The First Christians
Catholics are first and foremost Christians. That is, we're disciples of Jesus Christ and fully accept his claim that he is the only Son of God and the savior of humanity.
Fullness of the Christian Faith
Catholics stand out from other Christians who share this faith in Jesus as Lord by our insistence that the Catholic Church alone contains the fullness of the Christian faith. This fullness is lacking, to varying extents, in other churches and Christian denominations.
One, Holy, Catholic and Apostolic Church
The Catholic church is a communion of churches. It is made up of churches from the Western Tradition and the Eastern Tradition. Both Eastern Catholics and Western Catholics are in union with Rome. Shortly after the birth of the Catholic church, Jesus sent his disciples to the four corners of the world to spread the Gospel. Eventually, five great centers of Christianity emerged with distinctive Christian customs, but the same faith. These centers were Jerusalem, Antioch, Rome, Alexandria and Constantinople. Through the centuries the Gospel continued spreading from each of these centers, contributing to the rich, vibrant, beauty of our faith. Click here for an image of what the Catholic church looks like on paper.
Catholics have a profound sense of communion, a spiritual trait we share with our Orthodox brothers and sisters. We find profound significance in the prayer of the lord Jesus to his father at the Last Supper: “... that they may be one, as we are one ..." (Jn 17:22).
We believe that unity is a gift of the Holy Spirit who Jesus promised would come upon his disciples after he had left this earth to return to God the Father. We believe that this unity promised by the Lord is made visible by the Catholic church. Diverse as our world-wide Church of one billion people is, spanning all continents and cultures, we're united visibly by the profession of one faith, received from the apostles, by the apostolic succession through the holy orders and by common celebration of divine worship, most especially of the sacraments.
2,000 Year History
We're united by our pope, Francis, the Bishop of Rome, who's the 266th successor of St. Peter, the head of the Apostles, and by our bishops, who are the successors of the Apostles. We're united across time with our ancestors in the faith, to the very first generation of disciples of Jesus Christ, in a process we call sacred tradition.
The Catholic church, under the guidance of the Holy Spirit, has been the historical instrument that has preserved the sacred Scriptures, the revelation of God to the Jewish people in the Old Testament and to Christians in the New Testament. We believe that “The Church, or, in other words, the kingdom of Christ now present in mystery, grows visibly through the power of God in the world," in the words of the Second Vatican Council.
Although we're sinners, we fearlessly proclaim that Jesus Christ is the answer to every human question, and take heart in the example of the many holy men and women, people we call saints, whom God has chosen in every Christian age to serve as visible models of sanctity for us.
The Universal Church
This Church is open to men, women, and children of every culture, nationality, and race. Might you also be called at this time to come to the fullness of grace and peace of Christ that comes from God through his Church?
The staff of the Church of the Sacred Heart, a Roman Catholic Parish would feel privileged to assist you regarding any questions you might have about the Catholic faith.