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Catholic Identity

At the heart of our Catholic life is our encounter with Jesus Christ. 
This is only made possible through our life in the Spirit. 
This same Spirit brings us into communion in the Catholic Church.
Some Catholic Ingredients

This section offers a taste of some of the aspects of our faith that are significant to us.

The Seven Sacraments

  • Baptism
  • Eucharist
  • Confirmation
  • Penance/Reconciliation
  • Marriage
  • Holy Orders
  • Anointing of the Sick

Seven gifts from the Holy Spirit

(from Isaiah 11:2-3)
  • Wisdom
  • Understanding - Plainly put as common sense, "whereby self-evident principles are known".
  • Right Judgement - Also known as "Counsel". The gift of being able to pick between good and evil.
  • Fortitude - Courage.
  • Knowledge - Being able to know the path you are on and to be able to stay on Christ's path.
  • Reverence - Kindness, being able to keep peace.
  • Fear of the Lord - Wonder and awe in the mystery of God.

Twelve Fruits of the Holy Spirit

(Gal 5:22-23)
  • Charity
  • Joy
  • Peace
  • Patience
  • Kindness
  • Goodness
  • Generosity
  • Gentleness
  • Faithfulness
  • Modesty
  • Self-control
  • Chastity

The Beatitudes

The beatitudes present in Matthew (Mt 5:3-10) are:
When Jesus saw the crowds, he went up the mountain; and after he sat down, his disciples came to him. Then he began to speak, and taught them, saying:
Blessed are the poor in spirit, for theirs is the kingdom of heaven.
Blessed are those who mourn, for they will be comforted.
Blessed are the meek, for they will inherit the earth.
Blessed are those who hunger and thirst for righteousness, for they will be filled.
Blessed are the merciful, for they will receive mercy.
Blessed are the pure in heart, for they will see God.
Blessed are the peacemakers, for they will be called children of God.
Blessed are those who are persecuted for righteousness' sake, for theirs is the kingdom of heaven.
Blessed are you when people revile you and persecute you and utter all kinds of evil against you falsely on my account. Rejoice and be glad, for your reward is great in heaven, for in the same way they persecuted the prophets who were before you.
Note that the Gospel of Luke (Lk 6:20-23) offers a different version.

Nicene Creed

I believe in one God, the Father almighty,
maker of heaven and earth,
of all things visible and invisible.

I believe in one Lord Jesus Christ,
the Only Begotten Son of God,
born of the Father before all ages.
God from God, Light from Light,
true God from true God, begotten, not made,
consubstantial with the Father;
through him all things were made.
For us men and for our salvation he came down from heaven,

At the words that follow up to and including "and became man," all bow.

and by the Holy Spirit was incarnate of the Virgin Mary,
and became man.

For our sake he was crucified under Pontius Pilate,
he suffered death and was buried,
and rose again on the third day in accordance with the Scriptures.
He ascended into heaven and is seated at the right hand of the Father.

He will come again in glory to judge the living and the dead
and his kingdom will have no end.

I believe in the Holy Spirit,
the Lord, the giver of life,
who proceeds from the Father and the Son,
who with the Father and the Son is adored and glorified,
who has spoken through the prophets.

I believe in one, holy, catholic and apostolic Church.
I confess one Baptism for the forgiveness of sins
and I look forward to the resurrection of the dead
and the life of the world to come. Amen.

The Apostles' Creed

I believe in God, the Father almighty,
Creator of heaven and earth, and in Jesus Christ, his only Son, our Lord,

At the words that follow, up to and including "the Virgin Mary," all bow.

who was conceived by the Holy Spirit,
born of the Virgin Mary,
suffered under Pontius Pilate,
was crucified, died and was buried;
he descended into hell;
on the third day he rose again from the dead;
he ascended into heaven,
and is seated at the right hand of God the Father almighty;
from there he will come 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.

The Greatest Commandment

(see Mk 12:28-34)
Jesus, when asked what was the greatest commandment in Jewish law, affirmed:
  • You shall love the Lord your God with your whole heart, and with your whole soul, and with your whole mind, and with your whole strength;
  • you shall love your neighbour as yourself.

The Ten Commandments

Exodus 20 and Deuteronomy 5:6-21
  1. I am the Lord your God; you shall not have no other gods besides me.
  2. You shall not take the name of the Lord, your God, in vain.
  3. Remember to keep holy the Lord's day
  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 neighbour.
  9. You shall not covet your neighbour's wife.
  10. You shall not covet your neighbour's goods.

Stations of the Cross - Traditional

  1. Jesus is condemned to death
  2. Jesus takes up the cross
  3. Jesus falls a first time
  4. Jesus meets His mother
  5. Simon of Cyrene helps Jesus bear the cross
  6. Jesus's face is wiped by Veronica
  7. Jesus falls a second time
  8. Jesus meets the women of Jerusalem
  9. Jesus falls a third time
  10. Jesus is stripped of His garments
  11. Jesus is nailed to the cross
  12. Jesus dies on the cross
  13. Jesus' body is taken down from the cross
  14. Jesus is laid in the tomb

Stations of the Cross - Scriptural

  1. The Last Supper
  2. The Garden of Gethsemane
  3. Jesus before the Sanhedrin
  4. Jesus before Pilate
  5. Jesus is whipped and crowned with thorns
  6. Jesus carries his cross
  7. Jesus is helped by the Cyrenean
  8. Jesus speaks to the women of Jerusalem
  9. Jesus is stripped and nailed to the cross
  10. Jesus and the good thief
  11. Jesus speaks to Mary and John
  12. Jesus dies on the cross
  13. Jesus is buried
  14. Jesus is raised from the dead

Liturgical Seasons (and their colour)

  • Advent (Purple)
  • Christmas and Christmastide (White or Gold)
  • Lent (Purple) and Holy Week (Purple)
  • Easter and Eastertide (White or Gold) - including Ascension (white) and Pentecost (red)
  • Ordinary time (Green)
Liturgical Colours: White, Purple, Green and Red
  • White (or Gold) is used during the seasons of Christmas and Easter, and on the feastdays of Mary and the Saints (other than martyrs).
  • Purple is used during the penitential seasons of Lent and Advent; it is also the most appropriate colour for other penitential celebrations, such as the Sacrament of Reconciliation and funerals.
  • Green is a sign of new life and is used during the ordinary season of the year.
  • Red is used on the feast days of Martyrs, for Palm Sunday, Good Friday and Pentecost, and for Masses of the Holy Spirit.

Holy Days of Obligation in Australia

  • 15 August - The Assumption of the Blessed Virgin Mary
  • 25 December - Christmas
  • Other Holy Days from the Universal Calendar are transferred to the nearest Sunday (such as Epiphany, Ascension)

Exposition of the Blessed Sacrament (Adoration)

A religious devotion in which the consecrated host is displayed for the worship of the faithful. The host is usually in a monstrance placed upon the altar...The devotion arose from the desire of the faithful to focus their eyes and attention upon the host as a means of fostering interior communion with the Lord and of contemplating the mystery of Christ's presence.
Source: Harper Collins, Catholic Encyclopedia of Catholicism


Benediction (Blessing) has been a popular tradition since the Middle Ages when people no longer received communion frequently. A large consecrated host is placed in the monstrance so that the faithful may adore the Lord truly present in the Blessed Sacrament. After a period of adoration, the monstrance is incensed, while hymns are sung... then the people are blessed by the priest or deacon with the Blessed Sacrament.

Liturgy of the Hours (Divine Office)

The public prayer of the Church for praising God and sanctifying the day...
It consists of an Office of Readings, Morning and Evening Prayer, Prayer during the Day and Night Prayer. The Liturgy of the Hours is based on the early Christian community and its practice of continuing to pray the psalms and meet regularly throughout the day to sanctify the whole day to God.

Communion of Saints

The practical faith of Christians regarding saints is a living out of the church's understanding of itself as a communion of saints. This belief, found already in the Apostles' Creed by the late 5th Century, goes back much further in popular practice. It describes the church as a community or fellowship of all the faithful, living and dead, called together by God and transformed in Christ and the Spirit. The community is most effectively expressed and celebrated whenever people gather for the Eucharist.
Source: Catholic Customs and Traditions, Greg Dues
  • Thursday, 24 November 2011
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