The A-Zs of Catholicism

When I converted to Catholicism I didn’t know what the Old or New Testament was and couldn’t even find a verse in the Bible if someone had paid me. 20 years of not being a Christian crashed down around me and so I had to set to work learning everything that Catholic knows. This list of Catholic words from A-Z is in memory of those times when I had no idea what any of it meant. I now use this as a resource for people going through RCIA or RCIC and have found it helpful for Elementary or Middle Religious Education. It’s a great way to start discussing some of the most basic parts of our Faith and an easy way to have a little fun. I hope it’s helpful for you!

Click on the PDF link at the bottom of the page for the free printable resource of this page for your Religious Education needs.

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Adoration is a way that the Catholic Church honors Jesus Christ’s Real Presence in the Eucharist. The Communion Host is exposed and we offer God praise and worship.


Baptism is the first Sacrament. A priest pours water over us three times in honor of the Father, Son and Holy Spirit. This wipes away our original sin and brings us into the Christian life.


During the Mass the priest offers prayers so God changes the wine and bread into the Body, Blood, Soul and Divinity of Christ. We receive communion, also called the Eucharist, in remembrance of Christ.


A Deacon is an ordained man who can be single or married. He is a servant of the Church, helping the priest at mass and taking care of the needs of the parish community.


The Holiest Day of the Year where we remember Christ’s resurrection from the dead.

Feast Days

Specific days in the Church’s calendar where we celebrate or remember important saints, events, or ideas. Easter and Christmas are the most well known Holy Days.


The 4 Biblical Books in the New Testament written by Mark, Matthew, Luke, and John that describe the Ministry of Jesus Christ when he was on Earth. We read the Gospels at every Mass.

Holy Water

A priest blesses water so that we can use it for Mass and as a sacramental. When we enter a Church we cross ourselves with Holy Water to remind us of our Baptism.

Immaculate Conception

The dogmatic (proclaimed by the Church) belief that Mary was concieved without any original sin. God gave her this gift of sinlessness so she could bear Christ in her womb.

Jesus Christ

God Incarnate. The second person of the Holy Trinity. Jesus is a man who lived in Jerusalem, created miracles and rose from the dead. Catholics believe that he is God and chose to come to Earth to save us from our sins.

Kyrie Eleison

Greek for “Lord, Have Mercy”. This is said at the beginning of Mass to prepare our hearts before Worship.

Liturgy of the Hours

The prayers of the Church said everyday by Priests, Religious Sister & Brothers, Monks and lay people. Prayers are said at certain times of the day and focus on the Psalms.

Mother Mary

The Mother of Jesus. We believe that she was assumed into heaven and is sinless. The Archangel Gabriel came to her to tell her that she would concieve the savior and keep her virginity.

Nicene Creed

The statement of beliefs held by the Catholic Church. It is recited together at mass after the Homily. It is called the ‘Nicene’ creed after the Council of Nicea which put it together.


When a Bishop lays hands on men wishing to become priests and confers on them their priestly powers. Ordination is what makes someone a priest.


Communicating to God in our hearts by speaking out loud or thinking about God. We pray to ask for blessings, thank God for his mercy and worship him.

Queen of Heaven

The Blessed Virgin Mary was crowned the Queen of Heaven by Jesus Christ after being Assumed into Heaven.


Given to St. Dominic by Our Lady, the rosary is made of beads that help us pray on the life of Christ.


Sacraments are a visible sign of an invisible reality of Grace. The seven sacraments are Baptism, Eucharist, Reconciliation, Eucharist, Holy Orders, Marriage, and Annoting of the Sick.


The moment in the Mass where the bread and wine are transformed into the Body, Blood, Soul and Divinity of Christ.

Universal Church

Catholic is another word for Universal. We believe the Catholic church is Universal, that all the truths of Christ are contained in their entirety in the Church.

Vatican City

The City/Country in Rome, Italy where the Pope lives. The Basilica of St. Peter is there as well as countless treasured artifacts.

Way of the Cross

Created by St. Francis of Assisi, the Way of the Cross or Stations are 14 images that are usually placed around the Church to pray about Jesus’ walk to the Cross.

EXtreme Unction

The Sacrament of Anointing for people who are close to death. The priest administer holy oil to the person to help them recieve the graces necessary for this time.


The name of God in the Old Testament meaning “I am that I am”. The vowels are usually omitted out of respect for God.


A gift from the Holy Spirit that gives us enthusiasm and passion for proclaiming the Word of God.


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