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What's Your Catholic IQ? January 2012
by David O'Brien
A Self-Assessment for Your Fun and Enlightenment
Self-quizzes can be a fun and challenging way to learn. Respond to the following 20 items to see how much you, your students, and their families know about your Catholic faith. The Answer Key can be found at the end of the quiz.

1. The Church is a Sacrament. 
True  False 

2. After telling Cornelius (a Roman soldier) about Jesus, Peter the Apostle ___ his whole household.
a) had dinner with  b) baptized  c) visited  d) blessed

3. The Sacraments of Christian Initiation are
a) Baptism and Confirmation  b) Holy Orders and Matrimony  c) First Penance and First Holy Communion  d) Baptism, Confirmation, and Eucharist

4. Before receiving absolution from the priest, we pray the ___.
a) Act of Forgetting  b) Prayer of Catholic Guilt  c) Act of Contrition  d) Litany of Humility

5. Known as the Curé of Ars and recognized as the patron saint of parish priests, ___ drew huge crowds to confession with his gift for celebrating the Sacrament of Penance and Reconciliation.
a) St. John Vianney  b) St. Padre Pio  c) St. John Bosco  d) St. Vincent de Paul

6. The ___ Sacraments continue Christ’s ministry of forgiveness, healing, and sharing God’s love with all people.
a) Twelve  b) Two  c) Three  d) Seven

7. ___ are ordained to assist bishops and priests in the celebration of the divine mysteries, above all the Eucharist. They also assist at and bless marriages, proclaim the Gospel and preach, preside at funerals, and are dedicated to various ministries of charity.
a) monks  b) deacons  c) altar servers  d) hermits

8. In the Sacrament of Baptism, ___ are chosen to help the newly baptized child or adult to live as a Christian.
a) lay ministers  b) godparents  c) uncles and aunts  d) spiritual guides

9. In Baptism, the priest or deacon ___ the newly baptized person’s head with sacred chrism signifying the gift of the Holy Spirit.
a) touches  b) blesses  c) anoints  d) slaps

10. The second time a person is anointed with sacred chrism occurs at ___, when the bishop confirms and completes the baptismal anointing.
a) Confirmation  b) Anointing of the Sick  c) eighth-grade graduation  d) high school graduation

11. The ___ is the center of the Church’s life.
a) priest  b) Eucharist  c) bishop  d) Vatican

12. The two Sacraments of Healing are ___and ___.
a) Penance/Reconciliation and Anointing of the Sick  b) Eucharist and Penance  c) Baptism and Anointing of the Sick d) Holy Orders and Matrimony

13. The Sacrament that makes bishops, priests, and deacons official ministers of the Catholic Church is ___.
a) Matrimony  b) Confirmation  c) Holy Orders  d) Extreme Unction

14. “Is anyone among you sick? He should summon the presbyters of the church, and they should pray over him and anoint [him] with oil in the name of the Lord, and the prayer of the faith will save the sick person, and the Lord will raise him up. If he has committed any sins, he will be ___” (James 5:14-15).
a) saved  b) summoned  c) lifted up  d) forgiven

15. One purpose of the Sacrament of Matrimony is companionship. That is why a man and a woman leave their homes and cling to each other, becoming ___.
a) one body  b) friends  c) attached  d) engaged

16. The ministers of the Sacrament of Matrimony are the ___.
a)  parents of the bride  b) parents of the groom  c) bride and groom  d) invited guests

17. The Eastern Orthodox Church celebrates Seven Sacraments.
True  False

18. The repeatable Sacraments are ___, ___, and ___.
a) Matrimony, Penance, and Eucharist  b) Eucharist, Penance, and Anointing of the Sick  c) Baptism, Confirmation, and Holy Orders  d) Holy Orders, Matrimony, and Eucharist

19. Catholics bless themselves with ___ as they enter and leave a church to remind themselves of their Baptism.
a) a scapular  b) a holy card  c) holy water  d) a rosary

20. Adult Catholic catechumens who enter the Church at the Easter Vigil receive ___ of the Sacraments at one time.
a) all  b) two  c) most  d) three  

David O’Brien (M.Div., University of Notre Dame) serves as Adult Education and Lay Ministry Formation Director for the Archdiocese of Mobile. He is an adjunct faculty member at Spring Hill College in the theology department as well as a columnist for The Catholic Week (

Answer Key

1. True. Sacraments are “perceptible signs (words and actions) accessible to our human nature. By the action of Christ and the power of the Holy Spirit they make present efficaciously the grace that they signify” (Catechism of the Catholic Church, n. 1084). In this way, the first Sacrament of Christ is the Church which is Christ’s Body, made present to us.

2. b) Peter baptized the people in the household of Cornelius even though they were Gentiles who didn’t keep kosher or circumcise their male children (Acts 10). Early Christians saw this as a sign that the gospel was meant for everyone. It also showed that children, perhaps even infants, were baptized in the earliest years of the Church (CCC, n.1252).

3. d) Christian initiation is accomplished by Baptism, which is the beginning of new life; Confirmation, which strengthens this new life; Eucharist, which nourishes disciples with Christ’s body and blood for their transformation in Christ (CCC, n. 1275).

4. c) The Act of Contrition tells God we are sorry for our sins and resolve to do better with God’s help.

5. a) Canonized in 1925, St. John Vianney (1786-1859) lived in France, treated everyone with kindness, and helped others trust in God’s forgiveness. His feast day is August 4.

6. d) The Seven Sacraments are Baptism, Confirmation, Eucharist, Reconciliation, Anointing of the Sick, Holy Orders, and Matrimony.

7. b) “The Sacrament of Holy Orders marks deacons with an imprint (‘character’) which cannot be removed and which configures [deacons] to Christ, who made himself the ‘deacon’ or servant of all” (CCC, n. 1570).

8. b) Godparents must be firm believers and able to support the new Catholic in his or her faith.

9. c) The anointing with sacred chrism, perfumed oil consecrated by the bishop, shows that the newly baptized has been incorporated into Christ. 

10. a) During the celebration, the bishop places his hand on top of the head of the person being confirmed and signs his or her forehead with chrism, praying “Be sealed with the Holy Spirit.”  The person responds “Amen.”

11. b) Since the beginning of the Church, Christians have met on Sunday to break bread. “The Eucharist is ‘the source and summit of the Christian life’” (CCC, n. 1324).

12. a) All the Sacraments bring healing, but these two Sacraments specifically mirror Jesus’ ministry of forgiving sins and praying for wholeness of body and soul.

13. c) “[T]here are two degrees of ministerial participation in the priesthood of Christ: the episcopacy and the presbyterate. The diaconate is intended to help and serve them” (CCC, n. 1554).

14. d) The Sacrament of the Anointing of the Sick traces its roots to apostolic times. As James indicates, the forgiveness of sins was included in this Sacrament, which is why only priests and bishops can administer the Sacrament of the Anointing of the Sick (CCC, n.1516, Code of Canon Law, n. 1003).

15. a) Marriage helps couples overcome self-absorption and pleasure seeking and opens them to mutual aid and self-giving (see CCC, n. 1609; Genesis 2:24).

16. c) The spouses, as ministers of Christ's grace, mutually confer upon each other the Sacrament of Matrimony by expressing their consent before the Church (see CCC, n. 1623).

17. True. The Eastern Orthodox Church also has a valid priesthood and hierarchy. The Latin and Eastern Rites of the Church, however, are not in full communion because the Orthodox Church does not recognize papal jurisdiction.

18. b) The faithful are encouraged to avail themselves of Penance and Eucharist as often as possible. Catholics who are seriously ill may seek Anointing of the Sick as often as needed.

19. c) Holy water and the Sign of the Cross are sacramentals. Sacramentals are sacred signs that prepare us to receive the fruit of the Sacraments and sanctify different circumstances of our lives (see CCC, n. 1677).

20. d) Catechumens received into full communion at the Easter Vigil celebrate all the Sacraments of Initiation—Baptism, Confirmation, and First Eucharist—during the same liturgy.

Permission is granted to copy for use with your classes and families.

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