‘Think of the love that the Father has lavished on us…’

In love God created. To love and be loved is the essence of our being. But we are not to love as solitary individuals: made in the image of God, we are called to love in community. After his Resurrection and in the power of his Spirit, Jesus formed his band of disciples into the community of his Church. As Catholics we believe that we are heirs of those disciples and our mission is to reveal the love and grace of Jesus Christ to the people of our world.

The celebration of the Sacraments is central to the life of the Catholic Church. While all creation reveals the presence of God, we believe that at certain moments, God uses the simple things of this world, water, oil, human gestures, prayers, bread and wine to become privileged channels of his grace, his life and love. We gather as a community to pray and celebrate these moments knowing that God is moving in and through us. Central to our identity is the celebration of the Eucharist (often called the Mass). In this celebration we believe that Jesus Christ is present within and amongst us in a very real way. It is the summit of our faith.

As Catholics, we are called to love as we have been loved so care of the poor, weak and marginalised is central to us as followers of Jesus Christ. As an organisation, the Church serves in a myriad of ways. Education and health are obvious and prominent services. But no less important are the many ways Catholics serve in simple and often unheralded service both within parish groups and as members of their families and local communities.

Even as we believe ourselves as a Church to be the Body of Jesus Christ in this world, we are still capable of sin, even grievous sin. As recent events have shown, we have much to shame us. We live in the tension of this mystery: we are to be the presence of Jesus Christ in our world yet we know ourselves capable of great failure. But our hope lies not in ourselves: we believe that God continually offers his healing love to us as he does to every human person.

The Catholic Faith has been handed down and developed since Jesus Christ. It is rich and mysterious at times but welcoming and nurturing as well. It is the faith we are called to live and profess.

This section aims to help you understand the Catholic faith and how to grow and live within that.