138 • Part I. The Creed: The Faith Professed
• The four Marks of the Church—that she is one, holy, catholic, and
apostolic—are inseparably linked to each other, and all are essential
to the Church’s mission and pursuit of holiness.
• The Church is one. She professes “one Lord, one faith, one baptism”
(Eph 4:5). This unity, sustained by the Holy Spirit, includes a diver-
sity of gifts, talents, cultures, and rites.
• The Church is holy. Jesus, the founder, is holy and makes his holi-
ness available through his death and Resurrection. The Holy Spirit
imparts holiness to us, especially through the Sacraments. The
Church’s holiness shines in the saints, and most especially in the
Blessed Virgin Mary.
• The Church is catholic. The word
means universal. All
the means of salvation are found in the Church. The Church has
the fullness of the faith, the Sacraments, and apostolic succession.
Jesus commissions us to bring the Gospel to all peoples at all times;
hence the Church is “by its very nature missionary” (Second Vatican
Decree on the Church’s Missionary Activity
; AG], no. 2).
• The Church is apostolic. Jesus willed to build the Church on the
foundation of the Apostles. The Church hands on the teaching of
the Apostles through all generations. Christ shepherds the Church
through Peter and the other Apostles, whose successors are the Pope
and the college of bishops.
• Under the guidance of the Holy Spirit, the Apostles chose bishops
to succeed them. Helped by the priests and deacons, the bishops
teach the faith; celebrate the Sacraments, especially the Eucharist;
and guide the Church. Their responsibility includes concern for all
the Churches in union with the Pope.
• God calls lay people to witness and share their faith in the midst of
the world. By their Baptism they share in Christ’s priesthood and are
sealed by the Spirit. They are thus called to holiness, to a prophetic
witness in the world, and to a kingly resolve to sanctify the world by
their words and deeds.