What is a Doctor of the Church

Have you ever wondered, what is a Doctor of the Church? Well, wonder no more. I’ll explain, in broad strokes what that means.

How does one become a Doctor of the Church?

First, you must be a saint. A saint is someone who has great holiness. A Doctor of the Church has holiness that is outstanding. During their lifetimes, they truly exemplified what it means to follow Christ. They also left behind a body of work for us today. Writing, letters, books, sermons, which had great depth on a particular doctrine or teaching of the Chruch. This helps us, even today, grow in our own understanding. Their work has withstood the test of time.

How many Doctors are there?

 

36; 32 men and 4 women. The Church has been selecting DOctors from saints since 1298. The latest, St. Gregory of Narek, was made a Doctor in 2015 by Pope Francis.

The four women Doctors are Catherine of Siena, Theresa of Avila, Terese of Lisieux, and Hildgard of Bingen.

While all the saints are notable, a few are more well known than others: St. Anthony of Padua, St. Augustine, St. Jerome, St. Thomas Aquinas.

For a complete list, look here.

 

I mentioned in my podcast that I am starting a study group on St. Paul’s Letter to the Romans. I’d love to see you there and signing up is as easy as entering an email. 

Our NotLukewarm Challenge this week is to write in honor of all the great writing left to us from the Doctors. Read a bit of scripture or just sit and pray by writing your prayers. Take 5 or 10 minutes. That’s all!

 

 

Special Days and the Cycles of Scripture Readings

The Church Year

We’re looking at the seasons of the Church year and what is part of each season. The year begins with Advent (Dec 1, 2019), then Christmas (Dec 25, 2019), Ordinary Time (Jan 13-Feb 25, 2020), Lent (Feb 26-April 9, 2020), Triduum (April 9- 12, 2020), Easter (April 13-May 31, 2020), and Ordinary Time(June 1- Nov 28, 2020) again.

In each season we have feasts and fasts to celebrate and observe. Some change depending on where you live. However, in the universal Church we celebrate these 6 Solemnities: Mary, Mother of God, Jan 1; the Ascension, 40 Days

 

after Easter or the 7th Sunday after Easter (varies according to your diocese), the Assumption, Aug 15; All Saints, Nov 1; Immaculate Conception, Dec 8 and Christmas, Dec. 25. These days, along with every Sunday are considered Holy Days of Obligation which means we are asked to attend Mass. Easter is always on a Sunday which is why it isn’t included here.

Saints and Feast Days

Other days of celebration are feast days which are the days we remember a particular saint. If the saint or group of saints have universal significance in the Church, then it is celebrated as a memorial. This means the saint is r

emembered at Mass with prayers or change in the color of the vestments the priest wears. For example, if the saint was martyred the color red is worn.

Scripture Readings for Mass

Our Mass readings are organized for both Sunday and Daily Masses. The entire Church follows the same cycle. On Sundays we have A, B, C; weekdays I and II. This year we are in cycle A which focuses on the Gospel of Matthew. Cycle B focus on Mark and adds John 6, cycle C is Luke. During the Easter season, we read from John’s Gospel on both Sunday and daily Masses. The weekday cycle follows the same order for both years, Mark, Matthew and Luke.

One difference in scripture between Sunday and daily Mass is the number of readings. On Sunday we have a first reading, usually from the Old Testament, then a psalm, a second reading from the New Testament, but not a Gospel and then the Gospel. During the week, we have one reading, a psalm and then the Gospel.

Links

Complete Liturgical Year calendar

Daily Readings Calendar

the not lukewarm challengeWe’re continuing with our challenge of reading one chapter of Matthew each day. What was your favorite verse last week? Mine was Matthew 7:12.