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Believe15. The Marks of the ChurchThe Church is one. The Church acknowledges one Lord, proclaims one faith, shares one baptism. She forms one Body, is given life by one Spirit, and hopes for the day when all will be one.The Church is holy. The source of the Church’s holiness is God himself. The life and Death of Christ freed all the members of the Church from sin. And it is the Holy Spirit who gives the Church life.The Church is catholic (universal). The Church proclaims the entire faith and provides the means of salvation. The Church speaks to all people at all times.The Church is apostolic. The Church is built on the teachings of the Apostles and teaches the truth infallibly (without error). Christ governs the Church through Peter and the other Apostles, who are present through their successors, the Pope and the college of bishops. The Pope has complete power in the care of souls. The bishops are the visible source and foundation of unity for their own particular churches.The duties of bishops are to teach the faith, to celebrate worship (above all the Eucharist), and to guide their churches as true pastors. To help them, they have the priests (their co-workers) and the deacons. Bishops and priests are called to the ministerial priesthood. They serve to helpall the faithful to develop the grace they received at Baptism. But there is also the common priesthood in which all the faithful participate.Lay people (all Catholics who are not deacons, priests, or bishops) are called to their mission to be Christ’s followers inall that they do. This includes you. You follow in Christ’s footsteps wheneveryou befriend a lonely kid, visit a sick grandparent, or obey a teacher. You follow him whenever you bring more of God’s loving kindness into everyday life.13Photo credit: David Dziena/Bayard, Inc.

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