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    Fr. Joseph Jenkins

  • The blog header depicts an important and yet mis-understood New Testament scene, Jesus flogging the money-changers out of the temple. I selected it because the faith that gives us consolation can also make us very uncomfortable. Both Divine Mercy and Divine Justice meet in Jesus. Priests are ministers of reconciliation, but never at the cost of truth. In or out of season, we must be courageous in preaching and living out the Gospel of Life. The title of my blog is a play on words, not Flogger Priest but Blogger Priest.

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Feel free to submit a new question or concern in the comment box below.  Various topics and questions are archived here for easy retrieval.  Please be courteous.  Comments are moderated so please be patient in waiting for them to appear and for any responses.  God bless you!





4,490 Responses

  1. How do I pray I my faith in low. Recently i have been experiencing some ne things that has had an effect on my faith. Am sometimes am just too tired to pray. I feel like there is no hope God will answer me.

    FATHER JOE: Not sure what you are trying to say. There is hope for you. God hears all prayer.

  2. Is it ok to eat unblessed communion bread as a snack? (Not consecrated just the wafers) Can you just buy the wafers and just eat them because they taste good?

    FATHER JOE: It might cause scandal and there is not much taste to them.

  3. Dear Father, I am a Catholic woman who is married to a man of the Lutheran faith. I am in the process of finding my way back to the Church after many years. I’m concerned about my husband being previously divorced and me being his second wife. He is my only husband. There is much literature on divorced and remarried Catholics but none on Catholics who marry a divorced person. Can I still go to confession and take communion in this situation or am I banned from these sacraments?

    01-12-21 FATHER JOE:

    You should have your marriage regularized as part of your return to the full practice of your faith. If your husband married a non-Catholic prior to your union (and the first spouse is living) then he will need an annulment prior to the convalidation of the current bond. Talk to your local priest about the situation.

  4. Hello. I’m 24 years old, and I’ve never had a boyfriend. Is it okay that I don’t feel interested in marriage or religious life? I’m interested in medically serving the disadvantaged. Would it be acceptable to remain single and serve my neighbors?

    FATHER JOE: You life is your own. There are many ways to be holy and loving.

  5. Good morning,
    I have a daughter that is suffering from depression, I was told to pray to God for healing 1 time and not bother Him with it everyday. Is this true? Should I stop asking God in my daily prayers for the healing of my daughter?
    Thank you.

    FATHER JOE: She should see a medical professional about her condition. As for prayer, I cannot understand why anyone would tell you to ration it. Pray whenever you please.

  6. Hi, I am a Protestant and was born and raised a Catholic until the age of nine when my Mom passed away from a cerebral hemorrhage. From then on I never really had any religious upbringing until I went and lived with my aunt and uncle in Sioux Falls S. D. I remember growing up wanting to be an altar boy but wasn’t allowed because I didn’t have an older brother that was one— go figure. I did want to become a priest. I remember making the Eucharist out of bread and playing church at home feeding it to my sisters. But I was so afraid holding the body and blood of Christ’s supper. Well, that was while my real Mom was alive. After my real Mom passed away my Dad married a woman who had five children and there were five children in our family. Needless to say my Dad had quit drinking for quite some time before my Mom passed away— but you guessed it— that threw him right back down into the bottom of the bottle. He held a job but would drink on the weekends (and during the week). Loretta, my step Mom, would beat us and let us go hungry. She favored her kids. She would let them get into the refrigerator when we couldn’t. If it were hot outside they got to go inside. She would psychologically abuse us day in and day out. She literally broke my spirit. The worst is when her brother sexually molested me and her own son. When I told my Dad, I got the worst beating of my life. One time my step brother and I were on the same team, and each player had to play two innings. Well, my step brother played his and then I was left to play. Instead of picking any other person, he chose me. And yes, I got a severe bearing for that.


    01-12-21 FATHER JOE:

    First, I am so very sorry that you and others were mistreated in your family. I hope that you have sought both healing for yourself and justice for those who committed crimes against you. As for your faith, it is likely that you never received your full formation or catechization as a Catholic. Like you said, you were raised as a Protestant after the age of nine. That means you never received the sacrament of confirmation. You never fully knew the faith that you now claim to be abandoning.

    No meanness intended, but you display some glaring ignorance and misconceptions about what the Church teaches:

    The catechism does NOT teach that Muslims are “Christian” brothers and sisters, only that like Christianity and Judaism it is a monotheistic religion— belief in one God. Like the Jews they see themselves as sons and daughters of our father-in-faith, Abraham. However, this is a different matter from the singular role of Jesus Christ as our one Mediator and Savior. We teach that Jesus is the way to the Father and that there is no other.

    The Catholic Church teaches that we are saved by grace alone. The Bible does not teach that we are saved by faith alone but rather by a faith realized in obedience and charity. Further, while all saving truth can be found in Scripture, the sources of revelation include the living tradition as interpreted by the magisterium or shepherds appointed by Christ. There was no complete Bible until 393 AD and the Council of Hippo.

    Baptized a Catholic— always a Catholic— I will pray that the Lord will guide you home and judge you according to what you know. Peace!

  7. How do you be an apologist to a pharisee?

    FATHER JOE: Not sure who you mean by the “pharisee.”

  8. Is it ok to drive coworker home from work every day if he is cohabitating with girlfriend. Would this be helping to facilitate sin?

    FATHER JOE: You’re just giving someone a lift.

  9. Hello, father!
    I have a very bizarre question. I already have a masters degree in special education and I work as a teacher. Now I’m thinking about learning something new and practical since our first child is bigger and my wife can also return to work.
    I was considering vocational school 1-year program to study meat crafting.
    Would working or studying as a master meat crafter jeopardize my catholic faith since processing meat during lent and fridays for example would be controversial, wouldn’t it?

    FATHER JOE: No issue that I know of.

  10. Hello Father Joe, my question is regarding marriage. If the groom never signed the document regarding the pre-nuptial priest survey is the marriage still valid? Also, the Pastor conducted the interview by phone because the groom was working at the time.

    FATHER JOE: If the bride and groom said their vows before a priest with two witnesses present then the marriage was licit and valid.

  11. Hello Father Joe, I hope you are doing well. I have a question about the blessing of objects. I have always had any religious object I get blessed by a priest. Not sure if I am correct, but I have heard that having an object blessed makes it a sacramental that reminds us of God in our life. Is that right? Anyway, I am sending my aunt (who after many, many years is coming back to the Church) a holy card with the Spiritual Communion prayer on it and another with Anima Christi. I feel like it is necessary to have these blessed. Is it? My aunt lives in an assisted living and apparently clergy are not allowed to come in. Churches around here are open but with very strict restrictions so I’m not even sure we can ask for a blessing. Is it important to find a way to have these blessed before sending them to her? Thank you, Father Joe

    FATHER JOE: While it is a pious practice to have an item blessed by a priest, a holy card would remain a sacramental nonetheless.

  12. I was born into a Catholic family and baptized Catholic, but when I was three years old my whole family left the Church and became Protestant. I want to come back to the Catholic Church and I understand that through RCIA I can do that. My question is, since I am already a baptized Catholic, can I just go and receive the Sacrament of Reconciliation? And if I can, can I also then receive the Eucharist?

    01-12-21 FATHER JOE:

    While you could go to Confession, as no priest would turn you away, it would be best to take instruction first so as to appreciate and understand the sacraments that you need to receive. You are an uncatechized adult and likely need extensive preparation prior to your confirmation and first Holy Communion.

  13. Hi Father Joe, is this a real saint I’ve been reading about: Saint Corona, patron saint of resisting epidemics? There’s conflicting information online. Thank you!

    FATHER JOE: YES, there is a St. Corona but NO, the saint has nothing to do with pandemics. This is the patron saint for treasure hunters.

  14. Greetings! What’s the difference between a friar/monk/brother/priest/deacon? Why would someone choose to dedicate his life to god and not want to become a priest (the highest of all these?) Thanks!

    01-12-21 FATHER JOE:

    A preference is given to consecrated religious life over the calling of the secular or diocesan clergy. A religious brother or sister belongs to a community of consecrated religious with vows. They may be lay or clergy. Holy Orders consist of three tiers: the diaconate, the presbyterate (priesthood) and the episcopate (bishops). A friar is a religious priest like a Franciscan. A monk lives in a religious community of men typically under vows of poverty, chastity, and obedience. The female counterpart is a nun (in cloister). Religious sisters may work in the world. As for what calling one might pursue, it depends upon the vocation given us by God.

  15. I have seen some places where they create dog monuments, to pay homage to certain “courageous” actions performed by dogs. My question is: Is there something problematic on giving homage to animals, according to Catholic teaching?

    FATHER JOE: There is no issue in praising heroic animals.

  16. I have been a Christian my whole life, but towards the end of my college years I began to question God’s existence. Through some research, I’ve began to believe in Him again, but I have a question that is a bit hard for me to ask. How am I supposed to love God?

    I have heard, and read, that we’re supposed to be in a relationship with him, but what kind? Is it a fatherly one? Personally, I have a huge resentment towards biological fathers (that’s all I really want to say about that), and it makes me resent God if I have to treat him like that. It also makes me afraid of him. I have heard that we as the Church are supposed to be “His bride.” I am a heterosexual male, so how can I have a relationship with another male being? That doesn’t sound right. I have also learned that we’re supposed to show our love of God thorough interacting with people. I don’t really like people, and I have learned that staying away from them is better for me.

    I love to learn, and I love animals. I’d figured that maybe I can show my love of God through academics, and through helping wildlife, which is His creation. Is that enough? Will God know that I care for him by doing only that, along with going to church? I’ve heard/read that, unless we are in a relationship with God, we’re going to go to Hell. I know Jesus said that, too. At this point, I’ve accepted the fact I’m going to Hell.

    I don’t want to sound pushy, but I want a straight-forward answer. I don’t want a preachy, beating around the bush-kind of answer. I would love to have some references or sources to help me out as well.

    Thank you.

    01-12-21 FATHER JOE:

    What you want will not come just from outside sources. You have to find the answer in yourself. You admit an issue with your father and that you do not like people. Such matters are not neutral. Earthly fathers and others often fail us. Even our Lord knew betrayal and abandonment from those he loved the most. But he was faithful to the mission given him by his Father and did not run away from his passion and cross. Faith in the Lord requires courage, obedience and charity. Recall the person you most have trouble in loving and then imagine that as the face of God.

    While we should live in the hope of heaven, one should not go through life presumptive that they cannot be redeemed and are destined to hell. Such might be reflective of a self-loathing that is also contrary to the commandment of love. You make all sorts of excuses when you should seek embrace your faith through learning, prayer and service. God as God is a perfect spirit and is neither male nor female. The reference to Christ (both God and man) as the groom to his bride the Church is an analogy and should not be interpreted in a literal or sexual manner. It simply stresses the intimacy of our faith relationship. We are also understood as members of the mystical body of Christ or the branches to the mystical vine of Christ.

    Loving God is an act of the will, not simply the emotions. It is an admission of our dependence upon him and that all that we have is his gift. What does loving God mean? We should honor him with praise, thanksgiving and service.

  17. Fr Joe, I found an examination of conscience online. It listed among mortal sins reading books on the prohibited books index. I found the index and all the novels of Alexandre Dumas are on it. I have read both Musketeers books. Granted I knew nothing about this when I did and thus cannot be held culpable for a mortal sin. However, I have also watched numerous movies on that theme because I love historical fiction/period pieces. The customs, costumes, etc. are fascinating to me. I own a few Musketeers movies and they are among my favorites. Am I to stop watching those under pain of sin? I have also seen a movie of The Count of Monte Cristo. Guidance for the future would be appreciated. Thank you in advance.

    01-12-21 FATHER JOE: The prohibition is no longer juridically regarded as binding. The INDEX should be a guide, however, that certain writings (even classics) are prejudicial against the faith and the Church.

  18. Hello,

    Do you have a college education? If so, what did you study?

    Thank you,

    FATHER JOE: Yes… Philosophy, History, English, and Theology.

  19. Is 6667 an antichrist number.
    666 is the beast number in revelation
    7 is gods number.
    Am I right.

    FATHER JOE: Jewish numerology is symbolic language but when it comes to math… numbers are numbers.

  20. Hi,
    I am Catholic who has recently come up with a psychiatrist at the University of Virginia called Dr. Jim B. Tucker. He has written books related to children who have experienced past lives and I find it rather confusing. He tries to prove reincarnation. Of course, I do not believe that to be true; but the stories seem so real that I have tried to find evidence to disprove them. How would you recommend getting over this issue— fictional, but at the same time hard to get out of one’s head? God Bless!

    01-11-21 FATHER JOE:

    The same type of regression therapy is used to support the claim of alien abductions. Often questions asked are leading. Further, never underestimate the power of the imagination. The soul is infused brand new at the moment of conception. There is no transmigration of souls from one body to another. Such a view is incompatible with true Christianity.

  21. Hello. I received a radical sanation about a year ago and just came to the conclusion, through more research, that it may be invalid for various reasons.

    My husband is a non-practicing Lutheran and he said he didn’t want to have a new ceremony or take marriage classes, which would have been required by my parish. I didn’t want marriage classes either after 7 years of our civil marriage. My priest takes a while to get back to me about things and I was worried the radical sanation was going to take a long time, so I bugged my husband into having a convalidation ceremony and he said he would, to make me happy. I had told my priest that my husband ended up agreeing to the ceremony, but my priest said let’s just do the radical sanation, so that’s what we did. I read that a radical sanation is only to be done if one party absolutely refuses to enter the Catholic church for a ceremony, but that wasn’t obviously the case since he ended up agreeing to it (even though he wasn’t too thrilled about it.) I have no idea what my priest had said on our paperwork.

    I also read that you must have openness to life at the time the civil marriage took place. While we were definitely open to having children, we did not know that the Catholic Church did not permit birth control usage. I wasn’t practicing and I really wasn’t educated about my faith at the time. I was pregnant when we got married, but we used condoms at different points in our civil marriage. When I checked off (on the radical sanation paperwork) that we were open to life at the time of our civil marriage, I was not thinking about the birth control use, but rather that we had planned to have children.

    Lastly, a few years after the civil marriage took place, I was unfaithful a number of times via text message/photos (not physically.) I have confessed this now in confession of course, but my husband did not know of this at the time our radical sanation took place. I made him aware a few months later.

    Do any of these things make our marriage invalid? If so, what do I do about this now? My priest was not familiar at all with radical sanation at the time and I’m worried he would not be knowledgeable about this now.

    Thank you very much.

    01-11-21 FATHER JOE:

    Some clergy make more use of radical sanation than others and I have tended to steer clear (most of the time) from this course. Your husband was hesitant to have a church ceremony, you were pregnant and there was stability in the bond. You are married. I would urge you to stop worrying. There was no issue with divine law as there would have been with a prior bond. The Church made your marriage licit. Peace!

  22. How can one communicate with his guardian angel? How can one know his guardian angel is present? Can such angels be seen physically?

    01-11-21 FATHER JOE:

    Say the Guardian Angel’s Prayer for his intercession and help. But remember that the proper object of all prayer is almighty God. As for whether he is present, the Lord speaks about angels watching over us. This is also the message of the Church. Trust both and you can have assurance. As for whether angels can be seen, the answer is generally no— they are perfect spirits and have no material bodies. If they were to appear, it would be a fashioned image, not a true one. But such an appearance is highly unlikely.

  23. Dear Fr Joe,

    I am sure many long time followers of your Ask a Priest blog are concerned about your absence and perhaps they are not privy to your Holy Family blog or Facebook page.

    More than that I am sure that more than a few would like to know how to support your parish during this challenging time.

    Perhaps it may be a good idea to include information on how to they can donate and of course hear and see you in your live daily mass.



  24. Is taking CBD oil a sin?

    FATHER JOE: Is it legal? Is it safe? If so then it is likely okay.

  25. Father, how can the Vatican City headed by the pope accompany the people through this valley of anxiety, fear, and death because of the COVID 19 pandemic?

    FATHER JOE: The answer is what it has always been… through prayer.


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