Dear Friends in Christ,
To live our faith well, and to share it with others, requires that we understand the meaning of being Catholic. We first begin to explore that meaning as children in religious education classes. Catholics continue to develop an understanding of faith through reading Scripture and participating in wonderful programs offered by our parishes. However, with a 2,000-year history that encompasses much documentation and analysis, our faith is both complex and rich. All of us can, at times, benefit from some extra help in deepening our knowledge and appreciation of what it means to be Catholic.
The purpose of Being Catholic Today is to provide a resource that offers an overview of our Catholic faith. In it you will find information about our beliefs and practices. From descriptions of the Sacraments and the Mass, to the process of electing a pope, Being Catholic Today paints a thorough but easy-to-understand picture of Catholicism. It may be used as a reference book to look up Catholic essentials, such as the seven Corporal Works of Mercy, or as an instructional guide, providing direction on how to pray the Rosary. If you have never understood the meaning of liturgical colors, or if you are curious about the name of the patron saint that looks over members of your profession, you will find that information here. Also included are prayers, devotions, guidance on reading the Bible and many more important topics.
Being Catholic Today is meant for everyone interested in learning more about Catholicism. If you are unfamiliar with the Church, this guide will help you discover it. If you are a practicing Catholic, we think you will find it a useful refresher and a source of inspiration that helps to deepen your faith. And if you are a Catholic who has been away, within these pages you may find the start of your path home.
Faith is a journey. We hope this publication offers you knowledge, support and inspiration to help you travel that journey well, guiding you along the path to a deeper relationship with Christ.
Devotedly yours in the Lord,
Cardinal Seán P. O’Malley, OFM Cap.
Archbishop of Boston