为何选择天主教 Why the Catholic Faith?

The Catholic Faith Invites All of God’s Children to a Relationship with Jesus Christ.

Perhaps you find that you are struggling emotionally on a day-to-day basis and your life has become unfulfilled and in need of some direction. That the person you have become is not the person you thought you would be or the person you want to be. Maybe you have had a calling to live a more spiritual, religious life, but have not been to church in many years, however you know that you want to return to a Christian based life. In this often confused and hurting world there are many reasons for people to be searching for happiness and something more in their lives, but they do not always know where to turn.

If you are seeking out different religious points of view and exploring different types of Christian faiths, your journey to find contentment and emotional wellbeing may lead you to the Catholic Church. The Catholic Church is one of the oldest religious institutions in the history of the world maintaining unity, diversity and tradition over a course of twenty centuries. The Catholic Church was started by Jesus Christ and has followed sacred scriptures for more than 2,000 years while guiding the faith and beliefs of millions of followers.

The Catholic family is made up of every race that spans the globe; young and old, rich and poor, men and women. It is one of the largest charitable organizations on the planet starting hospitals to care for the sick and orphanages to aid the poor. It upholds and protects all human life and the institution of marriage and family. And in this world that is hurting and confused it is one place that is consistent and welcoming to all types of people from all over. The Catholic Church can help fill voids and can help you find peace.

~ Reference Saint Bridget Catholic Church Website

The Catholic Faith Invites All of God’s Children to a Relationship with Jesus Christ.

认识天主教会 UNDERSTANDING THE CATHOLIC CHURCH

The Meaning of “Catholic”

『天主教』一词,起源自拉丁语的「Catholicus」,意思是「普遍的」,翻译作中文「公」是取自「天下为公」的「公」;「公教会」一词的最早出现在宗徒信经中所述的「圣而公教会」(anctam Ecclesiam catholicam),其涵义因着公元381年,召开的第一次尼西亚大公会议诞生的尼西亚信经得到进一步的完善确立:「我信唯一、至圣、至公、从宗徒传下来的教会」(Et unam, sanctam, cathólicam et apostólicam Ecclésiam)。

中文语境通用的「天主教」一词,系利玛窦等耶稣会会士于明朝中叶来到中国后为使教义容易使中国人了解而採用,为唿应中国人「敬天」之传统,且多用来指称天主教会,即由罗马教宗领导的教会。

The word “Catholic Church” comes from the Latin “Catholicus”. It means “Universal” and was translated as “Gong” from “Tien Shia Wei Gong” in Chinese. It first appeared in The Apostles’ Creed as “The Holy Catholic Church” (anctam Ecclesiam catholicam). In AD381, the First Council of Constantinople adopted and modified the original Nicene Creed of AD325: I believe the one Holy Catholic and Apostolic Church…(Et unam, sanctam, cathólicam et apostólicam Ecclésiam).

The word “Catholic Church” in Chinese was given by Fr. Matteo Ricci, a Jesuit missionary, when he arrived in China in the Ming Dynasty. He thought it reflected the Chinese tradition of respecting God and is easier for the Chinese people to understand and adopt.

Formation of the Early Church

根据圣经的记载,耶稣基督把神圣的教会权柄交给了宗徒之长伯多禄:『约纳的儿子西满,你是有福的,因为不是肉和血启示了你,而是我在天之父。 我再给你说:你是伯多禄(磐石),在这磐石上,我要建立我的教会,阴间的门决不能战胜她。 我要将天国的钥匙交给你;凡你在地上所束缚的,在天上也要被束缚;凡你在地上所释放的,在天上也要被释放』。(圣经 玛窦福音16:17-19)

而教会团体产生于公元一世纪的基督宗教,随着耶路撒冷的被佔领,教会的中心逐渐转向帝国的首都罗马「梵蒂冈」,亦称「罗马公教会」。根据信理神学(dogmatic theology)的论证阐述,天主教会是耶稣基督亲手建立的、唯一、至圣、至公、从宗徒传下来的教会。目前天主教会在全球约有1,114,966,000位信徒,佔总人口的六分之一。

According to the Bible, Jesus Christ, the divine authority of the Church, said to the Apostle Peter : “Blessed are you, Simon son of Jonah. For flesh and blood has not revealed this to you, but my heavenly Father. And so I say to you, you are Peter, and upon this rock I will build my church, and the gates of the netherworld shall not prevail against it. I will give you the keys to the kingdom of heaven. Whatever you bind on earth shall be bound in heaven; and whatever you loose on earth shall be loosed in heaven.” Matthew 16: 17-19

The contemporary Catholic Church is the continuation of this early Christian community established by Jesus in the 1 st century AD. After Jerusalem was occupied by the Roman Empire, the religious center of the church turned to the capital of  the empire – Vatican, Rome, and became know as “Roman Catholic.” According to dogmatic theology, Catholic is established by Jesus Christ and is one, holy, catholic and apostolic Church. Currently there are 1,114966,000 Catholics and is 1/6 of the population on earth.

教会的成员 The Church Structure

教宗: 是全球教会的首牧,也是教会共融合一的标记。
主教: 是地方教会的领袖,负责宣讲、圣化和管理的工作。
神父: 神父亦称司铎,是主教的合作者,分担公务司祭职宣讲、圣化和管理的职务。
修会会士、修女: 透过神贫、贞洁和服从的承诺与誓愿,在修会宗旨及团体生活中以祈祷、爱德服务,履行传扬福音的使命,彰显天国。
执事: 是主教及神父的合作者,专注宣讲及爱德服务。
信友: 在生活中以信、望、爱三德的行动为天主作见证。

Pope: Head of the the Catholic Church.
Cardinals: Elects the pope and assist the pope in various departments.
Bishop : Manages the churches in their assigned geographical areas called dioceses.
Parish priests and pastors: Works with the bishop of the diocese. Manages the day-to-day duties in their own church, such as leading mass and hearing confessions.
Religious men and women: Commits to a vow of chastity and obedience, committed to a religious purpose and community life of prayer, charity service, fulfilling the mission of preaching the Gospel, highlighting the kingdom of heaven.
Deacon: Works with parish priests and bishop of the diocese, focused on preaching and charity services.
The faithful of the parish community: live life with faith, hope and love in God and be witnesses of Christ.

CATHOLIC TRADITIONS

弥撒庆典 Celebration of Mass

The Celebration of Mass is in two parts that forms a single act of worship:

  1. The Liturgy of the Word
    (Word of God): readings, homily, and general intercessions.
  2. The Liturgy of the Eucharist
    (Body of the Lord): presentation of the bread and wine, consecratory thanksgiving, and communion.

天主教祈祷 Catholic Prayers

Prayers connect us to God.  We communicate with God through our prayers and our relationship with Him is deepened through prayers. Some common prayers of the Catholic faith are:

  • The Sign of the Cross
  • Apostles Creed
  • The Lord’s Prayer
  • Hail Mary
  • Glory Be

For individual prayers and more information, click on the button below.

天主教圣经 The Catholic Bible

The Catholic Bible is made of a collection of 73 books. These collections were written over the course of many centuries. The Bible is about the relationship between God and us, His children. It gives us the truths we need to live by for our salvation. It is not a history book, a science text, or a political manifesto.

何为圣事 What are Sacraments?

Sacraments are acts or ceremonies that represent an inward and spiritual divine grace. There are seven sacraments in the Catholic faith:

  1. Baptism
  2. Confirmation
  3. Eucharist
  4. Reconciliation
  5. Anointing of the Sick
  6. Holy Orders
  7. Matrimony

BECOMING CATHOLIC

慕道成为基督徒 Becoming a Catholic through RCIA

The Rite of Christian Initiation of Adults (RCIA) is a program in the Catholic Church that helps prospective converts to Catholicism. The program is designed to help ease into the Catholic beliefs and practices, answer any questions related to the faith and church, and affirm what it means to be part of the Catholic Church. For more details, go to usccb.org. For more information on our RCIA program, click below.

COMING BACK TO THE CATHOLIC FAITH

"I will give them a heart to know me, that I am the LORD. They shall be my people and I will be their God, for they shall return to me with their whole heart." -Jeremiah 24:7

Maybe it has been a long time since you’ve been in a Catholic community or have gone to mass. Maybe it has only been a little while. There is this tug at your heart drawing you back to the Catholic Church. Listen to it. It’s the Holy Spirit tugging at your heart. Your Heavenly Father is gently holding your hand and guiding you back. Take this as an opportunity to rediscover the joys and wonders of your Catholic faith.

No matter how long it has been since you’ve been at church, it doesn’t matter what the circumstances were, you are always welcomed back to your family, the worldwide Catholic community. We, your brothers and sisters, have missed you. Welcome home.

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For Frequently Asked Questions About Catholicism And Our Faith!