Program terms and definitions, with audio.

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abortion the deliberate termination of a pregnancy by killing an unborn child; it is a grave sin (39)
angels spiritual beings that praise God and serve him as messengers to help people understand God’s plan or to keep them safe from harm (37)
Apostles the twelve men Jesus chose to be his closest followers and to share in his work and mission in a special way (27)

a Mark of the Church; the Church is apostolic because her teaching authority comes directly from Jesus and his chosen Apostles handed down through the bishops of the Church, who are direct successors of the Apostles (18)

Apostolic Succession

the term used to describe that the authority to lead and teach the Church can be traced through the centuries from the Apostles to their successors, the Pope and bishops (17)

Ascension the event of the Risen Christ being taken up to Heaven forty days after his Resurrection (30)



Jesus’ eight teachings about the meaning and path to true happiness; they depict the way to live in God’s Kingdom now and always, working toward the eternal holiness or blessedness to which God calls all people (20)

Blasphemy the sin of showing contempt or lack of reverence for God and his name (20)


Cardinal Virtues

the four principal moral virtues— prudence, temperance, justice, and fortitude—that help us live as children of God and from which the other moral virtues flow (11)


a Mark of the Church; the Church is catholic because she is universal, meant for all people in all times and in all places (58)


the Theological Virtue of love that directs us to love God above all things and our neighbor as ourselves, for the love of God (47)

chastity the virtue that helps you express your sexuality and show love in the right way for your state of life (48)
Christ gave himself up to make the Church holy and gave the Church the gift of the Holy Spirit to give her life (38)
Church the community of all baptized people who believe in the Holy Trinity and follow Jesus; the word is often used for the Catholic Church because we trace our origins back to the Apostles (9)

men who are ordained and given sacred authority to serve the Church by teaching, divine worship, and pastoral leadership (56)

conscience the God-given ability that helps individuals judge whether actions are right or wrong (6)
consecrated religious life

a state of life lived by religious sisters, brothers, and priests in community and characterized by the vows of poverty, chastity, and obedience (60)


a sincere change of mind, heart, and desire to turn away from sin and evil and turn toward God (40)

creed a formal statement of what is believed about the Holy Trinity and the Church; the word creed comes from the Latin for “I believe.” There are two main creeds of the Church: the Nicene Creed and the Apostles’ Creed (18)



one who learns from and follows the example of a teacher. The disciples of Jesus are those who believe in him, follow his teachings, and put them into practice. (27)


people who learn from and follow the example of a teacher; the disciples of Jesus are those who believe in him, follow his teachings, and put them into practice (6)

discipleship accepting Jesus’ invitation to believe in and follow him by studying his ways and putting them into practice (11)
doctrine official Church teachings on matters of faith and morals; Catholics are obligated to believe these truths (9)


ecumenism an organized effort to bring Christians together in cooperation as they look forward in hope to the restoration of the unity of the Christian Church (31)

the term for church in Scripture, meaning “convocation” or “those called together” (48)

eternal life life forever with God for all who die in his friendship (39)

the deliberate action or inaction which causes the death of someone who is sick, dying, or suffering because of disabilities or a debilitating condition; it is a grave sin (39)


the four divinely inspired human authors of the Gospels: Matthew, Mark, Luke, and John (46)



the Theological Virtue that makes it possible for us to believe in God and the things that he has revealed to us. Faith leads us to obey God. It is both a gift from God and a free, human choice (47)

filial respect

the response children are called to have toward their parents, which includes obedience, respect, gratitude, and assistance (26)

free will

the God-given freedom and ability to make choices. God created us with free will so we can have the freedom to choose good (6)

Fruits of the Holy Spirit the qualities that can be seen in us when we allow the Holy Spirit to work in our hearts (70)


Gifts of the Holy Spirit seven powerful gifts God gives us to follow the guidance of the Holy Spirit and live the Christian life. We are sealed with the Gifts of the Holy Spirit at Confirmation. (70)
Great Commandment the twofold command to love God above all and your neighbor as yourself; it sums up all of God’s laws (16)



a state of becoming more God-like, living in his presence and with his love (36)

holy a Mark of the Church; the Church is holy because she is set apart for God and his purposes and God is holy;

the Theological Virtue that helps us trust in the true happiness God wants us have and in Jesus’ promises of eternal life, and to rely on the help of the Holy Spirit (47)



the sin of putting other people or things in God’s place, or before God, in our lives (36)


the truth that the Second Divine Person of the Holy Trinity, the Son of God, assumed human nature in order to save all people; Jesus Christ is both true God and true man (7)

informed conscience a conscience that is educated and developed through constant use and examination and learning about the teachings of the Church (30)

the God-given ability that makes it possible for you to think, reason, and judge (6)



the constant and firm desire to give God and other people what is their due as children of God, made in his image and possessing equal human dignity (56)

justification the forgiveness of sins and the return to the goodness for which humans were first created (38)


Kingdom of God

God’s rule of peace, justice, and love that exists in Heaven, but has not yet come in its fullness on Earth (17)



all baptized members of the Church who share in Jesus’ mission and witness to him and his message in their personal, family, and community lives and in the parish, but are not priests or consecrated sisters or brothers; sometimes called lay people (56)



the teaching office of the Church, which is all the bishops in union with the Pope; the Magisterium has the teaching authority to interpret the Word of God found in Sacred Scripture and Sacred Tradition (18)


of the Church the essential characteristics that distinguish Christ’s Church and her mission: one, holy, catholic, and apostolic (18)

martyr holy people who give up their lives to witness to the truth of Christ and the faith; the word martyr means “witness” (46)

the title given to Jesus because, as true God and true man, he alone is able to reconcile all people to God the Father, bringing us closer to God the Father by his words and saving actions (9)

missionaries people who answer a call from God to devote a period of their lives to bringing Christ’s message to people in other places (60)
missionary mandate the responsibility given by Jesus to the Church to bring his saving message to everyone (57)

the moral virtue that helps us dress, talk, and move in appropriate ways (49)

monastery a building where a community of religious men (or sometimes women) join together in spirituality and service (47)
mortal sin a grave (very serious) sin by which someone turns completely away from God and breaks his or her relationship with God (7)
Mystical Body of Christ

a name for the Church, whose baptized members are all united to Christ and one another through the Holy Spirit, forming one holy people with Christ as her head (39)


New Commandment Jesus’ command for his disciples to love one another as he has loved us (50)


offices of Christ

the three roles of Jesus (Priest, Prophet, and King) that describe his mission and work among God’s People; all the baptized share in these three roles (50)


parable a short story Jesus told using examples from everyday life or nature to illustrate moral or spiritual truths (17)
peace a state of calm and harmony when things are in their proper order and people settle problems with kindness and justice (38)
Pentecost the feast that celebrates the coming of the Holy Spirit upon the Apostles and first disciples fifty days after Easter (30)
perjury making a promise under oath which the maker does not intend to keep (21)

the successor of Peter, the bishop of Rome, and the head of the entire Catholic Church (17)

Precepts of the Church some of the minimum requirements given by Church leaders for deepening our relationship with God and the Church (69)



to act in accordance with God’s will, being in his friendship, free from guilt or sin (39)


Sacred Tradition

is God’s Word to the Church, safeguarded by the Apostles and their successors, the bishops, and handed down verbally—in her Creeds, Sacraments, and other teachings—to future generations (17)

salvation the loving action of God’s forgiveness of sins and the restoration of friendship with the Father brought by Jesus Christ (48)

the destructive behavior by which a person deliberately leads, through his or her own action or inaction, another person to sin (41)

Sermon on the Mount the summary of key teachings of Jesus found in the Gospel according to Matthew (18)
solidarity a Christian principle that motivates believers to share their spiritual gifts as well as their material ones (60)

the spiritual principle of a human person that is individual, created by God, and will exist forever (6)


Ten Commandments

the ten fundamental moral laws given by God to Moses, and recorded in the Old Testament, to help his People live by the covenant (16)

Theological Virtues

gifts from God that help us believe in him, trust in his plan for us, and love him as he loves us; they are faith, hope, and charity (17)


venial sin

a sin that weakens, but does not destroy, a person’s relationship with God (7)

virtue a good spiritual habit that strengthens and enables you to do what is right and good; they develop over time with our practice and openness to God’s grace (11)


wisdom the spiritual gift that helps us to see God’s purpose and plan for our lives. Wisdom is also one of the seven Gifts of the Holy Spirit. (16)