Pilgrimage Updates!

January 8-21, 2015 Holy Land Pilgrimage:

A few spots remain for this pilgrimage, but call right away if you are interested. Cavins Tours--763-420-1074!


 Forms and brochures for the January 2015 Pilgrimage will be found here. 

Please view our photo gallery for a glimpse of some of our past pilgrimages.

Here is what a recent pilgrim had to say about our annual Holy Land pilgrimage!

 Thank you for a most wonderful, spiritual experience these past 2 weeks. The pilgrimage surpassed any expectations I had. Your teachings, Jeff, were so meaningful at each site. You are able to pull together all the history, the spirituality, the geography of the area, the archeological aspects, etc. so well to make the whole story make sense. You have challenged us to grow spiritually not only with questions to ask ourselves, but ways to ponder those question in our lives, and the wonderful "weapons" we have to tackle them, grow from them, and make necessary changes in our lives so that we may be better disciples of the Lord and spread the Good News to others. Certainly my times in adoration, and daily prayer will be enriched because of this Holy Land experience. ~~ Barb K

Please feel free to contact us at Cavins Tours phone number --763-420-1074.



I Believe: The Apostles’ Creed and the Nicene Creed

Our small group in Catholicism 101 is was wondering why we do not use the Apostles' Creed for our Profession of Faith on Sunday and also why the two creeds, the Apostles' Creed and the Nicene Creed are different. Could you address the origins of the creeds and the Church's teaching on when they should be professed?

Jeff Cavins Kelly Wahlquist Creed Nicene ApostlesThe word creed is a derivative of the Latin word credo, meaning, "I believe". The words "I believe" are the first two words of the creed, which is a summarization of beliefs that Christians profess. This summary of faith is

laid out simply in a common language in such a way that it easily teaches, unites and proclaims the "whole knowledge of the true religion contained in the Old and New Testaments." (St. Cyril of Jerusalem, Catech. Illium. 5, 12:PG 33; CCC 186). From the beginning, the early Church used this brief synopsis of the essential elements of its faith to teach the candidates for Baptism, to help clarify orthodox teaching and to combat against heresies. Also known as "symbols of the faith" or "professions of faith", the creeds not only teach the faithful, they also prevent us from falling into error, which can result from our lack of knowledge of and/or our ability to selectively disregard all relevant facts of truth when we commence our own thinking. This guard against error can be seen as many professions of faith have been articulated in response to the needs of different eras. (CCC 192) The Catechism points out that none of the symbols of faith (creeds) can be considered superseded or irrelevant, but that two creeds occupy a special place in the Church's life: The Apostles' Creed and the Nicene Creed.

Apostles' Creed

Throughout the Middle Ages it was believed that the Apostles' Creed was a collaboration put together directly by the twelve apostles. Legend holds that following Pentecost the twelve apostles gathered together to settle on a common form of their preaching of the faith before they set out on their individual journeys, with each apostle adding one article; thus forming the twelve articles of the Apostles' creed. The Church however teaches, "the creed was so named The Apostles' Creed because it is rightly considered to be a faithful summary of the apostles faith" (CCC 194). This composite of the main teachings of the apostles emphasized in twelve articles of the faith is referred to by the Catechism of the Catholic Church as "the oldest Roman catechism" (CCC 196). Originally, the creed was a baptismal creed. The simplistic and brief summarization of the apostles' teachings, which countered the teachings of a heresy known as Gnosticism, was given to the catechumens in the form of a question at their baptism. By answering with affirmation, the catechumen showed that they both understood and believed. The profession of faith used in Baptism today is based on the Apostles' Creed.

Nicene Creed

In 325 AD, the emperor Constantine in an effort to restore peace to the Catholic Church, which had been disrupted by the heresy of a man named Arius, summoned a council of bishops to Nicaea. The heresy was known as Arianism and it was at the heart of a controversy involving the Divinity of the Persons of the Holy Trinity. In defending the Church, the Council of Nicaea constructed the Nicene Creed; a symbol of the faith, which is not only a condemnation of specific heresies such as Gnosticism, Sabellianism, and most importantly Arianism; it is the summary of the story of history from Adam to Jesus. Each word in the Creed is designed to refute a heresy, yet each sentence flows together to give the big picture of salvation history. The Creed tells the story of our salvation, emphasizing the essential elements, and articulating the summary in a way "which permits us to express the faith and to hand it on, to celebrate it in community, to assimilate and live on it more and more" (CCC 170). As various heresies arose in the different stages of the Church's life, the Creed was revised in response to each of the needs. The Nicene Creed draws its great authority from the fact that it stems from the first two ecumenical Councils: the Council of Nicaea and the Council of Constantinople in 325 and 381 respectively. (CCC 195)

Recitation of the Profession of Faith

"Recitation of the profession of faith by the priest together with

the people is obligatory on Sundays and solemnities. It maybe said

also at special, more solemn celebrations" (General Instruction of the Roman Missal, No. 44). "During the Easter Vigil and on Easter Sunday (but not on other Sundays of Easter Season), the renewal of baptismal promises and sprinkling with holy water replaces the Creed." (This is an adaptation, which the Holy See approved for the United States.) "This is to emphasize the traditional connection of Easter Sunday with baptism and because the profession of faith is included in the baptismal promises" (Zenit, Substituting for the Creed, Fr. Edward McNamara, Rome, 5 Dec 2006; www.zenit.org).

The text of the Creed is usually that of the Nicene Creed, yet the Apostles' Creed may be substituted on occasion. "The Roman Church's baptismal creed, the so-called Apostles' Creed, may be used in place of the Nicene-Constantinopolitan Creed, especially in Lent and Eastertide" (Missale Romanum, No. 19, p 513, English Interpretation). Although this does indicate that the Apostles' Creed may be said in place of the Nicene Creed, Fr. Edward McNamara, in response to which creed should be said at Mass on Sunday states, "Through this rubric the Church expresses a desire that both creeds should be known and used by all the faithful. The Nicene Creed would remain that of common use while the Apostles' Creed would also be used on occasion. The mention of this latter creed's primarily catechetical origin as a baptismal symbol is an indicator of why it is proposed especially for Lent and Easter. It must also be remembered that historically it was the Nicene Creed that was first introduced into the Eucharistic liturgy. And this was not originally done to recall baptism but rather to express the fullness of the faith in Jesus Christ" (Zenit, Rome, 5 Dec 2006).

Both the Apostles' Creed and Nicene Creed summarize the faith that Christians profess in a language that is common to all the faithful. The Apostles' Creed engages individuals into a personal profession of the faith, principally during Baptism; and the Nicene Creed, addressing more Christological issues, reveals an epitome of the story of salvation history. Both creeds beautifully guard the faith. Whenever we say either creed, we should work to understand the significance of every word we state and rejoice in the blessing this recitation brings; for "to say the Credo with faith is to enter into communion with God, Father, Son, and Holy Spirit, and also with the whole Church which transmits the faith to us and in whose midst we believe: This Creed is the spiritual seal, our heart's meditation and ever-present guardian; it is, unquestionably, the treasure of our soul" (CCC 197).

Catechism of the Catholic Church


Missale Romanum

General Instruction of the Roman Missal (GIRM 2003)

Catholic Encyclopedia


Kelly Wahlquist assists Jeff in the Twin City bible studies and edited the Catholicism 101 workbook.


Accordance Bible Software For The Macintosh!

Jeff Cavins and Accordance bible softwareSome of you have asked what bible software I use. I'm very much a Macintosh enthusiast so I use a program called Accordance Bible Software by Oaksoft. I have used many different applications but found this package to be the most flexible and powerful. One really nice thing about this application is that you can buy a Catholic module which has Vatican II, The Summa, The Council of Trent, the current Catechism, the Church Fathers, Canon Law and more.

It's nice to be able to search all the essential documents in seconds. Below you will find a synopsis of the application. For PC users I recommend Logos Software. Remember, if your in the market for a new computer, go Macintosh because the new Intel chip allows you to run either OSX for Mac or Windows for the PC.

Accordance Bible Software makes it incredibly easy to explore the text and background of the Bible. Here are a few of the ways Accordance can enhance your study of the Bible:

Dig into the Bible, not your Bible software

Accordance features an integrated and unobtrusive user interface that makes it easy to search the Bible. There are no hidden and confusing dialog boxes to deal with, because searching is built right into the window. Simply choose whether to search by verse or by word, enter your search, and click OK!

Compare multiple translations of the Bible

Accordance lets you display multiple Bible texts and translations side by side in the same window, making it easy to make comparisons.

Open right to the "page"!

The Resource palette gives you instant access to every book in your personal Bible study library, so that you can select a word or verse in the Bible text and go right to the appropriate section of a dictionary, commentary, or other study aid.

Look up the original Greek & Hebrew Cavins and Accordance

Pass your mouse over a word in an English Bible with Key (Strong's) numbers to see the Greek or Hebrew word which it translates. For a definition, simply triple-click the word you wish to look up.

See where it happened

Adding the Accordance Bible Atlas lets you instantly locate any place you read about on the map. Simply select a place name in the text of the Bible, then click the Map button on the Resource palette to find that place on a map. From there, you can customize the map by overlaying different sites, regions, and animated routes; create a 3-D map that you can fly through; or amplify to the Bible Lands PhotoGuide to see photographs of a location.

Do your own thing

Accordance lets you study the Bible the way you want to. Attach your own notes to any verse. Collect lists of verses for further study. Create your own custom user tools. Even highlight the text of the Bible in an assortment of colors and styles.


Build a Bible reference library


With well over 200 Accordance-compatible Bible texts and tools to choose from, it's easy to build an extensive library of Bible texts, Greek and Hebrew lexicons, dictionaries, topical Bibles, commentaries, and theological works. And with all of these immediately accessible through the Resource palette, it's easy to find the information you need.

Broaden your search


Of course, having an extensive library isn't much help if you don't know which book to consult, so Accordance lets you search your entire library in a single pass! Enter what you're looking for into the Search All window and click OK. You'll soon be given a list of every book in your library which contains your search criteria, and you can simply click on a book name to go there.

Narrow your search


Accordance also provides numerous ways for you to narrow your search so that you don't waste time wading through a lot of extraneous search "hits." In Bible texts, you can create your own custom search ranges, such as "Torah," "Gospels," and "Davidic Psalms." In Tools such as commentaries and dictionaries, you can choose from various search "fields," such as "Titles," "Contents," and "Scripture" to find exactly what you're looking for.

Look up parallel passages


Certain Accordance CD-ROMs include databases of parallel passages which can be accessed through the Amplify palette, so that you can quickly find every place an Old Testament passage was quoted in the New Testament, and every parallel account in the Gospels, Epistles, and Hebrew Bible.


Dive into the original languages


The Accordance Scholar's Collection CD-ROM contains grammatically-tagged versions of the Hebrew Bible, the Greek New Testament, the Greek Septuagint, and other texts such as the Dead Sea Scrolls. These texts enable you to build complex grammatical searches, to view a wealth of statistical information about your search, and to pass your cursor over any word to see its lexical form, parsing information, and English definition! For those working with the original languages, no other program even comes close to matching the capabilities of Accordance.


Benefit from the best in Biblical scholarship


With Accordance, you can access some of the most up-to-date and authoritative Greek and Hebrew lexicons, original language tools, Bible dictionaries, and commentaries currently available.

Search the Bible graphically


Sometimes you need to find complex grammatical constructions and subtle relationships between words. The Accordance Construct window makes this easy by enabling you to build such searches graphically. Define a construct to find the Granville-Sharp rule in Greek or the Intensive use of the infinitive absolute in Hebrew. You'll be amazed at how powerful, and how easy to use, the Construct window really is.


Living Lent #3 Cardinal Justin Rigali

Here is the third in a series of Lenten messages from Cardinal Justin Rigali of Philadelphia. Leave a comment below to show your appreciation to the Cardinal. You can also leave a comment on Youtube.


Theological Statement for the Great Adventure Bible Timeline Series

Cavins Great AdventureBecause the Bible Timeline is spreading so fast around the country, I thought it would be good to give Adult Education Directors a brief explanation of the methods we employ when teaching. Feel free to share this with your parish director.

The primary purpose of the Great Adventure Bible Study Series is to provide simple catechesis to Catholics on Scripture. Although its authors and instructors are well steeped in Catholic biblical scholarship, The Great Adventure is catechetical in nature and does not treat Scripture in an academic manner. The goal of the program is modest - namely, to introduce Catholics to Scripture and provide them with a basic biblical literacy.

Given its catechetical and evangelistic nature, The Great Adventure focuses on the final form of the text, using what is often referred to as a canonical or narrative approach to Scripture. This approach is common throughout the Catholic tradition. Hugh of St. Victor, for example, in his Didascalicon, writes that the best way to teach Scripture is to start with the narrative books of the bible so that the beginning student can grasp the overall story of the Bible before diving into more complicated matters. The list of books that Hugh suggests is nearly identical to the books used in the Great Adventure Bible Timeline study (The Didascalicon of Hugh of St. Victor. Book Six. Chapter Three.) In 1993, the Pontifical Biblical Commission in its document The Interpretation of the Bible in the Church, observed that recent developments in biblical scholarship, have emphasized canonical criticism, i.e., the final form of the text. This approach, both ancient and new, is characteristic of our method.

Although the catechetical nature of The Great Adventure commends the synchronic methods of biblical interpretation, we also fully embrace the diachronic methods that are indispensable to understanding the final form of the sacred text. In order to understand the intentions of the human authors, whom God inspired, one must be attentive to their historical circumstances, culture, and modes of writing (see Dei Verbum, no. 12). As such, The Great Adventure series always seeks to use history and its related fields of study to shed light on the biblical text. The authors of The Great Adventure therefore recognize and employ diverse methods to help discover both the human and divine aspects of Sacred Scripture.


Twin Cities' Bible Studies

The John Paul II Center for the New Evangelization is a ministry of the Church of St. Paul in Ham Lake, Minnesota answering the call of Pope John Paul II to evangelize and catechize the faithful and those outside the Church, and dedicated to providing practical formation in the Catholic faith.

Jeff's Twin Cities' teaching schedule for '08-'09 will be posted in the very near future. If you have any questions about our studies, please contact Carol Locke at 763-576-9004 or email her at carollocke1@comcast.net.