of mine, you did for me.”

What would you do? What would Jesus do in 2014?

Answer
Why Was Jesus Baptized?
Matthew 3:13-17 describes the baptism of Jesus, including John the Baptist’s objection that Jesus should be baptizing him. Why did Jesus want to be baptized, anyway?
Answer
Same Eucharist?
I am a lifelong Roman Catholic who married a man who is a lifelong member of the National Polish Catholic Church. We raised our children in the Roman Catholic Church.

My Roman Catholic pastor recently preached about the divisions within Christianity, saying that we are allowed to attend Mass and receive Communion in an Orthodox Church, but not in the National Polish Catholic Church. He said the Eucharist at an Orthodox Church is the same as ours, but that is not true of the Eucharist in the National Polish Catholic Church. My husband’s pastor says that does not represent his Church’s belief.

Why can members of the National Polish Catholic Church receive holy Communion in our parishes but Roman Catholics cannot do the same in theirs?

Answer
If you have a question for Father Pat, please submit it here. Please enclose a stamped, self-addressed envelope. Some answer material must be mailed since it is not available in digital form. You can still send questions to: Ask a Franciscan, 28 W. Liberty Street, Cincinnati, OH 45202.
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