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What is a Practical Catholic? - - Learn About Our Faith

Guide to making a good Confession - - Rosary

To join the Knights of Columbus you have to be a man of 18 years of age as of your last birthday, and a Practical Catholic in communion with the Holy See.

What does it mean to be a "practical" Catholic in communion with the Holy See?

Practical Catholic guidelines have been established to assist in judging the practical Catholicity of an applicant or member. The main components of this requirement may be described as follows:

  • The practical Catholic in union with the Holy See is one who, in general, regulates his life according to the teachings of Christ and the Church, and endeavors to observe the commandments of God and of the Church.

  • A practical Catholic strives to have a greater knowledge of the teachings of Christ and his Church's authority (vested in the Supreme Pontiff, the hierarchy and clearly united with him) to teach, govern and sanctify the faithful.

  • A practical Catholic gives material and moral support to the Church and her works on all levels, promoting the programs of the parish and diocese and comes to the aid of the missions, the needy, the underprivileged; espousing and advancing the just causes of minority groups; endeavoring to eliminate unjust discrimination, prejudice, etc.; supporting the Church in her defense of marriage and family life and in her crusades against divorce, abortion, pornography and all the evils of today.

  • If a practical Catholic marries outside the Church, that is, contrary to the laws of the Church, he ceases to be a practical Catholic and hence may not be a member of the Knights of Columbus. A man who, living in a valid marriage, obtains a civil divorce and remarries outside the Church ceases to be a practical Catholic and hence loses his right to join or continue in the Order of the Knights of Columbus. If his former marriage is declared null by the Church and he remarries validly according to the Church's laws, he may be reinstated into the Order.

  • A Catholic who is a member of a forbidden, secret society is not a practical Catholic and hence may not become or continue to be member of the Knights of Columbus.


As Knights of Columbus, live by the basic truths of our Faith which are:

1. The Apostles' Creed
I believe in God, the Father almighty, Creator of heaven and earth.
And in Jesus Christ, his only son, our Lord; who was conceived by the Holy Spirit, born of the Virgin Mary, suffered under Pontius Pilate, was crucified, died, and was buried. He descended into hell; on the third day he arose again from the dead; he descended into heaven, sits at the right hand of God, the Father almighty; from thence he shall come to judge the living and the dead.
I believe in the Holy Spirit, the holy Catholic church, the communion of saints, the forgiveness of sins, the resurrection of the body, and life everlasting. Amen.

2. The Commandments of God are 10:
1. I am the Lord, your God. You shall not have strange gods before Me.
2. You shall not take the name of the Lord, your God, in vain.
3. Remember to keep holy the Sabbath day.
4. Honor your father and your mother.
5. You shall not kill.
6. You shall not commit adultery.
7. You shall not steal.
8. You shall not bear false witness against your neighbor.
i9 You shall not covet your neighbor's wife.
10. You shall not covet your neighbor's goods.

3. The Commandments of God may be restated in simpler form: the "Greatest Commandment."
The "Greatest Commandment" is: You shall love the Lord your God with your whole heart, your whole soul, your whole mind and you shall love your neighbor as yourself.

4. It is difficult for the unaided human being to live up to the Commandments of God.
To assist us in this regard Jesus has left us the Church and the sacraments. The sacraments are signs instituted by Christ to give grace. There are seven: Baptism, Penance, Holy Eucharist, Confirmation, Matrimony, Holy Orders and the Anointing of the sick. Baptism, Confirmation and Holy Orders can be received only once because these sacraments leave an indelible mark on the soul of the recipient. Penance, Eucharist, Matrimony and the Anointing of the Sick can be received more than once.

5. There are two kinds of grace:
Sanctifying grace makes us holy and pleasing to God. Actual grace helps us to do good and avoid evil.

6. The precepts of the Church are:
1. to assist at Mass on Sundays and Holy Days of Obligation.
2. to fast and abstain on the days appointed.
3. to confess one's sins at least once a year.
4. to receive the Holy Eucharist during the Easter time.
5. to contribute to support the Church
6. to observe the laws of the Church concerning marriage.

7. There are six holy days of obligation in the United States:
Christmas; Solemnity of the Mother of God (Jan 1); Ascension of the Lord; Assumption of Mary; All Saints Day; Feast of the Immaculate Conception. They are called "of obligation" because on these days Catholics must attend Mass, just as on Sundays.

8. Pentecost is known as the "Birthday of the Church."
On that day the Holy Spirit descended on the apostles, giving them the graces they needed to go forth and teach the Gospel to all nations. This is one meaning of the word "Catholic": the Church is found in every land, therefore it is "universal," "worldwide."

9. The seven capital sins are:
pride, covetousness, lust, anger, gluttony, envy and sloth.

10. The gifts of the Holy spirit are:
wisdom, understanding, counsel, fortitude, knowledge, piety and fear of the Lord.

11. The rosary is a form of mental and vocal prayer centered on the mysteries or events in the lives of Jesus and Mary. The mysteries are as follows:

Annunciation; Visitation, Birth of Jesus; Presentation of Jesus in the Temple; the Finding of the Child Jesus in the Temple.

The Agony in the Garden; the Scourging at the Pillar; the Crowning with Thorns; the Carrying of the Cross; the Crucifixion.

Resurrection; Ascension; Descent of the Holy Spirit on the apostles; Assumption of Mary; Crowning of Mary as Queen of Angels and Saints.

The Wedding at Cana, Christ Manifested; The Proclamation of the Kingdom of God; The Transfiguration of Jesus; The Last Supper, the Holy Eucharist.

Learn more about the Rosary!