Catholic Essentials

The 7 Corporal Works of Mercy

To feed the hungry

To give drink to the thirsty

To clothe the naked

To shelter the homeless

To care for the sick

To visit the imprisoned

To bury the dead

The 7 Spiritual Works of Mercy

To share knowledge

To give advice to those who need it

To comfort the suffering

To be patient with others

To forgive those who hurt you

To give correction to those who need it

To pray for the living and that dead

The 7 Gifts of the Holy Spirit



Counsel/Right Judgment



Fear of the Lord/Awe and Wonder






The Ten Commandments

The Ten Commandments are more than simply rules and laws.  They are a foundation of moral teaching and shape our obligations as Christians in relationship to God.  The Ten Commandments were given to Moses by God on Mt. Sinai after being rescued by God from slavery in Egypt.  These Commandments are the expression and sign of the Covenant between God and God's people and are just as powerful and binding as they were when they were written.

1.  I am the Lord your God.  You shall not have strange gods before me.

2. You shall not take the name of the Lord your God in vain.

3.  Remember to keep holy the Lord's day.

4.  Honor your father and your mother.

5.  You shall not kill.

6.  You shall not commit adultery.

7.  You shall not steal. 

8.  You shall not bear false witness against your neighbor.

9.  You shall not desire your neighbor's wife.

10. You shall not desire your neighbor's goods.

The 2 Greatest Commandments

When asked which was the greatest of the commandments, Jesus responded with two.  IN this teaching of Jesus, these commandments complement each other and cannot be seen as existing apart from the other.  The first is to love the Lord thy God with all your heart, soul, mind and strength and the second is to love your neighbor as yourself.

The 8 Beatitudes

These are teachings of Jesus during the sermon on the Mount in which he describes the attitudes and actions that should characterize his disciples and followers.  They can be seen as blueprints for living an authentic Christian life.

1.  Blessed are the poor in spirit: for theirs is the Kingdom of Heaven.

2.  Blessed are the meek: for they shall possess the land.

3.  Blessed are they who mourn: for they shall be comforted.

4.  Blessed are they that hunger and thirst after justice: for they shall have their fill.

5.  Blessed are the merciful: for they shall obtain mercy.

6.  Blessed are the clean of heart: for they shall see God.

7.  Blessed are the peacemakers: for they shall be called children of God.

8. Blessed are they that suffer persecution for justice' sake: for theirs is the Kingdom of Heaven.

The 7 Last Words of Christ

Father, forgive them, for they know no what they do. (Luke 23:34)

Amen I say to thee: This day thou shalt be with me in paradise.  (Luke 23:43)

Woman, behold thy son ... Behold thy Mother.  (John 19:26-27)

Eli, Eli lamma sabachtani? (My God, My God, why hast Thou forsaken me?) (Matthew 27:46)

I thirst.  (John 19:28)

It is finished.  (John 19:30)

Father, into Thy hands I commend my spirit. (Luke 23:46)


Fruits of the Holy Spirit







Long suffering






Precepts of the Church

1. Assist at Mass on Sundays and holy days of obligation, doing no unnecessary work on those days.

2. Confess serious sins at least once a year.

3. Receive Holy Communion frequently and, at a minimum, during the Easter Season.

4. Fast and abstain on appointed days and times. 

5. Contribute to the support of the Church.

6. Observe the laws of the Church concerning marriage and give religious training to one's children by word, example and use of parish schools or religious education programs.

7. Join the missionary spirit and work of the Church.

Common Catholic Prayers

Our Father

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 knot into temptation,

but deliver us from evil. Amen

Hail Mary

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

Glory be to the Father,

and to the Son,

and to the Holy Spirit,

as it was in the beginning,

is now, and ever shall be,

world without end. Amen

Act of Contrition

O my God, I am heartily sorry for having offended you, and I detest all my sins because of your just punishment, but most of all because I have offended you my God, Who are all good and deserving of all my love.  I firmly resolve with the help of your grace, to sin no more, and to avoid the near occasions of sin.  Amen

The Apostle's 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 Spirit,

born of the Virgin Mary,

suffered under Pontius Pilate, was crucified, died and was buried.

He descended into Hell.

The third day he arose again from the dead;

He ascended into heaven, 

and is seated 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 Spirit,

the holy Catholic Church,

the communion of saints,

the resurrection of the body,

and life everlasting.  Amen

Grace Before Meals

Bless us, O Lord, and these Thy gifts, which we are about to receive from Thy bounty, through Christ Our Lord.  Amen