Learning about Catholicism

Catholics are first and foremost Christians. That is, we are disciples of Jesus Christ and fully accept his claim that he is the only Son of God and Savior of humanity.

Catholics are distinguished 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, a fullness that is lacking, to varying extents, in other Churches and Christian denominations.

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", (John 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 are united visibly by our sacraments, most especially the holy Eucharist, which is our Lord's Body and Blood.

We are united by our Pope Benedict XVI, the Bishop of Rome, who is the successor of St. Peter, the leader of the Apostles, and by our bishops, who are the successors of the Apostles. We are 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-that is, the kingdom of Christ already present in mystery-grows visibly through the power of God in the world," in the words of the Second Vatican Council.

Although we are 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.

This Church is open to men, women, and children of every culture, nationality, and race. Might you, too, be called at this time to come to the fullness of grace and peace of Christ that comes from God through his Church?

The community of St. Joseph of Cupertino Parish is ready to assist you regarding any questions about the Catholic Faith or the steps to take to become a member of the Catholic Church.

Please contact Janice LaMotte, Pastoral Associate, at the parish office. 408/252-7653 x30.

This section courtesy of Cathedral Basilica of Saint Joseph in San José, CA.