Basics of the Faith


The Apostles’ Creed

I believe in God, the Father Almighty, Creator of heaven and earth; and in Jesus Christ, His only Son, Our Lord; Who was conceived by the Holy Ghost, born of the Virgin Mary, suffered under Pontius Pilate, was crucified, died, and was buried. He descended into hell; the third day He rose again from the dead. He ascended into heaven, sitteth at the right hand of God, the Father Almighty; from thence He shall come to judge the living and the dead. I believe in the Holy Ghost, the Holy Catholic Church, the communion of saints, the forgiveness of sins, the resurrection of the body, and life everlasting. Amen.

This is not a complete list of our Catholic beliefs, but it is the oldest known summary of them.


            The Mass: the Renewal of Christ’s Sacrifice on Calvary

            The Divine Office (daily Breviary prayers of priests and some religious)

            The Seven Sacraments: Baptism, Confirmation, Penance, Holy Eucharist, Matrimony,                  Holy Orders, Extreme Unction

            Prayers and Pious Practices: Our Father, Hail Mary, Glory Be, Rosary of the Blessed                    Virgin Mary, Stations of the Cross, Novenas, Acts of Faith, Hope, Charity, and                 Contrition, Angelus, etc.


            The Ten Commandments of God

  1. I am the Lord thy God, thou shalt not have strange gods before Me.
  2. Thou shalt not take the name of the Lord thy God in vain.
  3. Remember thou keep holy the Sabbath day.
  4. Honour thy father and thy mother.
  5. Thou shalt not kill.
  6. Thou shalt not commit adultery.
  7. Thou shalt not steal.
  8. Thou shalt not bear false witness against thy neighbour.
  9. Thou shalt not covet thy neighbour’s wife.
  10. Thou shalt not covet thy neighbour’s goods.

            The Six Commandments of the Church

  1. Assist at Mass on Sundays and Holydays of obligation.
  2. Fast and abstain on the days appointed.
  3. Go to Confession at least once a year.
  4. Receive Holy Communion during Eastertime.
  5. Contribute to the support of the Church.
  6. Observe the marriage laws of the Church.


recommended to be said daily

            Our Father, Who art in heaven, hallowed be Thy Name; Thy kingdom come, Thy will be done on earth as it is in heaven. Give us this day our daily bread, and forgive us our trespasses, as we forgive those who trespass against us; and lead us not into temptation, but deliver us from evil. Amen.

            Hail Mary, full of grace! The Lord is with thee; blessed art thou amongst women, and blessed is the fruit of thy womb, Jesus. Holy Mary, Mother of God, pray for us sinners, now and at the hour of our death. Amen.

            Glory be to the Father, and to the Son, and to the Holy Ghost. As it was in the beginning, is now, and ever shall be, world without end. Amen.

            The Apostles’ Creed: I believe in God… (as above)

            Act of Faith. O my God! I firmly believe that Thou art one God in three Divine Persons, the Father, the Son, and the Holy Ghost; I believe that Thy Divine Son became man, and died for our sins, and that He will come to judge the living and the dead. I believe these and all the truths which the Holy Catholic Church teaches, because Thou hast revealed them, Who canst neither deceive nor be deceived.

            Act of Hope. O my God! relying on Thy almighty power and infinite goodness and promises, I hope to obtain the pardon of my sins, the help of Thy grace, and life everlasting, through the merits of Jesus Christ, my Lord and Redeemer.

            Act of Charity. O my God! I love Thee above all things, with my whole heart and soul, because Thou art all good and worthy of all my love. I love my neighbour as myself for the love of Thee. I forgive all who have injured me, and I ask pardon of all whom I have injured.

            Act of Contrition. O my God, I am heartily sorry for having offended Thee, and I detest all my sins, because I dread the loss of heaven and the pains of hell, but most of all because they offend Thee, my God, Who art all good and deserving of all my love. I firmly resolve, with the help of Thy grace, to confess my sins, to do penance, and to amend my life. Amen.


            The principal means of obtaining God’s grace are Prayer and the Sacraments.

            Prayer is the lifting up of our minds and hearts to God, to adore Him and thank Him for His blessings, to ask His forgiveness, and to beg of Him all the graces we need whether for soul or body.

            Prayer is necessary for salvation, and without it no one having the use of reason can be saved.

            We should pray especially on Sundays and Holydays, every morning and night, in all dangers, temptations, and afflictions. We should pray with attention and humility, with a great desire for what we ask, with trust in God’s goodness, and especially with perseverance. Prayers said with willful distractions are of no value.

            A Sacrament is an outward sign instituted by Christ to give grace.

            The sacraments always give grace if we receive them worthily.

            The sacraments may be received more than once, except for Baptism, Confirmation, and Holy Orders. These three sacraments print a mark or character on the soul which remains even after death.

            The two sacraments that clean away sin, or death, from the soul are Baptism and Penance, and they are called the Sacraments of the Dead.

            Confirmation, Holy Eucharist, Matrimony, Extreme Unction, and Holy Orders are called the Sacraments of the Living. To receive them worthily we must be in the state of grace, or free from mortal sin.

            Baptism is the sacrament which cleanses us from Original Sin, makes us Christians, children of God, and heirs of heaven. Baptism is necessary for salvation, because without it we cannot enter the kingdom of heaven.


            A sin is any willful thought, word, act, or omission forbidden by the commandments of God or of the Church.

            There are two kinds of sin: Mortal and Venial.

            To commit a mortal sin, three conditions are required: 1. the matter is a serious one 2. you know it’s serious 3. you go ahead and do it anyway.

            Both mortal and venial sins are called Actual sins, meaning sins committed by ourselves. The sin which we inherit from our first parents is called Original Sin.

            Confession, or the Sacrament of Penance, is the telling of our sins to the priest for the purpose of obtaining forgiveness. To make a good confession we must do five things:

  1. Think of our sins.
  2. Be sorry for our sins.
  3. Promise not to sin again.
  4. Tell all our sins (at least the mortal ones) to the priest.
  5. Do the penance which the priest gives us.

            The most important thing in confession is sorrow or contrition for our sins. I should be sorry for my sins for two reasons:

  1. Because sin offends God, Who deserves my love.
  2. Because I am in danger of losing heaven and suffering the pains of hell.

            Besides promising not to sin again, we must also promise to avoid the occasions of sin (persons, places and things which may easily lead us into sin).

            In telling our sins, we should tell not only the kinds of sin we have committed, but also the number of times since our last confession. To hide a mortal sin in confession is a sacrilege against God and makes our whole confession bad. It should be told the next time we go to confession, and if possible, the same day.

            After making our confession, we should immediately perform the penance.


            The greatest of all the Sacraments is the Holy Eucharist, which contains the Body and Blood, Soul and Divinity of Our Lord Jesus Christ under the appearances of bread and wine.

            By the appearances of bread and wine, we mean the shape, the colour, the taste, and whatever else appears to the senses.

            Holy Communion is the receiving of the Body and Blood of Christ.

            Christ instituted the Holy Eucharist at the Last Supper, the night before He died, in this manner: He took bread and blessed it. Then He broke it and gave it to His Apostles, saying: “Take and eat. This is My Body.” Then taking a cup of wine, He blessed it and gave it to the Apostles, saying: “Drink ye all of this. For this is the Blood of the new testament, which shall be shed for many unto remission of sins.”

            This change of bread and wine into the Body and Blood of Christ continues to be made in the Church by the words of the priest at Holy Mass.

            Christ gave His priests the power to change bread and wine into His Body and Blood in order to remind us of His death on the Cross and to be united with us often in Holy Communion.

            The Sacrifice of the Mass is that same as that of the Cross, except that in the Mass there is no physical shedding of blood nor real death, because Christ can die no more.

            We should assist at Mass with all possible respect and devotion.

            To make a good Communion, we must do two things:

  1. Be in the state of grace.
  2. Do not take food or alcoholic liquids for three hours before receiving (other liquids – one hour. Water and necessary medicine may be taken at any time beforehand.)

The best preparation for Holy Communion is to live a life free from sin and to pray devoutly beforehand, e.g. the acts of Faith, Hope, Charity, Contrition and “O Lord, I am not worthy that Thou shouldst come under my roof, but only say the word and my soul shall be healed.”

The effects of a good Communion are three:

  1. It increases grace and virtue in the soul.
  2. It strengthens us to lead a holy life.
  3. It reminds us of the union between God and the saints which we shall also enjoy in heaven. After Holy Communion we should spend some time adoring Our Lord, thanking Him for the graces we have received, and asking Him for the blessings we need. We are bound to receive Holy Communion during the Easter time and when in danger of death, but it is well to receive It often, even daily.

The Above information is taken almost entirely from the Children and Convert Instruction Card available from the Mary Immaculate Queen Center: