Catholic Beliefs and Practices

A summary of Catholic beliefs and practices



XT.icon.jpg The Roman Catholic Church is over 2,000 years old.  It is a church in the Christian tradition, with Jewish roots. Jesus is the founder and St. Peter was the first leader. The Pope is St. Peter's successor in our day. There are many beliefs, practices, and devotions unique to the Catholic Church. They include the Mass, the Sign of the Cross, the Seven Sacraments, the Rosary, and other forms of devotion. The Ten Commandments and the Beatitudes teach us how we can live our lives in the best way possible. What follows on these pages are some explanations and examples of rituals and prayers used in our Catholic Faith.



calendar.png THE CHURCH YEAR

Did you know that the Church as its own calendar? Advent, Christmas, Lent, and Easter are most important seasons of the Church Year, each with its own colors and prayers. The Church Year begins on the First Sunday of Advent. The First Sunday of Advent is four Sundays before Christmas (December 25th). Lent begins on Ash Wednesday, forty days before Easter, and ends on Good Friday, two days before Easter. Easter is celebrated for fifty days and ends on Pentecost Sunday. During this time, we celebrate the new life of Christ. After the Easter season, there is a return to Ordinary Time until the end of the church Year.





eucharist.jpg The Mass, often referred to as the Eucharist, is the centre of Catholic communal worship. Catholics are invited to participate in Mass every Sunday, in keeping with the commandment to keep holy the Sabbath. The Mass was celebrated in Latin until 1963, when the Second Vatican Council approved the use of the language of the people.




The Sign of the Cross is a very short prayer. It shows our faith in the Holy Trinity - the Father, the Son and the Holy Spirit - and it shows we understand that Jesus died on the cross to save us. Make this prayer using a gesture with your hand against the forehead (the father), the chest (the Son), and the left shoulder and the right shoulder (the Holy Spirit).



The Church celebrates seven sacraments. Sacraments are sacred moments that celebrate the presence of the risen Christ in our lives. The sacraments give us God's grace so we can love, heal and transform the lives of

baptism.png 1. BAPTISM - Baptism initiates new members into the Church, Catholic parents usually baptize their children when they are babies.
2. EUCHARIST - The Eucharist celebrates Jesus' last supper with his apostles, when he shared his
body and blood for the salvation of the world.
3. CONFIRMATION - Confirmation is dove.png the completion of Christian initiation. After a period of instruction, the bishop or priest anoints the candidate and "lays on hands" to bestow the gifts of the Holy Spirit.
4. RECONCILIATION (Penance, or Confession)
Reconciliation is when people seek God's mercy by confessing their sins to a priest, who gives counsel and grants them absolution (forgiveness) in God's name.
The sacrament of Anointing brings comfort to the sick through the blessing
of the priest, who uses a special holy oil.
marriage.png Marriage gives grace to the relationship between a man and a woman who have
promised to live life together in union with Christ.
Holy Orders is a sacrament offered to men who choose to become a deacon, a priest, or a bishop.
There are many teachings in the Catholic Church to help us live our lives in the way Jesus would want us to, and to show us how to be a mirror of God's love for humanity. The Ten Commandments were given to Moses by God. They are written in the Hebrew Scriptures of the Bible.




tablets.png 1. You shall worship the Lord your God, and Him only shall you serve.
2. You shall not take the name of the Lord your God in vain.
3. Remember the Sabbath day, and keep it holy.
4. Honour your father and your mother.
5. You shall not kill.
6. You shall not commit adultery.
7. You shall not steal.
8. You shall not bear false witness against your neighbor.
9. You shall not covet your neighbor's wife.
10. You shall not covet anything that belongs to your neighbor.



A beatitude is a solemn blessing. These eight beatitudes were spoken by Jesus in his Sermon on the Mount. The Beatitudes are written in the Gospel of Matthew in the Christian Scriptures of the Bible

preaching.jpg 1. Happy are the poor in spirit, theirs is the Kingdom of Heaven.
2. Happy are the gentle; they shall have the Earth for their heritage.
3. Happy are those who mourn; they shall be comforted.
4. Happy are those who hunger and thirst for what is right; they shall be
5. Happy are the merciful; they shall have mercy shown to them.
6. Happy are the pure in heart; they shall see God.
7. Happy are the peacemakers; they shall be called the children of God.
8. Happy are those who are persecuted in the cause of right; theirs is the
Kingdom of Heaven.



The Sign of the Cross
In the name of the Father and of the Son and of the Holy Spirit. Amen.

I believe in God, the Father almighty, creator of Heaven and Earth.
I believe in Jesus Christ, His only Son, our Lord.
He was conceived by the power of the Holy Spirit and was born of the Virgin Mary.
He suffered under Pontius Pilate, was crucified, died and was buried.
On the third day he rose again. He ascended into Heaven,
and is seated at the right hand of the Father.
He will come again to judge the living and the dead.
I believe in the Holy Spirit, the holy Catholic Church, the communion of saints,
the forgiveness of sins, the resurrection of the body, and life everlasting. Amen

Our Father, who art in heaven, hallowed be Thy name'
Thy kingdom come, Thy will be done on earth as it is in Heaven.
Give us this day our daily bread and forgive us our trespasses
as we forgive those who trespass against us and lead us not into temptation,
but deliver us from evil. Amen

Hail Mary, full of grace, the Lord is with thee;
Blessed art thou amongst women and blessed is the fruit of thy womb, Jesus.
Holy Mary, Mother of God, Pray for us sinners,
Now, and at the hour of our death. Amen.

O my God, I am very sorry for having offended you because you are all good
and deserving of all my love, I will try to be faithful to Your Spirit and sin no more. Amen.

Glory to the Father, and to the Son, and to the Holy Spirit;
as it was in the beginning is now and will be forever. Amen.




(Thanks to St. Angela School for letting us use this material.)

Click below to download the file:

OUR CATHOLIC FAITH.pdf  - Adobe Acrobat format

OUR CATHOLIC FAITH.doc - Microsoft Word Format