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Basically, Catholicism is the practice of Roman Catholic Christianity.  Catholics are members of the Roman Catholic Church, and they share various beliefs and ways of worship, as well as a distinct outlook on life.

Catholics believe:

  • THE BIBLE - is the inspired, error-free, and revealed word of God
  • BAPTISM - the rite of becoming Christian, is necessary for salvation - whether the Baptism occurs by water, blood, or desire
  • GOD'S TEN COMMANDMENTS - provide a moral compass - an ethical standard to live by
  • THE HOLY TRINITY - or one God in three persons - is also part of Catholic belief.  In other words, Catholics embrace the belief that God, the one Supreme Being, is made up of three persons: God the Father, God the Son, and God the Holy Spirit

Taken from page 10 of Catholicism for Dummies by Rev. John Trigilio & Rev. Kenneth Brighenti

The liturgical season of Christmas begins with the vigil Masses on Christmas Eve and concludes on the Feast of the Baptism of the Lord. During this season, we celebrate the birth of Christ into our world and into our hearts, and reflect on the gift of salvation that is born with him…including the fact that he was born to die for us. Therefore, the official end of the entire Christmas season on the new liturgical calendar is the celebration of the Baptism of the Lord, after which Ordinary Time begins.

In Matthew 3:14 we read, “John tried to prevent him, saying, “I need to be baptized by you, and yet you are coming to me?” You see, Jesus didn’t HAVE to be baptized, Jesus CHOSE to be baptized. Why? He chose to be baptized for us, to give us the example to follow. Many Fathers of the Church commented that in the baptism of Jesus the sacrament of baptism was born. When we receive a sacrament grace flows to us from the sacrament. In the baptism of Jesus, the grace of Christ flowed into the sacrament. Sacraments are filled with the grace of God. Baptism not only frees us from original sin, it also is where we first meet God. We are joined to the church in a special way. We are made sons and daughters of the Father and we are also made brothers and sisters of one another in the church. So, Jesus chose to be baptized for us. He gave us this sacrament, placed this permanent mark on our souls as a sign that we belong to Christ and that we are made citizens and heirs of heaven.

Solemnity of Mary, Mother of God

On New Year’s Day, January 1, the octave day of Christmas, the Church celebrates the Solemnity (the highest rank of liturgical celebration) of the Holy Mother of God, the divine and virginal motherhood of the Blessed Virgin Mary. The Catholic Church recognizes that Christmas is not only on December 25, but the Church’s liturgy actually emphasizes the eight days or octave of Christmas. By celebrating a solemnity dedicated to Mary’s motherhood, the Church highlights the significance of her part in the life of Jesus, and emphasizes that he is both human and divine.