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canonize The pope can canonize a person by making a solemn declaration that he or she is enjoying eternity with God and that his or her life can be a model for all Christians.
cardinal virtues The cardinal virtues are acquired by human effort and cooperation with God's grace.
catechumen A catechumen, or \"learner,\" is a person preparing to celebrate the Sacraments of Initiation.
consecration The consecration is that part of the Eucharist Prayer in which the words of Jesus are prayed over the bread and wine, and these elements become the Body and Blood of Christ.
conversion Conversion is the process of turning away from sin and toward God and his ways. It is a response to God's love and forgiveness.


divine Divine means God, like God, or of God. Sometimes God is referred to as The Divine.


eternal life Eternal life is life forever with God for all who die in friendship with God.
evangelization Evangelization is sharing the good news of Jesus in a way that invites people to accept the gospel.


holiness Holiness is the quality of being sacred, or belonging to God.


image of God Image of God means the divine likeness in each person, the result of being created by God.
Incarnation The Incarnation is the mystery that the Son of God took on a human nature in order to save all people.
infallibility Infallibility is a gift of the Holy Spirit to the Church by which the pope and bishops together declare definitively that a matter of faith or morals is free from error and must be accepted by the faithful.


lay people Lay people are members of the Church who have not been ordained and have not taken vows in religious life.
liturgical assembly The liturgical assembly is the community of believers who come together for public worship, especially in the Eucharist.


marks of the Church There are four marks of the Church. The Church is one, holy, catholic, and apostolic. These marks, or characteristics, are signs to the world that God's reign is already present, though incomplete.
miracles The miracles of Jesus are signs and wonders of the divine power that help you see the presence of the kingdom of God.
missionary A missionary is a person who answers a call from God to devote a period of his or her life to bringing Christ's message to people who do not know it.
mortal sin Mortal sin is the most serious form of personal sin, through which a person turns completely away from God.
mystery A mystery is a truth of faith that you cannot fully understand but that you believe because God has shown it to people in Scripture, in the life of Jesus, or in the teachings of the Church.


ordained ministers Ordained ministers, through the Sacrament of Holy Orders, serve God and the Church as bishops, priests, and deacons.


People of God People of God means the Church, called by Christ to share in his mission.
personal sin Personal sin is the deliberate choice to think, say, or do something that goes against your relationship with God or goes against God's law.


Real Presence The Real Presence is the true presence of Christ in the Eucharist under the appearance of bread and wine.
religion Religion is the group of beliefs, prayers, and practices through which people express longing for God.
religious life Religious life refers to the lives of men and women in religious communities who make vows of poverty, chastity, and obedience as religious priests, sisters, brothers, monks, or friars.
Rite of Christian Initiation of Adults The Rite of Christian Initiation of Adults, or RCIA, is the process by which adults and some children become members of the Catholic Church through the Sacraments of Initiation.


Sanctifier The Holy Spirit, the Sanctifier, makes holy, or sanctifies, the Church.
social justice Social justice involves the respect, rights, and conditions that societies must provide.
sponsor A sponsor is a representative of the Christian community who is a witness to the commitment of an older child or adult celebrating the Sacraments of Initiation.
stewardship Stewardship is the human response to God's many gifts. It includes respect for all life and the responsible care of creation.


Tradition Tradition is the living process of handing on the message of Jesus through the Church, especially through its teachers.
Transubstantiation Transubstantiation is the process by which the power of the Holy Spirit and the words of the priest transform the bread and wine into the Body and Blood of Jesus.


venial sin A venial sin is a less serious personal sin that weakens, but does not destroy, a person's relationship with God.
viaticum Viaticum is the Eucharist given to a person who is near death to sustain him or her on the journey to eternity.
virtue A virtue is a habit of doing good that helps you grow in love for God.