As you did it to one of the least of these my brethren, you did it to me. (Matthew 25:40)
Catholics are a community made up of many different people united in a common bond of love. There are many different faces to the Catholic community. This is because the message of Jesus is for all people, everywhere. The word ‘catholic’ means ‘universal, all embracing’.
We share a family-like bond that is based upon the spiritual bond of our common faith. Catholics believe in one loving and compassionate God who is with us in every moment of our existence.
Being Catholic is a way of life in which we are united by our belief and our bond with each other. We believe that through the presence of the Holy Spirit we embody the living presence of Jesus Christ. This requires us to strive for unity in our everyday life in very practical ways such as: praying together, assisting others in times of struggle, resolving our differences with love and patience, celebrating and socialising together, sharing our gifts, skills and possessions with others.
God also calls us to gather together in worship. The Mass is the central act of worship for Catholics. It is in the Mass that we celebrate that Jesus died for us and rose again. It is in the Mass that we believe that Jesus comes among his people once again. It is an important event for Catholics.
The Catholic Community’s life of support for others is not restricted just to Catholics. It extends to the wider community. This may happen at a personal level wherever we show hospitality or friendship to others and it also happens through our church organisations which include: hospitals and clinics, schools, counselling clinics, missionary and relief agencies and organisations that care for the poor and homeless.
Our social justice teachings motivate the way in which the Catholic community influences the wider society. The Church accepts the responsibility to work for peace and justice where people are oppressed by circumstances such as war, unjust social conditions or political persecution.