What is the square board that the priest places on top of the chalice?
That is called a "pall." From Fr. Peter Stravinska's Catholic Dictionary we read:
Pall (PAWL): 1. The piece of stiff linen, or cardboard covered with linen, usually between four and seven inches square, that covers the chalice at Mass so as to prevent dust and other particles from landing in the chalice. Often, the pall is either simply adorned with across or may have a colorful depiction of Our Lord, Our Lady, or some Eucharistic design. 2. The cloth that is spread over the coffin at funeral Masses, usually of the same color as the vestments used for the liturgy.
I was listening to one of Scott Hahn's cd's and he said that the part about forgiveness in the Our Father should be in the past tense: "forgive us our tresspasses, as we have forgiven those who tresspass against us". If this is true then why is it not translated that way or said that way?
I'm not sure if that's true or not, so for now I'll just have to take Hahn's word for it. This wouldn't the only place where the Our Father could use a better English translation. "Lead us not into temptation" should be translated "Let us not be lead into temptation." I've also read that "super-substantial bread" would be more accurate than simply "daily bread." The problem is that people have been praying the Our Father this way for so long, it almost feels like a crime to change it. When the new translation of the Mass was being prepared, and the Sanctus, the Gloria, and even the Nicene Creed were changed, the bishops felt it would be too much to change the Our Father too.
Are there franchise Catholic stores out there (Protestants have Life Way and others)? Putting more Catholic info and items (books, rosaries, statues, etc.) out there would keep Catholics from going into these other stores for religious items.
I don't know of any "brick-and-mortar" franchise stores, but that doesn't mean they don't exist. I think what you find more often instead are local stores that serve the immediate area. There are thousands of these all over the country, I"m sure. There are also many Catholic retailers online where you can purchase Catholic books, statues, church supply, etc. Tonini's started out as a local Catholic supply store in Louisville, KY, but they have since grown to be one of the largest retailers of Catholic goods and church supply in the world, thanks to the catalog that they publish and their online presence.
The same for Catholic music ... there are lots of Christian bands and radio stations but I know of very few real Catholic bands.
Oh, there are a lot of Catholic bands and musicians out there too. Check out the following websites: Ave Mario Radio, Relevant Radio, and EWTN Radio have 100's of affiliates all over the country.
Missing a holy day of obligation is a mortal sin but is it really "Hell" worthy to miss a day?
Well, to be more precise, missing a holy day of obligation is a serious sin. In other words, it is grave matter. It only becomes mortal once it is performed with full knowledge and free consent of the will. If all three criteria are met, then yes, you have committed a mortal sin by missing a holy day of obligation. If you were to die in this state, then yes, you would go to hell.