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Understanding Our Catholic Faith

How the Church Continue Christ’s Work: Marks of the Church

Marks of the Church
 

For in the one Spirit we were all baptized into one body—Jews or Greeks, slaves or free—and we were all made to drink of one Spirit.
1 Corinthians 12:13

Letters for the Church

Missionaries founded early Church communities by spreading the Good News from one town to the next. Saint Paul was the chief of these early missionaries. After he passed on, Paul wrote letters to the new communities in order to provide continued guidance. Through these Letters, or Epistles, Christians today are able to see how early believers dealt with difficulties and questions that arose as they learned to be disciples to Christ.

From the beginning, the Church has demonstrated four special characteristics. The Church is one as God is one in the three Persons of the Trinity. The Church is holy because its life is rooted in Christ and the Holy Spirit. The Church is catholic, or universal because God's grace is offered by the Church to all people. Finally, the Church is apostolic because it is built on the foundation of the Apostles.

The Apostles' Creed

As the Church grew, certain beliefs were recognized as being central to the faith, especially for those about to be baptized. The Apostles' Creed, which reflects the central tenets of faith in the early Church, is one of the oldest creeds. It is the foundation for the "Profession of Faith," Part One of the Catechism of the Catholic Church.

Reflect

  • Which beliefs of the Church most motivate you to follow Jesus?
  • How do you spread or communicate the Good News of your faith with others?
  • In what ways do you see your local parish exhibiting the four marks of the Church?

Prayer

Spirit of the living God, guide me to be a vibrant witness of the Church to others through my words and actions. Amen.

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An easy-to-use, practical guide helps parents be informed and engaged in the faith formation of their child.

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Saint Kateri Tekakwitha: People of Faith Cards

Children encounter models of our Catholic faith through these beautifully illustrated People of Faith cards. Contains a prayer and brief biography on the back of each card.

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