The Catholic Church, also known as the Roman Catholic Church, is the largest Christian church, with more than 1.25 billion members worldwide. One of the oldest religious institutions in the world, it has played a prominent role in the history of Western civilization. Headed by the Bishop of Rome, known as the Pope, its doctrines are summarized in the Nicene Creed. The Catholic Church is notable within Western Christianity for its celebration of the seven sacraments: Baptism, Confirmation, Eucharist, Holy Matrimony, Holy Orders, Penance or confession and Anointing of the sick.
The Catholic Church teaches that it is the one true church founded by Jesus Christ, that its bishops are the successors of Christ's apostles, and that the Pope is the successor to Saint Peter. The Church maintains that the doctrine on faith and morals that it declares as definitive is infallible The Latin Church, the Eastern Catholic Churches and religious institutes such as the Jesuits, mendicant orders and enclosed monastic orders, reflect a variety of theological emphases in the Church. Of the seven sacraments, the principal one is the Eucharist, celebrated liturgically in the Mass.
The church teaches that through consecration by a priest, bread and wine become the body and blood of Christ. The Catholic Church practices closed communion, with only baptized members in a state of grace ordinarily permitted to receive it.
The Catholic Church venerates Mary as Mother of God and Queen of Heaven and Earth and practices numerous Marian devotions. It has defined four Marian dogmatic teachings: her immaculate conception without original sin, her status as the Mother of God, her perpetual virginity and her bodily assumption into Heaven at the end of her earthly life.
Catholic spiritual teaching includes spreading the Gospel while Catholic social teaching emphasizes support for the sick, the poor and the afflicted through corporal works of mercy, they are...feeding the hungry, water the thirsty, clothe the naked, bury the dead, shelter the homeless, visit the sick, visit the prisoner and give alms. The Catholic Church is the largest non-government provider of education and medical services in the world.
Five ways of being a practicing Catholic
1. Go to confession once a year (once a month is better).
2. Keep the Holy Days of Obligation;
Christmas Day and Easter Sunday
All Saints Day
Feast of the Immaculate Conception
The Ascension of our Lord (Sunday if transferred)
The Assumption of Mary
3. Fast and Abstain on Ash Wednesday and Fridays during Lent.
4. Go to Mass each Sunday or Saturday.
5. Receive Holy Communion at Mass once a week.