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What's Your Catholic IQ? March 2012
by David O'Brien
Use this self-quiz to see how much you, your students, and your students' families know about your Catholic faith. You can find the correct answers at the end of the quiz. Do some research to learn more about the topics that especially interest you.

Use this self-quiz to see how much you, your students, and your students’ families know about your Catholic faith. You can find the correct answers at the end of the quiz. Do some research to learn more about the topics that especially interest you.

1. John the Baptist urged people to “___ , for the Kingdom of Heaven is at hand” (Matthew 3:1-2). 

a) follow Jesus  b) get baptized  c) repent  d) eat grasshoppers

2. The word crucifix comes from the Latin word for 

a) crucible  b) cross  c) execute  d) crucify

3. The new Mass translation includes the words “Holy, holy, holy, Lord God of hosts.” The word hosts in this line literally means

a) consecrated Eucharistic bread  b) those who throw parties  c) power and might  d) angelic armies

4. Pope for only five years before he died, ____ gathered all the world’s bishops in Rome and began the Second Vatican Council in 1962 with a call to “open wide the windows of the Church.”  

a) Pope John XXIII  b) Pope Paul VI  c) Pope John Paul II  d) Pope Benedict XVI

5. The two main parts of the Mass are the Liturgy of the Word and the Liturgy of the

a) Eucharist  b) Hours  c) People  d) New Roman Missal

6. Jesus said that “for God ___ are possible” (Matthew 19:26).

a) miracles b) better times  c) most things  d) all things

7. According to the Book of ___ , the mark of the beast is the number 666.

a) Job  b) Revelation  c) Daniel  d) Sudoku

8. The Catechism of the Catholic Church describes pride, envy, anger, sloth, greed, gluttony, and lust as

a) psychological disorders  b) typical behavior for most people  c) capital sins  d) bad strategies for making friends

9. Jesus taught the ___ as part of the Sermon on the Mount (Matthew 5:3-12; Sermon on the Plain, Luke 6:20-26).

a) Beatitudes  b) Parable of the Prodigal Son  c) Golden Rule  d) Parable of the Good Samaritan

10. In Revelation 1:8, Jesus Christ calls himself “the Alpha and the Omega.” This means that Jesus

a) is a member of a Greek fraternity  b) is like a star in the galaxy  c) is the beginning and the end  d) likes to speak cryptically

11. The Paschal Mystery refers to Jesus’ blessed Passion, ___, and Ascension.

a) preaching  b) faithfulness  c) prayerfulness  d) Resurrection

12. ___ is the gift of the Holy Spirit whereby the pope is preserved from error when proclaiming a doctrine related to Christian faith or morals.

a) Discernment  b) Infallibility  c) Prayerfulness  d) Holiness

13. The Holy Spirit is also called the

a) Paraclete  b) bird  c) Morning Star  d) Redeemer

14. ___ was born in 1869 in Sudan and was kidnapped and sold into slavery at age nine.

a) St. Monica  b) St. Josephine Bakhita  c) St. Rose of Lima  d) St. Angela Merici

15. “Rich and poor have a common bond; the Lord is the ___ of them all” (Proverbs 22:2).

a) maker  b) ruler  c) guardian  d) boss

16. The ___ is called the “quintessential prayer of the Church.”

a) Glory Be  b) Memorial Acclamation  c) Our Father  d) Great Amen

17. Tradition has given us ___ as the name of the Good Thief.

a) Dismas  b) Doomas  c) Dominic  d) Francis

18. Theotokos, which means “God-bearer,” is a title given to the Blessed Virgin Mary.

True  False

19. The Sunday readings are arranged in a ___-year cycle while the weekday readings are arranged in a two-year cycle.

a) five  b) four  c) three  d) one

20. ___ signify the presence of the Holy Spirit at Jesus’ Transfiguration (Matthew 17:1-8; Mark 9:2-10) and his Ascension (Acts 1:6-11).

a) Tongues of fire  b. Doves  c. Heavy winds  d. Clouds

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. c) Jesus also preached repentance: “Repent, and believe in the gospel” (Mark 1:15).

2. b) The term crucifix comes from the Latin crucifixio which means “to bind fast or fix to a cross (crux).” Roman authorities used crucifixion, their preferred form of capital punishment, to discourage rebellion against the Roman Empire.

3. d) The term Lord God of hosts (Jehovah Sabaoth) is found over 200 times in the Old Testament and refers to the angelic armies that protected the Israelites.

4. a) Pope John XXIII helped shift the Church’s approach to modern scientific inquiry, democracy, and the separation of Church and state from suspicion and resistance to openness and engagement.

5. a) The Liturgy of the Word and the Liturgy of the Eucharist form one single act of worship. “[T]he Eucharistic table set for us is the table both of the Word of God and of the Body of the Lord” (Catechism of the Catholic Church, n. 1346).

6. d) Saint Paul (Philippians 4:13) echoes Jesus’ words as does the angel’s response to Mary at the Annunciation (Luke 1:37).

7. b) Scholars believe that 666 (see Revelation 13:18) refers to the Emperor Nero who persecuted Christians and blamed them for the burning of Rome.

8. c) Capital sins engender other vices, reproducing and reinforcing themselves (see CCC, n. 1866). “This results in perverse inclinations which cloud conscience and corrupt the concrete judgment of good and evil” (CCC, n. 1865).

9. a) The Beatitudes in Luke 6 change “poor in spirit” to “the poor.” Luke also includes the “woes,” which warns those who are rich and satisfied.

10. c) Alpha and Omega are the first and the last letters of the Greek alphabet. The author of the Book of Revelation encourages persecuted Christians by reminding them that Jesus, the beginning and the end, is in charge of all of human history.

11. d) Christ redeemed humankind by the Paschal Mystery—his Passion, Resurrection, and Ascension—whereby “dying he destroyed our death, rising he restored our life” (CCC, n. 1067).

12. b) “The infallibility promised to the Church is also present in the body of bishops…above all in an Ecumenical Council” (CCC, n. 891).

13. a) Jesus calls the Holy Spirit the “Paraclete,” literally, “he who is called to one’s side” (ad-vocatus).Paraclete is commonly translated ‘consoler’”  (CCC, n. 692).

14. b) After a wretched life as a slave, Josephine converted to Christianity. She later recounted that “seeing the sun, the moon and the stars, I said to myself: Who could be the Master of these beautiful things? And I felt a great desire to see him, to know him and to pay him homage....” Her feast is celebrated on February 8.

15. a) Throughout the Book of Proverbs, which follows the Book of Psalms in the Old Testament, we find concrete and practical wisdom for relationships, families, and matters of business.

16. c) “The Lord’s Prayer ‘is truly the summary of the whole gospel’” (CCC, n. 2761; also see nos. 2762-2776).

17. a) Saint Dismas is an example of God’s unfailing mercy, that even on death’s doorstep, God will forgive those who repent and bring them to paradise (Luke 23:39-43).

18. True. The title Theotokos, which means God-bearer, caused great controversy in the early Church when some protested that a human being could not be the mother of the eternal God. The Church, however, insisted that “the One whom she conceived as man by the Holy Spirit, who truly became her Son according to the flesh, was none other than the Father’s eternal Son, the second person of the Holy Trinity. Hence the Church confesses that Mary is truly ‘Mother of God’” (CCC, n. 495).

19. c) After the Second Vatican Council, the percentage of Scripture read at Mass increased from 1% of the Old Testament and 16.5% of the New Testament to 13.5% of the Old Testament and 71.5% of the New Testament.

20. d) Cloud and light “occur together in the manifestations of the Holy Spirit” (CCC, n. 697). “The Holy Spirit is the ‘principle of every vital and truly saving action in each part of the Body’” (CCC, n. 798).

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

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