What do Catholics believe?
Jesus taught his disciples how to live their faith. As Christ's body on earth, the Church has been passing on Jesus' teachings to each new generation. Over time, as new questions have arisen about Jesus or what we must believe, Jesus has continued to speak through Sacred Scripture (the Bible), Sacred Tradition (the lived experience of the Church), and maintain unity of teaching and leadership by Apostolic Succession (the bishops of the Church are today's Apostles).
Learning about Jesus is both simple and complex. Encountering Jesus is as easy as picking up the scriptures and reading about him or by going to church to pray with other believers. Learning about Jesus, however, can seem complex, like an endless pursuit of the infinite: "The more I learn, the less I feel I know." In many ways, faith is like calculus. It is a unity of many small formulas and logical conclusions drawn from experience and fact, the sum of which builds a complex body of teachings. In shorthand, it is often called, "the deposit of faith," the content of our faith as revealed by God to us over time, including some elements that must be absolutely assented to for our salvation.
Our parish website can only broach the surface of things to learn about Jesus and His Church. In this section, we've highlighted some points that we hope you will find helpful as you grow in relationship with God.
Becoming a Catholic Christian: For those interested in becoming Christian or entering into full communion with the Catholic Church, we have a process of initiation called, "The Rite of Christian Initiation of Adults" (often simply referred to as 'RCIA').
Jesus' Sacraments: Jesus saves us from sin in baptism, confirmation strengthens us by the Spirit, reconciliation repairs our relationship with God, eucharist nourishes us on the journey, anointing of the sick heals our body and soul, matrimony unites a couple so that they can raise children well, and holy orders sets someone aside so that we always have access to the sacraments when we need them.
Vocations: God calls us to follow Jesus with our whole lives. It may be as a married person or a consecrated celibate. Either way, God's call requires our docility and readiness to follow wherever he leads. Through prayer, we learn what God wants for us, how to live in a permanent manner dedicated to Christ, whether by ourselves or with others, as part of the partnership of marriage, or as a member of a community of consecrated brothers or sisters. God calls, we follow. Vocation = vocare = to call
Prayer: Our faith is given to us by God as a gift to bless our soul and the souls of those around us. We believe Jesus is God, and therefore we want to talk to him often. The Father loves us with an infinite love, as does the Holy Spirit. We ought to pray ceaselessly, that in all things we are doing the Father's will, as guided by the Holy Spirit through Jesus. Whenever we love, we are in fact praying. Prayer is communication with God, friendship with the Trinity. In this friendship, we seek to do all things together, a partnership of life in all things. There are many ways to pray, many avenues to grow in communion with God. Most often we just need to take the time to listen much and speak our hearts to the Lord.
Adoration of the Blessed Sacrament: We believe that the bread and wine that are offered at Holy Mass, by the power of the Holy Spirit, are transformed into the Jesus' body and blood, soul & divinity. Outside of Mass, we enjoy continuing our devotion and personal prayer by adoring the Lord in the Blessed Sacrament. Our priest takes one of the consecrated hosts (the Body of Christ) and displays it in a monstrance, or large golden holder, for all to meditate on Jesus with him present. This adoration of the Blessed Sacrament is a profound moment of encounter with a living God who still dwells among us.