Prayer of Saint Ann Parish
Holy Father, we the parishioners of St. Ann ask for the assistance of Your Holy Spirit. Fill us with Your grace so that, through our faithfulness, we may receive Your gifts with gratitude.
We pray that these gifts ignite in us a spirit of generosity to give whole-heartedly our time, talent, and treasure, in order to meet the spiritual and financial needs of this parish.
In humility we commend this prayer to You, through the intercession of St. Ann, in union with Christ our Lord. AMEN.
Devotional Practices, currently taking place at St. Ann
The tabs below provide additional information on ways to educate yourselves about various devotions or other teachings of the faith.
Hail, favored one! The Lord is with you,” But she was greatly troubled at what was said and pondered what sort of greeting this might be. Then the angel said to her, “Do not be afraid, Mary, for you have found favor with God. Behold, you will conceive in your womb and bear a son, and you shall name him Jesus. He will be great and will be called Son of the Most High, and the Lord God will give him the throne of David his father, and he will rule over the house of Jacob forever, and of his kingdom there will be no end. (Luke 1:28-33)
Mary is the greatest among the saints. At the Annunciation, Mary said “yes” to God and became the Mother of Jesus, the eternal Son of God incarnate. We believe in Mary’s Immaculate Conception (that she was without sin from the moment of her conception and she remained “full of grace” by the saving work of the son she was to bear) and that, because of her sinless state, she was assumed bodily into heaven. The Church also teaches that Mary is ever-virgin – before and after the birth of Jesus.
Mary embraced her vocation of being God’s partner in the work of redemption. Mary is the mother of Jesus, who is God. Jesus made her sinless from her first moment of existence in her mother’s womb because of the singular role she was to play in our salvation. No other human person offers as vital and direct a link in the coming of Christ. The Magnificat, or Canticle of Mary, is the longest set of words uttered by a woman in the New Testament.
As members of the Catholic Church in today’s world, believers are called upon to share their faith with the wider community. As we follow in the footsteps of Christ, we witness to our faith in how we raise our children, how we interact with friends, family and coworkers, and how we engage in modern culture. Through the centuries, no church has done more to care for our brothers and sisters in need than the Catholic Church.
The beginning of Catholic belief is God’s revelation. We believe that God loves us and desires to be in relationship with his creation. We believe that God’s reveals himself in numerous ways, but particularly through the revelation of his Word, which comes to us in two forms – Sacred Scripture (written) and Tradition (unwritten). The ultimate sign of God’s revelation is the Incarnation – God becoming human in Jesus Christ. The Incarnation is the ultimate sign of God’s love for God’s people.
Catholics believe in the Holy Trinity, God revealed as three divine persons of one nature: Father, Son and Holy Spirit. The Church was founded by Christ, through the power of the Holy Spirit, and carried forward through the ages by the Apostolic Tradition. The Paschal Mystery – the crucifixion, death and resurrection of Jesus Christ – is the central mystery of every liturgical celebration, most especially the Mass, which is the “source and summit” of our lives as Catholics.
The Mass is the central, binding celebration of the Church. We live out the sacramental life most fully in community. Christ calls us to the forgiveness of sins and we recognize the Sacrament of Reconciliation as a way to repair sin and return to right relationship with God, ourselves and others. We are nourished and fed by the real presence of Jesus Christ in the Eucharist. The presence of the Risen Christ is revealed throughout the sacred liturgy and in the community gathered as the Body of Christ, in the Word, in the Presider, and most especially in the Eucharist (the Body and Blood of Jesus).
As the living Body of Christ, Catholics are called to live a “countercultural” life. We are called to serve one another, just as Jesus served. We stand up for our faith and beliefs even if this means suffering in the world. The Catholic social teachings call us to care especially for the dignity of the human person – from the moment of conception to the end of natural life. We are called to tend to the poor, care for our environment, ensure just working conditions for all and work towards an economic system that allows for equal treatment of people.
We believe that we are united with all of the angels and saints, especially Mary, the Mother of God, and we model on lives on their holy example. We pray to Mary and all the saints to intercede for us. Personal and communal prayer is a hallmark of the Catholic faith. We pray to strengthen our relationship with God and to grow in faith and love. We are united with all believers throughout the world – the universal Church – each week as we gather for communal prayer, the Mass.
The 7 Corporal Works of Mercy
- To feed the hungry
- To give drink to the thirsty
- To clothe the naked
- To shelter the homeless
- To care for the sick
- To visit the imprisoned
- To bury the dead
The 7 Spiritual Works of Mercy
- To share knowledge
- To give advice to those who need it
- To comfort the suffering
- To be patient with others
- To forgive those who hurt you
- To give correction to those who need it
- To pray for the living and the dead
The 7 Gifts of the Holy Spirit
- Counsel/Right Judgment
- Fear of the Lord/Awe and Wonder
The 3 Theological Virtues
- Love (Charity)
The 4 Cardinal Virtues
The Ten Commandments
The Ten Commandments are more than simply rules and laws. They are a foundation of moral teaching and shape our obligations as Christians in relationship to God. The Ten Commandments were given to Moses by God on Mt. Sinai after being rescued by God from slavery in Egypt. These Commandments are the expression and sign of the Covenant between God and God’s people and are just as powerful and binding as they were when they were written.
- I am the Lord your God. You shall not have strange gods before me
- You shall not take the name of the Lord your God in vain
- Remember to keep holy the Lord’s day
- Honor your father and your mother
- You shall not kill
- You shall not commit adultery
- You shall not steal
- You shall not bear false witness against your neighbor
- You shall not desire your neighbor’s wife
- You shall not desire your neighbor’s goods
The 2 Greatest Commandments
When asked which was the greatest of the commandments, Jesus responded with two. In this teaching of Jesus, these commandments complement each other and cannot be seen as existing apart from the other. The first is to love the Lord thy God with all thy YOUR heart, soul, mind and strength and the second is to love your neighbor as yourself.
The 8 Beatitudes
These are teachings of Jesus during the Sermon on the Mount in which he describes the attitudes and actions that should characterize his disciples and followers. They can be seen as blueprints for living an authentic Christian life.
Blessed are the poor in spirit: for theirs is the Kingdom of Heaven
- Blessed are the meek: for they shall posses the land
- Blessed are they who mourn: for they shall be comforted
- Blessed are they that hunger and thirst after justice: for they shall have their fill
- Blessed are the merciful: for they shall obtain mercy
- Blessed are the clean of heart: for they shall see God
- Blessed are the peacemakers: for they shall be called children of God
- Blessed are they that suffer persecution for justice’ sake, for theirs is the Kingdom of Heaven
The 14 Stations of the Cross
- Jesus is Condemned to Die
- Jesus is Made to Bear His Cross
- Jesus Falls the First Time
- Jesus Meets His Mother
- Simon Helps Jesus Carry His Cross
- Veronica Wipes Jesus’ Face
- Jesus Falls the Second Time
- Jesus Meets the Women of Jerusalem
- Jesus Falls the Third Time
- Jesus is Stripped
- Jesus is Nailed to the Cross
- Jesus Dies on the Cross
- Jesus is Taken Down from the Cross
- Jesus is Laid in the Tomb
The 7 Last Words of Christ
- Father, forgive them, for they know not what they do. (Luke 23:34)
- Amen I say to thee: This day thou shalt be with me in paradise. (Luke 23:43)
- Woman, behold thy son. . . .Behold thy mother. (John 19:26-27)
- Eli, Eli, lamma sabachtani? (My God, My God, why hast Thou forsaken me?) (Matthew 27:46)
- I thirst. (John 19:28)
- It is finished. (John 19:30)
- Father, into Thy hands I commend my spirit. (Luke 23:46)
Fruits of the Holy Spirit
- Long suffering
Four Marks of the Catholic Church
Precepts of the Church
- Assist at Mass on Sundays and holy days of obligation, doing no unnecessary work on those days.
- Confess serious sins at least once a year.
- Receive Holy Communion frequently and, at a minimum, during the Easter Season.
- Fast and abstain on appointed days and times.
- Contribute to the support of the Church.
- Observe the laws of the Church concerning marriage and give religious training to one’s children by word, example, and use of parish schools or religious education programs.
- Join the missionary spirit and work of the Church.
Prayer is communion with God. Prayer can be public or personal, spoken or silent. The psalms are prayers we sing; they have been a part of the Church’s communal prayer since the earliest days of the Church. Prayer is communication with a God who loves us and desires to be in relationship with us.
Jesus teaches us about the importance of prayer. The Gospels record seventeen times that Jesus took time apart to pray. In the Scriptures, Jesus prays often, morning and night. He prays during critical events in his life and he prays before ministering to people in need. Jesus is a model of prayer for us.
Prayer is essential to living a full, Catholic life. The central communal form of prayer for the Church is the Mass. Some of the Church’s most traditional and foundational prayers are as follows:
Grace before Meals
Bless us, O Lord, and these your gifts which we are about to receive from your goodness, through Christ our Lord. Amen.
Glory to the Father
Glory to the Father, and to the Son, and to the Holy Spirit: as it was in the beginning, is now, and will be forever. Amen.
The Lord’s Prayer
Our Father, who art in heaven, hallowed be thy name; thy kingdom come, thy will be done on earth as it is in Heaven. Give us this day our daily bread, and forgive us our trespasses, as we forgive those who trespass against us; and lead us not into temptation, but deliver us from evil. Amen.
Hail, Mary, full of grace. The Lord is with you. Blessed are you among women; and blessed is the fruit of your womb, Jesus.
Holy Mary, Mother of God, pray for us sinners, now and at the hour of our death. Amen.
Act of Contrition
My God, I am sorry for my sins with all my heart. In choosing to do wrong and failing to do good, I have sinned against you whom I should love above all things. I firmly intend, with your help, to do penance, to sin no more, and to avoid whatever leads me to sin. Our Savior Jesus Christ suffered and died for us. In his name, my God, have mercy.
Hail, Holy Queen
Hail, holy Queen, Mother of mercy, hail, our life, our sweetness, and our hope. To you we cry, the children of Eve; to you we send up our sighs, mourning and weeping in this land of exile. Turn, then, most gracious advocate, your eyes of mercy toward us; lead us home at last and show us the blessed fruit of your womb, Jesus: O clement, O loving, O sweet Virgin Mary.
There are also contemporary ways to pray. Talking with God each day, no matter the form or words used, nourishes our relationship and helps it to grow.
- Silent prayer or meditation helps us center our thoughts on God’s goodness and offers renewal in a noisy, hectic world.
- Lectio Divina is a way of praying with the sacred Scriptures. Find a Scripture passage that speaks to you. Read it out loud and then reflect upon it silently for several minutes. Read it again. Notice any words or phrases that stick with you. Ask God what you are to learn from this passage. Listen.
- Keep a prayer journal with all of your wants, needs, thoughts and reflections related to your prayer life.
Our Catholic faith comprises what we believe and how we live that belief. For 2,000 years, this Catholic faith has been handed down from one generation to next, starting with Jesus Christ passing the faith to the Twelve Apostles. In our own lives, we may receive that faith from our parents, from friends, or even a stranger we meet.
Living as a Catholic includes many wonderful beliefs, practices, and devotions; too many to catalog here. But we hope to provide you with a brief overview of what we believe and how we live that belief.
We hope this resource will be valuable to both interested non-Catholics as well as to those already Catholic who might be looking to deepen the practice of their faith.
If you want to know more about discovering our Catholic faith as a newcomer to the Church or re-discovering the Catholic faith you received at baptism, you may want to start by exploring our Newcomers section.
To learn about what we believe as Catholics, you will want to start with What Do Catholics Believe? But if you want to learn more specifically about the seven sacraments, visit the Sacraments area of our site.
Catholics believe that the Bible is God’s self-revelation, inspired and inerrantly written. The Bible is not like any other book. Because the Scriptures were written under the positive influence of the Holy Spirit, they are considered to be sacred literature. We believe that God is revealed through the Patriarchs and Prophets in the Old Testament and through Jesus Christ in the New Testament. God’s revelation is also entrusted to the Apostles and their successors so that the Word of God is revealed in both Scripture and Tradition. Catholics believe that the Bible is a living document—it continually speaks to believers in every age.
The Church is comprised of all believers or the People of God. Ordained clergy have a distinct role and function in the Church; all of the baptized are a part of the whole of the Body of Christ. Together with ordained ministers, the lay faithful are called to live out their baptism through spreading the gospel message and ministering to people in need.
The entire body of the faithful, anointed as they are by the Holy One, cannot err in matters of belief. They manifest this special property by means of the whole peoples’ supernatural discernment in matters of faith when ‘from the Bishops down to the last of the lay faithful,’ they show universal agreement in matters of faith and morals. That discernment in matters of faith is aroused and sustained by the Spirit of truth. (Lumen Gentium #12)
The seasons of the Church follow one universal liturgical calendar. The order of the year is as follows:
Advent marks the beginning of the liturgical calendar. It consists of the four Sundays leading up to Christmas.
In the Catholic Church, Christmas is more than one day – it is a season that begins on Christmas Eve (Dec. 24), continues through the Feast of the Epiphany and includes the Solemnity of Mary, the Mother of God . Christmastide concludes with the Feast of the Baptism of the Lord in January.
The forty days of Lent is reminiscent of Jesus’ forty days in the desert. Lent is a season of repentance and renewal in solidarity with those preparing for the Sacraments of Initiation to be received at Easter. Lent begins on Ash Wednesday and continues until the Mass of the Lord’s Supper on Holy Thursday.
Triduum (or Holy Week)
The Triduum is the most important three days in the liturgical year. Holy Thursday (which commemorates the Last Supper), Good Friday (which commemorates Jesus’ crucifixion and death on the cross), and Holy Saturday (where the Church pauses to commemorate the Lord’s burial). The Easter Vigil is celebrated on Holy Saturday night when new members of the faith receive the Sacraments of Initiation and are welcomed into the Church.
Alleluia – He is Risen! The Easter season celebrates Christ’s resurrection from the dead, his victory over death. Christ’s Ascension into heaven is celebrated on the 7th Sunday after Easter. Eastertide concludes at Pentecost, where Jesus sends the Holy Spirit upon the apostles to spread the Gospel to all nations.
The season of Ordinary Time explores Christ’s mission and message through the Gospels. This season includes Trinity Sunday (which celebrates God’s self revelation as a Trinity of Persons) and Corpus Christi (which celebrates the Body and Blood of Jesus in the Eucharist). Ordinary Time concludes with the Solemnity of Christ the King which brings the liturgical year to a close.
During the year, in addition to the Sunday worship, the Church also celebrates Solemnities, Feasts, and Memorials which may be on any day of the week. These occur during the year to commemorate special events or persons that are highly revered by the Catholic Church.
All believers, living and dead are a part of the Communion of Saints. The Catechism says, “We believe in the communion of all the faithful of Christ, those who are pilgrims on earth, the dead who are being purified, and the blessed in heaven, all together forming one Church; and we believe that in this communion, the merciful love of God and his saints is always [attentive] to our prayers” (CCC 962).
The saints are exemplars of how to follow Christ; they teach us how to live faithful and holy lives. The saints are our advocates and intercessors, and they are also friends and mentors.
The Saints in Scripture
In scripture, Paul addresses many of his letters to the various local communities under the title of “saints:” Romans, 1 and 2 Corinthians, Ephesians, etc. The term “saints” was also applied to those whom Christians served. In 1 Corinthians we read that Paul made a collection in Corinth for the relief of the saints in Jerusalem.
Paul also talks about the Communion of Saints in that each of us participates by baptism in the one Body of Christ. In his letter to the Romans, Paul tells us “For as in one body we have many parts, and all the parts do not have the same function, so we, though many, are one body in Christ and individually parts of one another. Since we have gifts that differ according to the grace given to us” (Romans 12:4-6).
Paul is very clear that members of this common body had obligations to build up the community – these members were called “saints.” This is connected with the Jewish idea of being a holy nation, a covenanted people. The “saints” are those who have inherited the covenant.
As Christianity developed, the word saint came to be used more commonly to designate specific individuals who were held to be exemplars of the faith, and who were commemorated or venerated as inspirations to other Christians.
In the beginning of our Church’s history, many witnessed to their faith by giving their lives. Many of the followers of Christ were martyred rather horrendously. Some early saints were stoned, as was Stephen. In the Acts of the Apostles we read: “They threw him out of the city, and began to stone him….As they were stoning Stephen, he called out, ‘Lord Jesus, receive my spirit.’ Then he feel to his knees and cried out in a loud voice, ‘Lord, do not hold this sin against them;’ and when he said this, he fell asleep” (Acts 7:58-60).
Tradition has it that Peter chose to be crucified upside down and that St. Paul was beheaded. Ignatius of Antioch, was “ground like wheat” by the teeth of animals. Perpetua and Felicity, two young women, had to wait until after Felicity’s baby was born before they could face the lions. During this time Perpetua wrote down her thoughts, giving us a firsthand account of martyrdom.
Tertullian rightly said that the blood of the martyrs was the seed of the Church.
Since the 10th century, the Church has officially applied the standard of holiness of life to certain individuals who lived exemplary Christian lives and through a lengthy process of prayer and study have declared that the individual is in heaven. Contrary to the belief of some, the Church does not “create” saints, but simply applies the standard of gospel holiness to those God permits the Church to know are in heaven. Canonization is a process that includes the calling forth of witnesses, verification of miracles and other holy actions and much research and scrutiny.
There are many books on the saints. For more information and resources on the saints, visit www.osv.com.
The Catholic Church was founded by the person and mission of Jesus Christ. The word “Catholic” means universal. Today’s Church is truly universal – it is the largest in the world with more than 1 billion members around the globe.
The mission of the Church is to spread the gospel message, administer sacraments and reach out with charity and justice to people in need. The Church is led by the Pope, who is the successor of the Apostle Peter, and the Bishops, who are also in the line of apostolic succession.
We recite our Catholic beliefs in the Nicene Creed each Sunday at Mass.
The Nicene Creed
I believe in one God,
the Father almighty,
maker of heaven and earth,
of all things visible and invisible.
I believe in one Lord Jesus Christ,
the Only Begotten Son of God,
born of the Father before all ages.
God from God, Light from Light,
true God from true God,
begotten, not made, consubstantial with the Father;
through him all things were made.
For us men and for our salvation
he came down from heaven,
and by the Holy Spirit was incarnate of the Virgin Mary,
and became man.
For our sake he was crucified under Pontius Pilate,
he suffered death and was buried,
and rose again on the third day
in accordance with the Scriptures.
He ascended into heaven
and is seated at the right hand of the Father.
He will come again in glory
to judge the living and the dead
and his kingdom will have no end.
I believe in the Holy Spirit, the Lord, the giver of life,
who proceeds from the Father and the Son,
who with the Father and Son is adored and glorified,
who has spoken through the prophets.
I believe in one, holy, catholic and apostolic Church.
I confess one Baptism for the forgiveness of sins
and I look forward to the resurrection of the dead
and the life of the world to come. Amen.
As Vicar of Jesus Christ, the Pope governs the Catholic Church as its supreme head. The Pope, as Bishop of Rome, is the chief pastor and shepherd of the whole Church. We believe that the Pope is the successor of Peter, and his bishops are successors of the Twelve Apostles.
It is clear throughout that it is a question of the bishops acting in conjunction with their head, never of the bishops acting independently of the Pope. In the latter instance, without the action of the head, the bishops are not able to act as a College: this is clear from the concept of “College.” This hierarchical communion of all the bishops with the Supreme Pontiff is certainly firmly established in Tradition. (Lumen Gentium, Note of Explanation)
In the Acts of the Apostles, we come to know Peter is the head of the early church. When Peter is given the “keys to the kingdom,” Christ is establishing the divine office of leadership over the church. The permanence of the office of the Pope is essential to the everlasting nature of the church.
“The Roman Pontiff, head of the college of bishops, enjoys this infallibility in virtue of his office, when, as supreme pastor and teacher of all the faithful – who confirms his brethren in the faith – he proclaims by a definitive act a doctrine pertaining to faith or morals…The infallibility promised to the Church is also present in the body of bishops when, together with Peter’s successor, they exercise the supreme Magisterium,” above all in an Ecumenical Council. When the Church through its supreme Magisterium proposes a doctrine “for belief as being divinely revealed,” and as the teaching of Christ, the definitions “must be adhered to with the obedience of faith.” This infallibility extends as far as the deposit of divine Revelation itself. (CCC 891)
Divine assistance is also given to the successors of the apostles, teaching in communion with the successor of Peter, and, in a particular way, to the bishop of Rome, pastor of the whole Church, when, without arriving at an infallible definition and without pronouncing in a “definitive manner,” they propose in the exercise of the ordinary Magisterium a teaching that leads to better understanding of Revelation in matters of faith and morals. To this ordinary teaching the faithful “are to adhere to it with religious assent” which, though distinct from the assent of faith, is nonetheless an extension of it. (CCC 892)
Unity is essential for the followers of Jesus. John’s gospel reminds us, “The glory which You have given Me I have given to them, that they may be one, just as We are one; I in them and You in Me, that they may be perfected in unity, so that the world may know that You sent Me, and loved them, even as You have loved Me.” (John 17:22-23)
The Catholic Church is united under the leadership of the Bishop of Rome, the Pope. Historical breaks and schisms have left us fractured, with the Eastern Orthodox churches no longer in full unity with Roman Catholicism. Beginning with John XXIII and continuing through the papacy of John Paul II and our current pope, the movement to come together in full Christian unity has been underway.