Useful Catholic Information


 A spirit, infinitely perfect. Has always existed, is everywhere and
is all-good, all-knowing, almighty, all-just, all-merciful, and all-
 There is ONE God in 3 Divine Persons: Father, Son, and Holy Ghost.
They have one & the same Divine nature. It is a supernatural mystery,
beyond human understanding how there are 3 Persons in one God.
 He created heaven and earth, and all that has been created, by a 
single act of His all-powerful will.
 The chief creatures of God are: angels, pure spirits created to the 
image and likeness of God, to adore and serve Him. Some of them re-
belled against God, becoming devils; amd man, a creature composed of
body and soul, and made to the image and likeness of God.

 The first man and woman God created were Adam and Eve, from whom we 
are all descended. They were created innocent and holy, and to test 
their obedience, God forbade them to eat of a certain fruit which 
grew in the Garden of Eden. They disobeyed, losing their innocence 
and holiness, were cast out of the Garden, and condemned to suffering
and death. Their sin, Original sin, inherited by all of us, darkens
the understanding and weakens the will. These conditions remain even
after the remittance of original sin by Baptism.

 Actual sin - Any thought, word, deed or omission opposed to the law
of God personally and wilfully committed after attaining the use of
 Two kinds of actual sin: MORTAL - serious offense against God. It 
deprives the soul of sanctifying grace, seperates it from God, and 
makes it deserving of the pains of hell. Three things are necessary 
for a sin to be mortal. 1. serious matter 2. sufficient reflection
3. full consent of the will. VENIAL - a lesser offense, which weakens
our spiritual life, lessens our love for God, and makes us deserving
of temporal punishment in this life or the next.
 The chief sources of sin, or capital sins:
1.Pride 2.Covetousness 3.Lust 4.Envy 5.Gluttony 6.Anger 7.Sloth

The Incarnation and Redemption
 After Adam and Eve sinned, God promised to send a Redeemer, to re-
deem us from the slavery of sin and to merit eternal life for us.
 The Redeemer is Jesus Christ, the Son of God, second Person of the
Blessed Trinity, true God and true man. He is true God because He is
the only Son of God, equal to the Father in all things, and having 
the same Divine nature. He is true man, because He was born of the 
Virgin Mary, and has a body and soul like ours. He became man in the 
womb of the Blessed Virgin Mary, by the power of the Holy Ghost, when
the Archangel Gabriel announced to her that she would become the 
Mother of God.

 Jesus suffered the agony in the garden, betrayal by Judas, abandon-
ment by His Apostles, the scourging, crowning with thorns, carrying 
of the cross, and death nailed to the Cross.
 He died on Good Friday, on Calvary.
 He redeemed us by dying as man, and by giving, as God, infinite 
value to His suffering and death.
 His suffering and death teaches us the great evil of sin, God's hat-
red of it, and the necessity of satisfying for it.
 His soul descended into hell, that is Limbo, the place where the 
souls of the just waited for Him to take them to heaven.
 On Easter Sunday, He arose from the dead, and 40 days later ascended
into heaven, where He sits at the right hand of the Father Almighty.

 The Holy Ghost is the 3rd Person of the Blessed Trinity, proceeds 
from and is equal to the Father and the Son since He possesses the 
same infinite perfections. He descended upon the Apostles on Pente-
cost Sunday, under the form of tongues of fire, to enlighten, streng-
then, and enable them to preach the Gospel, and sanctify the Church;
and he will abide in the Church always to guide it in the way of 
holiness and truth.

 The chief effects are satisfaction of God's justice for our sins, 
and the gaining of grace for men.
 Grace is a free supernatural gift from God given to us through the
merits of Jesus Christ, for our salvation.
 There are 2 kinds of grace: Sanctifying grace, which dwells in the 
soul, and makes it holy and pleasing to God, and Actual grace, by 
which God enlightens our mind and moves our will to avoid evil and 
do good.
 The Theological virtues: Faith, Hope, and Charity.

 The Church is the congregation of all those who profess the Faith of
Christ, partake of the same sacraments, and are governed by their 
lawful pastors under one visible head.
 Jesus Christ is the invisible head of the Church, and the visible
head of the Church is the Pope, the vicar of Christ on earth.
 The Pope is the visible head of the Church because He is the succes-
sor of St. Peter, who was made the chief Apostle and visible head of
the Church.
 The successors of the other Apostles are the bishops of the Catholic
 Jesus Christ founded the Catholic Church to teach, govern, sanctify,
and save all men, and for that reason, anyone knowing the Catholic
Church is the true Church, and refusing to join her, cannot be saved.

Authority: the mission, right and power which the Pope and the bish-
 ops, as successors of the Apostles, have received from Jesus Christ 
 to preach the Gospel and to govern the faithful.
Infallibility: when the Church defines a doctrine on faith or morals,
 it can never err.
Indefectibility: The Church will always remain as Christ founded it,
 teaching everything that he taught. It will never fail to give us 
 what is necessary for salvation.
 *The Four Marks:
One: The Catholic Church is one in doctrine, worship, and under one
Holy: It is holy because its founder, Jesus Christ, is Holy, and be-
 cause its teachings and sacraments give us the means to be holy.
Catholic: It is Catholic, or universal, because it exists in all 
 nations, contains all truths necessary to salvation, and will exist
 until the end of time.
Apostolic: It was founded on the Apostles, has existed since their 
 time, teaches their doctrine, and is governed by their successors.

 A sacrament is a sensible sign instituted by Jesus Christ to give 
 The 7 Sacraments: Baptism, Confirmation, Holy Eucharist, Penance,
Extreme Unction, Holy Orders, and Matrimony.
 Baptism and Penance are the sacraments of the dead, because they
wipe out sin which is the death of the soul, and give grace, which
is the life of the soul.
 The other are the sacraments of the living because reception by 
those in the state of grace receive an increase in sanctifying grace.
 To receive the sacraments of the living while in mortal sin is to
commit a sacrilege, a very great sin, because it is the abuse of a 
sacred thing.
 The sacraments also give sacramental grace, a special help which God
gives to attain the end for which He instituted the sacrament.
 Baptism, Confirmation, and Holy Orders can be received only once 
because they imprint a character, or spiritual mark, on the soul that
remains forever.

BAPTISM (St. Matt. 28:19)
 Baptism, which is necessary for salvation, is the sacrament which
cleanses us from Original sin, makes us Christians, children of God,
and heirs of heaven.
 The ordinary minister of baptism is the priest, but in case of nece-
ssity can be given by any person who has the use of reason.
 Before Baptism, we renounce the devil and all his works and pomps,
in other words sin of every kind.
 The name of a saint is given at baptism so the person may imitate 
the saint's virtues, and have him as a protector. 
 Godparents are given in baptism to promise for the child what he 
would promise if he had the use of reson; and also see to the religi-
ous upbringing of the child in case the parents fail to do so or die.

 Confirmation is a Sacrament through which we receive the Holy Ghost,
who gives us faith to confess our faith without fear, and to lead a 
holy life, in spite of the obstacles put in our way by the devil.
 Confirmation is administered by the bishop, or a priest with Papal 
permission; and we should receive it in the state of grace.
 The person receiving Confirmation should know, as well as possible,
the truths of the Faith, the duties of a Christian, and what relates
to the nature and effects of Confirmation.

 The effects of Confirmation are an increase of sanctifying grace,
the strengthening of our faith, and the gifts of the Holy Ghost.
 The gifts of the Holy Ghost are: Wisdom, Understanding, Counsel, 
Fortitude, Knowledge, Piety, and Fear of the Lord.

 Penance is the Sacrament which remits sins committed after Baptism, 
and restores the soul to friendship with God.
 Priests have the power of forgiving sins from Jesus Christ, who 
told His Apostles: Recive ye the Holy Ghost. Whose sins you shall
forgive, they are forgiven them; whose sin you shall retain, they 
are retained.
 Priests exercise this power by hearing the confession of sins, and
granting pardon for them, as ministers of God, and in His Name.
 Five things are necessary to receive Penance worthily:
 1. Examine your conscience 2.Sorrow for our sins 3.Firm resolution
to nevermore offend God. 4. Confess our sins to the priest 5. Accept-
ing the penance the priest gives us.

 Contrition is sorrow for, and hatred of sins committed, with a firm
purpose of sinning no more, and it is absolutely necessary to obtain
pardon of our sins.
 The sorrow for our sins that we should have should be: interior, 
supernatural, universal, and supreme, or sovereign.
 We should be sorry for our sins because sin is the greatest of evils
and an offense against God our Creator, Father, and Redeemer; because
it caused the the death of Jesus Christ; because it deprives us of 
the happiness of heaven and makes us deserving of eternal damnation.
 There are two kinds of contrition: perfect and imperfect.
 In danger of death, if cannot get a priest, we must excite ourselves
to an act of perfect contrition, with the firm purpose of of confess-
ing our sins as soon as possible.

 Confession is the telling of sins to a duly authorized Catholic 
priest, in order to obtain forgiveness.
 We must confess all our mortal sins, and it is good to confess our
venial sins.
 The chief qualities of a good confession are: it must be humble, 
sincere, and entire.
 If we can't remember the the number of our sins, we should tell the
number as nearly as possible, and say how often we have sinned in a
day, week, month, or year, and how long the evil habit has lasted.
 If we genuinely forget to confess a mortal sin, and it later comes
to our minds, it is forgiven, though we must mention it in our next
confession, though if we wilfully conceal a mortal sin, we lie to the
Holy Ghost and thus commit a sacrilege. If we do this, we must con-
fess the mortal sin wilfully concealed, the sacrilege, and repeat all
the sins committed since the last worthy confession.
 The priest gives us a penance that we may partially satisfy for the
temporal punishment due our sins, and to deter us from committing 
them again; the eternal punishment due our sins is remitted.
 The chief means of satisfaction for the temporal punishment due our
sins are: Prayer, Fasting, Almsgiving, the spiritual & corporal works
of mercy, the patient suffering of the ills of life, and the penance
imposed by the priest in confession.

 Enter the confessional, or wherever the confession will take place, 
kneel(or sit), make the Sign of the Cross, and say, "Bless me Father,
for I have sinned. It has been...(tell how long) since my last con-
fession." Then confess your mortal sins, and any venial sins you may
wish to mention. Then listen to the priest, answering truthfully any
questions he may ask, and pray the Act of Contrition, accept your
penance, then do it as soon as possible afterward, and thank God for
His mercy and forgiveness.

 An indulgence is the remission, in whole or in part, of the temp-
oral punishments due to sins which have been forgiven. It is not a
forgiveness of sin, nor a license to commit sin; in fact one in mor-
tal sin cannot gain an indulgence.
 There are two kinds of indulgences: Plenary and partial (though 
these terms are rarely used today).
 The Church remits the temporal punishment due to sin, by applying 
to usthe merits of Jesus Christ, and the superabundant satisfactions
of the Blessed Virgin Mary, and of the saints; which form its spiri- 
tual treasury.
 To gain an indulgence, we must be in the state of grace and perform
the works necessary to gain it.

 The holy Eucharist is a Sacrament which really and truly contains
the Body, Blood, Soul and Divinity of our Lord Jesus Christ, under
the appearance of bread and wine, and was instituted by Jesus on Holy
Thursday at the Last Supper in the presence of His Apostles.
 Jesus is present whole and entire under either the form of bread or
the form of wine.
 When the priest consecrates the bread and wine into the Body & Blood
of Christ, this change is called transubstantiation.

 Jesus Christ instituted the Holy Eucharist to unite us to Himself 
and prove His love for us; to increase sanctifying grace in our soul,
and to strengthen us against evil; to be a pledge of everlasting 
life, and to fit our bodies for glorious resurrection. 
 Holy Communion is the receiving of the Body and Blood of Christ, 
under one or both species (under the form of bread or wine). To make
a good Communion, we must be int he state of grace, and be fasting.

NOTE: Originally, one had to fast from midnight, then it was changed
 to three (3) hours by Pope Pius XII, then reduced to one (1) hour by
 Pope Paul VI. In my opinion, 1 hour is not a fast, and one should 
 not receive unless one has abstained from food and drink (except
 water), for at least 3 hours before Holy Communion.  

 He who receives Holy communion in the state of mortal sin receives
the Body and Blood of Christ, but does not receive His grace, and 
commits a great sacrilege.
 We are bound, under the pain of mortal sin, to receive Holy Communion
during the Easter time and in danger of death.
 After Holy Communion, we should spend time in adoring and thanking
our Lord, and in asking Him for the graces we need.

On the Sacrifice of the Mass
 The Mass is the unbloody sacrifice of the Body and Blood of Jesus
Christ, consecrated on the altar, and offered to God by the priest.
 The Mass amd the Cross are the same sacrifice because the offering
and the priest are the same, Christ our Blessed Lord, and the ends for
which the Sacrifice of the Mass is offered are the same as those of 
the sacrifice of the Cross.
 The ends are: to honor and glorify God; to thank Him for all the gra-
ces bestowed on the whole world; to satisfy God's justice for the sins
of men; to obtain all graces and blessings.
 We should assist at Mass with great interior recollection and piety
and with every outward mark of respect and devotion.

 Extreme Unction is the sacrament which, through the anointing and 
prayers of the priest, gives health and strength to the soul, and 
sometimes to the body, when we are in danger of death from sickness 
or old age.
 The effects of the Sacrament of Extreme Unction are: to comfort us in
the pains of sickness and to strengthen us against temptation; to
remit venial sins and to cleanse our souls from the remains of sin;
and to restore us to health if God sees fit.
 We should receive this Sacrament in the state of grace, with lively 
faith and resignation to the will of God.
 Bishops and priests are the ministers of this Sacrament.

ON HOLY ORDERS (St. Luke 22:19)
 Holy Orders is the Sacrament that gives bishops, priests, and deacons
the power and grace to perform their ecclesiastical duties.
 To recive Holy Orders worthily it is necessary to have a divine call
to this sacred office, have the necessary knowledge, and to be in the
state of grace.
 Only bishops can confer this Sacrament. 

ON MATRIMONY (St. Matt 19:6)
 Matrimony is the Sacrament which unites a Christian man and woman in
lawful marriage and gives them grace to live in a Christian manner.
 Persons married by civil law live in a state of habitual mortal sin,
and their union isn't legitimate before God, because it isn't formed
according to the laws of the Church.
 The bond of Christian marriage cannot be dissolved by any human pow-
er, but can be broken only by the death of either spouse.
 The effects of this Sacrament are: to sanctify the love of the hus-
band and wife; to give them grace to bear each other's weaknesses; to
enable them to bring up their children in the fear and love of God.
 To receive this Sacrament worthily it is necessary to be in the state
of grace, and to comply with the laws of the Church.
 Christians should prepare for a holy & happy marriage by receiving
the Sacraments of Penance and Holy Eucharist; by begging God to grant
them a pure intention and to direct their choice; and by asking the
advice of their parents and the blessing of their pastor.

On the Sacramentals
 Sacramentals are things set apart or blessed by the Church to excite
good thoughts and to increase devotion, and thereby to obtain for us
the remission of our venial sins.
 There are 2 differences between the Sacraments and the sacramentals:
the Sacraments were instituted by Jesus Christ, the sacramentals by
the Catholic Church; the Sacraments give grace of themselves, if there
are no obstacles in their way (sin, etc.), while the the sacramentals
merely incite us in pious dispositions by which we may obtain grace.
 The chief sacramental, and most commonly used, is the Sign of the 
Cross, by which we show we are Catholics and express belief in the
Trinity, the Incarnation, and the Redemption.
 There are many other sacramentals, such as: holy water, rosaries, 
medals, blessed candles, palms, crucifixes, images, scapulars, etc.

 Prayer is the lifting up of our hearts and minds to God to adore 
Him; to thank Him; to ask His forgiveness, or to beg of Him the gra-
ces we need for soul and body. 
 We should pray with attention, humility, confidence, and persever-
 We should pray in the name of Jesus Christ; and we should pray for
everyone without exception, but particularly for our parents and 
others in authority over us, for our benefactors, enemies, sinners, 
and all the faithful departed.
 The most recommended prayers are: Our Father, Hail Mary, Glory Be,
Apostle's Creed, Confiteor, and the Acts of Faith, Hope, Love and

 These 2 Commandments contain the whole law of God:
 1. Thou shalt love the Lord thy God with thy whole heart, and with
   thy whole soul, with thy whole strength, and with thy whole mind.
 2. Thou shalt love thy neighbor as thyself.
 All the other Commandments show us how to observe these two.

 The Ten Commandments of God are:
1. I am the Lord thy God; Thou shalt not have strange gods before me.
 Commands: faith, hope, love and worship of God, reverence for holy
  things, prayer.
 Forbids:idolatry, superstition, spiritualism, seances, astrology, 
  fortune telling, ouija boards and all occult practices; tempting
  God, sacrilege, attendance at false worship.
2.Thou shalt not take the name of the Lord thy God in vain.
 Commands: reverence in speaking about God and holy things; the keep-
  ing of oaths and vows.
 Forbids: blasphemy, the irreverent use of God's Name, speaking dis-
  respectfully of holy things, false oaths and the breaking of vows.
3. Thou shalt keep holy the Sabbath day.
 Commands: going to Church on Sundays and Holy Days.
 Forbids: missing Church through one's own fault, unnecessary servile
  work, public buying and selling, court trials on Sunday.
4. Honor thy Father and thy Mother. 
 Commands: love, respect, and obedience on the part of children; care
  for the spiritual and temporal welfare of the children on the part
  of the parents; obedience to civil and religious superiors.
 Forbids: hatred, disrespect and disobedience of parents by children,
  neglect of the spitual and temporal needs of children by parents,
  and disobedience to lawful civil and religious authority.
5. Thou shalt not kill.
 Commands: safeguarding of one's own life and bodily welfare, and that
  of others; controlling one's anger.
 Forbids: unjust killing, suicide, abortion, euthanasia, artificial
  contraception, sterilization, fist fights, endangering life and limb
  of self and others.
6. Thou shalt not commit adultery.
 Commands: chastity in word and deed; avoiding occasions of sin.
 Forbids: pornography, bad movies, obscene speech, impure actions 
  alone or with others, masturbation, fornication, homosexuality,
  incest, bestiality.
7. Thou shalt not steal.
 Commands: respect for the property and rights of others, the paying 
  of just debts, paying just wages to employees, integrity in public
 Forbids: theft, damage to property of others, not paying just debts,
  not returning found or borrowed articles, giving unjust measure or
  weight in selling, not paying just wages, bribery, graft, cheating,
  fraud, accepting stolen property, not giving an honest day's work
  for wages received, violation of contract.
8. Thou shalt not bear false witness against thy neighbor.
 Commands: truthfulness, respect for the good name of others, the
  observance of secrecy when required.
 Forbids: lying, injury to the good name of others, slander, tale-
  bearing, rash judgment, contemptuous speech, and secrecy violation.
9. Thou shalt not covet thy neighbors wife.
 Commands: purity in thought
 Forbids: willful impure thoughts or desires.
10. Thou shalt not covet thy neighbor's goods.
 Commands: respect for the rights of others.
 Forbids: the desire to take, keep, or damage the property of others.

 According to the Catechism of the Catholic Church, these are:
1. You shall attend Mass on Sundays and holy days of obligation.
2. You shall confess your sins at least once a year.
3. You shall humbly receive your Creator in Holy Communion at least
 during the Easter season.
4. You shall keep holy the holy days of obligation.
5. You shall observe the prescribed days of fasting and abstinence.

 Jesus Christ will judge us immediately after death, our particular
judgment, in order to reward or punish us according to our deeds; the
general judgment will be to vindicate God's providence in the govern-
ment of the world; to reveal both the good and evil that nmen have 
done, in order to reveal God's justice, wisdom, and mercy; to give 
the good the public honor due them, and the wicked the public shame
they deserve; and to make the body share in the reward or punishment
of the soul with which it shared good or evil on earth.
 The bodies of the just will rise glorious; the bodies of the damned 
will also rise, but will not be glorious.
 Heaven is the place of eternal bliss, in which the good will see God
face to face, participate in His glory, and enjoy eternal happiness.
 Purgatory is the place where those who die in venial sin, or without 
having satisfied for the temporal punishment dur their sins, go to be 
 Hell is the place of eternal torment for those who die in mortal sin,
in which they are deprived of the sight of God, and suffer other tor-
ments for all eternity.

 To lead a holy life a Christian should: pray every day, morning and
night, and at meals; Hear Mass & receive Holy Communion daily if
possible; do his daily duty in his state of life; eat & drink with
temperance; assist the poor according to his means; examine his con-
science & ask God for forgiveness of his sins; sanctify his thoughts,
words and actions by offering them to God; endure the trials of life 
with patience, in atonement for his sins, and unite them to the suff-
erings of Jesus Christ; in temptation, beg God for help, and avoid all
occasions of sin; make a perfect act of contrition and go to confess-
ion as soon as possible, if he commits a mortal sin; enjoy only inno-
cent amusements, in moderation; on Sundays and holy days, go to Mass,
abstain from unnecessary servile work, unlawful play, travelling for
unnecessary temporal affairs; go to Confession at least once a month;
be resigned to the will of God in sickness, and if necessary, prepare
for death in a Christian manner, and encourage any relatives & friends
in the same situation to prepare themselves as well. 

The Three Theological Virtues
 Faith - Hope - Charity

The Four Cardinal Virtues
 Prudence - Justice - Fortitude - Temperance

The Seven Gifts of the Holy Ghost - Isa. 11:2,3
 Wisdom - Undrstanding - Counsel - Fortitude -
 Knowledge - Piety - Fear of the Lord

The Twelve Fruits of the Holy Ghost
 Charity - Joy - Peace - Patience - Benignity - Goodness -
 Long-suffering - Mildness - Faith - Modesty - Continency - Chastity

The Spiritual Works of Mercy
 To admonish the sinner - to instruct the ignorant - to counsel the
 doubtful - to comfort the sorrowful - to bear wrongs patiently -
 to forgive all injuries - to pray for the living and the dead

The Corporal Works of Mercy
 To feed the hungry - to give drink to the thirsty - to clothe the 
 naked - to ransom the captive - to harbor the harborless - to visit
 the sick - to bury the dead

The Eight Beatitudes - St. Matt. 5
1.Blessed are the poor in spirit; for theirs is the kingdom of heaven.
2.Blessed are the meek; for they shall possess the land.
3.Blessed are they that mourn; for they shall be comforted.
4.Blessed are they that hunger and thirst after justice; for they 
   shall be filled.
5.Blessed are the merciful; for they shall obtain mercy.
6.Blessed are the clean of heart; for they shall see God.
7.Blessed are the peacemakers; for they shall be called children of
8.Blessed are they that suffer persecution for justice' sake; for \
   theirs is the kingdom of heaven.

The Seven Deadly Sins, and their opposite Virtues
 Envy................Brotherly Love

Sins against the Holy Ghost
 Presumption of God's mercy - Despair - Impugning the known truth -
 Envy at another's spiritual good - Obstinacy in sin - Final 

Sins crying to heaven for Vengeance
 Willful murder - The sin of Sodom - Oppression of the poor -
 Defrauding laborers of their wages

Nine ways of being Accessory to another's sin
 By counsel - By command - By consent - By provocation - By praise or
 flattery - By concealment - By partaking - By silence - By defense
 of the ill done

Three Eminent Good Works
 Prayer - Fasting - Almsgiving

The Evangelical Counsels
 Voluntart Poverty - Chastity - Obedience

The Four Last things to be remembered
 Death - Judgment - Heaven - Hell

Subjects for Daily Meditation
 Remember, Christian soul, thou hast this day, and every day of thy
  life -

 God to glorify,              Heaven to gain,
 Jesus to imitate,            Eternity to prepare for,
 The Angels and Saints        Time to profit by,
  to invoke,                  Neighbors to edify,
 A soul to save,              The world to despise,
 A body to mortify,           Devils to combat,
 Sins to expiate,             Passions to subdue,
 Virtues to acquire,          Death perhaps to suffer,
 Hell to avoid,               And judgment to undergo.


Rule of Three:
 Three things to govern-
  temper, tongue, and conduct.
 Three things to cultivate-
  courage, affection, and gentleness.
 Three things to commend-
  thrift, industry, and promptness.
 Three things to despise-
  cruelty, arrogance, and ingratitude.
 Three things to wish for-
  health, contentment, and friends.
 Three things to admire-
  dignity, intellectual power, and gracefulness.
 Three things to give-
  help to the needy, comfort to the sad, and appreciation to the 

 Taken from "The Maryfaithful", Nov-Dec. 1975 issue, p.9.

For a fuller explanation of the Catholic Faith, refer to:

Baltimore Catechism No. 3:
An Explanation of the Baltimore Catechism: Baltimore Catechism No. 4
The Roman Catechism: (Catechism of the Council of Trent)

Catholic Terminology

This section will contain definitions of some Catholic words. 

Useful Catholic Information Page 2: