Catholic Dicitonary

	Act of Contrition---A penitential prayer you warm up with so you don't cramp up 
		in the confessional. 

	Act of God--- 1. The kind of disaster insurance doesn't cover 2. The only way to 
		get some Catholics to church on Sunday. 

	Act of Faith--An action that shows a person's belief that an event will occur -- 
		such as when a guy cleans his bedroom before a big date. 

	Acts of the Apostles---1. Phony motions to the wallet made by the Apostles when the 
		check arrived for the Last Supper. 2. Christ's touring company --- they 
		knocked 'em dead in Samaria, Thessalonica, Damascus,etc. 

	Advent ---A season filled with the sounds of pipers piping, drummers drumming and 
		cash registers ringing. 

	Advent Wreath--- A brightly colored, seasonally decorated fire hazard. 

	Agnostic---1. An atheist who is hedging his bets. 2. Someone who isn't sure there 
		is a God, but who is sure he doesn't want to go to Mass every Sunday. 

	All Saints Day (November 1st)---- A day to honor the least-known saints and give 
		your least-liked halloween candy to your little brother. 

	All Soul' Day (November 2nd)---The day to remember all deceased Motown recording 

	Alpha and Omega----The fraternity that Christ belonged to. 

	Amen----The only part of a prayer everyone knows. 

	Annulment----1. Divorce, Catholic style. 2. A decree that a marriage never 
		existed -- like the dream sequence on "Dallas". 

	Apocalypse---An important event that you probably can't find a Hallmark card for. 

	Apostasy-- The difficult process of giving up one set of beliefs for another -- 
		such as switching from Leno to Letterman. 

	Arc of the Covenant--The trajectory of the tablets when Moses threw them down the 

	Armageddon---The last day you can redeem your green stamps. 

	Ascension of Christ----Jesus rose into heaven forty days after Easter -- an 
		indication of how tough it is to get a table up there. 

	Asceticism--Living a pure, virtuous life - and then dying of boredom. 

	Beatification----1. Papal recognition that a holy person is one step away from 
		having a parochial school named after him.  2. The step in the canonization 
		process when a persons' head is fitted into a halo. 

	Beattitudes----1. Sayings that look nice on a cross-stitched plaque. 2. Second rate 

	Benediction---The start of the race to the parking lot. 

	Bethlehem---Where Mary and Joseph had to come to their census. 

	Bingo---1. How Catholics tithe. 2. The parlor game churches organize each week to 
		keep little old ladies off the street. 

	Bishop---Old man in the see. 

	Blessed Virgin-- The phrase Joseph muttered himself to sleep with. 
	Blessing--A prayer preceeding an event that grants God's grace and releases Him 
		from any liability. 

	Blind Faith--A redundant expression. 

	Body of Christ---Amen...oops, sorry. Habit I guess. 

	Bulletin--1. Parish information read only during the homily. 2. Catholic air 
		conditioning. 3. Your receipt for attending Mass. 

	Burning bush--What the Isrealites thought Moses had been smoking when he said he 
		spoke with God. 
	Calvin, John--The man who championed the theory of predestination -- whether he wanted 
		to or not. 

	Cannon Law--The principle that whoever has the cannon makes the law. 

	Capital sins---more serious that the lower case ones. 

	Caroling---1. A Christmas tradition of walking from house to house singing yule song 
		until residents give you food to shut up. 2. Yuletide revenge on the 
		neighbor whose barking dog keeps you up at night. 

	Catholic Mass---An event with so much standing, sitting, and kneeling you can forego 
		your Jane Fonda workout tape for Sunday. 

	Catholic wedding---A ceremony in which a father loses his daughter -- and his life 

	Celibacy--- A clever comeback used by single men and women to explain why they don't 
		have a date for Saturday night. 

	Charity---1. What you call your trash when you give it to the Little Sisters of the 
		Poor. 2 The only one of the theological virtues that pays off every April 15th. 

	Choir---A group of people whose singing allows the rest of the congregation to 

	Christians--- People who follow Jesus, although they disagree on which way He went. 
	Christmas---The celebration of the birth of Christ, which invariably falls during 
		the busiest shopping season of the year. 

	Confession---What you bragged about the night before. 

	Conscience--- the little voice of morarity that you wish had a body so you could 
		punch it in the nose. 

	Convent---A rectory where the toilet seats are always down. 

	Corona--The goofy haircut some monks receive to ensure their vow of chastity. 

	Covenant---A contract between God and His people --- one that the Devil is still 
		trying to take to arbitration. 

	Creation---The story that scientists get a big bang out of. 

	Creationism---The belief that no one is a monkey's uncle. 

	Crucifixion--1. A rather extreme form of impeachment. 2. The form of execution used 
		by the Romans when the lions were full. 

	Cry room---A place in the back of the church where children are brought after their 
		tantrums have reduced their parents to tears. 

	Dead Sea Scrolls---The Cliff Notes to the old testament. 

	Devil---Evil with a capital D. 

	Devotion--- Standing for the duration of the Gospel on Palm Sunday 

	Disciples---Followers of Christ who hadn't earned enough merit badges to become 

	Divine intervention---What happens when God steps in and does something for the good 
		of ending Ronald Reagan's movie career. 

	Dona Nobis Pacem--- The double play combination of the parish softball team. 

	Doxology---A verbal high-five with the Lord. 

	Easter---1. The day you see Catholics you haven't seen since Chistmas 2. The day 
		when Christ's body was missing and all the children are worried about is 
		finding the missing chocolate eggs. 

	Ecumenical Council-- Where all those "a priest, a rabbi, and a minister" jokes get 

	Ecumenical prayer service--When Christians of various denominations get together and 
		confuse the heck out of God. 

	Ecumenism---The practice of unity among Christians whereby Catholics cut Protestants 
		some slack for being close. 

	Egypt---the country which created the first form of writing: hieroglyphics -- the 
		basis for all medical prescriptions. 

	Envy--- The sin Catholics commit when they think of non-Catholics who get to remain 
		seated during their church services. 

	Eternity---The time between Communion and the end of Mass. 

	Evangelists, TV 1. Preachers with miraculous power---the ability to squeeze dollars 
		out of the penniless. 

	Eve--- The only wife who never had to worry about the "other woman" 

	Everlasting life--- What a Catholic will need to understand all the changes since 
		Vatican II. 

	Eye of the needle--- The analogy that provides a strong incentive for rich men to 
		breed tiny camels. 

	Faith---Giving God the benefit of the doubt on the question "Can God make a rock so 
		big that even He, Himself, cannot lift it"? 

	Fast---God's diet plan 

	Feast of the assumption---The holy day observed forty days after Easter, by which 
		time all of the black jelly beans will be gone. 

	Fishers of men----A description of the Apostles who trawled for souls. 

	Folk mass---The type of liturgy celebrated at the church of Saints Peter, Paul and 

	Font---The baptismal basin where the priest wets the baby's head and the baby wets 
		the priests vestments. 

	Free will---A gift from God that you will pay for later if you use it incorrectly. 

	Friday, Good---The day of the crucifixion of Jesus---which makes you wonder what a 
		Messiah's got to do to make it a Bad Friday. 

	Garden of Eden---Where Adam and Eve dug us a hole. 

	Gnosticism---Gneo-Christian cult based on gnebulous gnosis whose days were gnumbered 
		due to gnaysayers. 

	God---The Supreme Being who knows everything, including why the Howells brought so 
		many clothes for a three hour tour. 

	Godparent--- A person who has to baby-sit on request. 

	Golden Rule---The most painful thing a nun can hit you with. 

	Good Samaritan---A guy who today would probably get arrested and left in jail until 
		"60 minutes did a story on him. 

	Gospel--A term that means "Good news"-----even though the homily always follows. 

	Great Schism--A time when there were more Popes that heavyweight boxing champions. 

	Guilt--- Agonizing paranoia somewhere along the lines of "God will get me for what 
		I did". It racks the brain, twists the emotions, and turns the stomach until 
		the person's a physical wreck--and God's job is already done. 


	Hail Mary---1. A prayer you say when the answer to "Our Father" is "NO" 2.The answer 
		to the question, "What could be worse than raining cats and dogs?" 

	Handshake of peace--- Shaking hands with the kid next to you in Mass---who just wiped 
		his nose without a handkerchief. 

	Heaven's Gate--- A passage that everyone wants to get through and a movie that 
		everyone avoided. 

	Hell--1. A place that even Johnny Cochran can't save you from. 2. Satan's home on 
		the range. 

	Holy cards--- Pictures of religious figures--like baseball cards without bubble gum. 

	Holy Day of Obligation 1. As in Monday night Football, a Mass that counts in the 
		standings. 2. A feast day on which Roman Catholics are duty bound to suffer 
		through their second Mass, sermon and collection of the week. 

	Holy Grail--- The chalice that Jesus and the Apostles shared at the Last Supper. Its 
		location is unknown and, considering oral hygiene, that's probably for the 

	Holy oil---Chrism rubbed on the foreheads of teenaged Confirmation candidates -- as 
		if they needed more grease up there. 

	Holy Saturday---The day your knees are sore from Good Friday. 

	Holy water---A liquid whose chemical formula is H2OLY. 

	Homily---The part of Mass when the pastor prepares the flock for the fleecing. 

	Hope---A desire that's dashed when Father Talkalot proceeds down the aisle on a hot 

	Hymn--A song of praise usually sung in a key three octaves higher than the 
		congregation's range. 

	Hymn, recessional----The last song on Mass, often sung a little more quietly since 
		most people have left before that time. 

	Immaculate Conception---1. A clean thought. 2. The feast that reminds Catholics of 
		the purity of Mary and the fact that they have only seventeen more shopping 
		days until Christmas. 

	Incense--Holy smoke. 

	Innocent III---The man who was Pope until Proven Guilty IV. 

	Inquisition--A tough *final* exam. 

	Intercession---A prayer on behalf of another---although it shouldn't be for the other 
		person to die of hemorrhoids. 

	Issac--- The biblical figure who became anxious when his father, Abraham, wanted to 
		spend some 'quality time' with him. 

	Jesuits-- An order of priests known for their ability to found colleges with good 
		basketball teams. 

	Jesus Christ---1. The Son of God who became the Messiah, despite a few cries of 
		nepotism. 2. One person who could truthfully answer yes to the question "Hey, 
		were you born in a barn, or what?" 

	Jesus freaks---The subtitle of the Gospel chapter in which Christ clears the temple. 

	Jews---Known as "the Chosen People". Throughout history, whenever anyone felt the 
		need to pick on someone, they always chose the Jews -- if there were no 
		Catholics or gypsies around. 

	Job---A man who probably would have enjoyed root canal surgery. 

	John the Baptist--1. The man who started the wet look. 2. The guy your mother told you 
		to stay away from--along with Jim the Lutheran and Chip the Episcopalian. 

	Jonah--the original "Jaws" story. 

	Joseph of Arimathea-- An undertaker who doubled his money by selling Christ a tomb for 
		only three days. 

	Justice--When your kids have kids of their own. 

	Kneeler---What little children with muddy shoes love to stand on. 

	Knights of Columbus--The organization responsible for the senseless proliferation of 
		spaghetti dinners. 

	Kyrie Elieson---The only Greek words that most Catholics can recognize besides gyros 
		and baklava. 

	Lamb of God---A prayer Catholics can say without missing a bleat. 

	Lapsed Catholic---1. A Catholic who only knows pig latin. 2. A Catholic who doesn't 
		care if Southern Methodist beats Notre Dame in football. 

	Last Supper--- One of the strangest meals in history, because Jesus performed the 
		First Mass and all thirteen in attendance sat on one side of the table. 

	Latin--- The language that died of irregular vowel movenents. 

	Latin Mass--- Vatican II----Latin 0 

	Laying on of hands-- A healing action by a charismatic - first on the head, then on 
		the wallet. 

	Lazarus--1. A friend of Jesus who died but got better. 2. A man who was late to his 
		own funeral. 

	Lector---The liturgucal reader who must speak louder than the sports coats of the 

	Lent---1. The time of year when you borrow ham sandwiches from your Protestant 
		neighbors. 2. The last chance before summer to keep those broken New Year's 

	Limbo--- A place for unbaptized souls who must bend over backwards to get into Heaven. 

	Litany--- The part of the Mass you don't need to memorize. 

	Liturgy--Just about the only urgy that can be satisfied by an unmarried Catholic. 

	"Love thy Neighbor as thyself" ----- The Golden Rule--- for everybody except 

	Lust--- One of the seven deadly sins--confessed to a man who is not allowed to commit 

	Lyre--A bibical instrument that masqueraded as a harp. 

	Madonna--- latin for "like a virgin" 

	Magi--- The most famous trio to ever attend a baby shower. 

	Manger---1. Where Mary gave birth to Jesus because Joseph wasn't covered by an HMO. 
		2. The bible's way of showing us that holiday travel has always been rough. 

	Manna--- the trail of bread crumbs that God left for the Israelites so they could find 
		their way out of the desert 

	Martyr---Someone dying to be a saint. 2. A religious person who gets stoned. 

	Mary, Blessed Virgin--- The only mother who became well known for her virginity. 

	Mary Magdalene----- The woman the disciples greeted with "How's Tricks?" 

	Mass--- The kind of confusion that exists in the church parking lot every Sunday. 

	Mass Attendance--- How young Catholics "pay the rent" when they still live with their 

	Mea Culpa--- An obscure way to take the blame for something without letting everyone 
		know that you screwed up. 

	"The meek shall inherit the earth" ---The Lord's trickle-down theory. 

	Mercy--when there is no sermon on a hot Sunday. 

	Messiah-- A classical piece that Catholics have a Handel on. 

	Methuselah--- The oldest man in history at 969 years old, which is 6,783 in dog years. 

	Middle Ages---When a Catholic is old enough to go to Mass alone, but still has to 
		bring home a bulletin as proof. 

	Miracle--- 1. A Catholic family with fewer that 6 kids. 2. An event with no reasonable 
		explanation---such as "The Honeymooners: the Lost Episodes". 3. Divine 
		intervention--prayed for most ardently in the waning seconds of football 

	Missalettes---- The dancing girls at progressive masses. 

	Mitre--- The hat that the bishop has to take off at movies. 

	Monks---What priests evolved from. 

	Monotheism---When God speaks to you over the AM dial of your radio. 

	Monsignor---A title conferred by the Pope on a priest (this grants him an extra ten 
		minutes of sermon each week.) 

	Mortal sin--- A sin which your parents would kill you for, if they found out. 

	Mortification---Ignoring your stomach growls during Mass. 

	Moses---The leader of the Israelites who should have gone up the mountain a third 
		time for directions out of the desert. 

	Mount Sinai--- The place where God told Moses to take two tablets and call him in the 

	myrrh---The second gift of the Magi, and a great scrabble word when you're out of 

	Mysteries of the Church--- Phenomena that are impossible to understand. For example, 
		how a four foot altar boy can lift a twenty-pound book high enough for a 
		six-foot man to read from. 

	Mysteries of the Rosary--- Things to ponder while you're praying the Rosary -- such 
		as how to get the darned thing untangled. 

	New Testament--Sequel to the Old Testament in which God was in a considerably better 

	Novices---Clerics who are still adjusting their habits. 

	Nun--1. A woman who has taken vows of poverty and chastity--hence the name. 2. The 
		butt of the joke ending with this punch line: "That was no laity, that was 
		my sister" 

	Obedience--The vow of "monk he see, monk he do." 

	Offering--A sacrifice unto God - hangovers don't count. 

	Old Testament---A book of scripts for Cecil B. De Mille. 

	Olive branch---A welcome sign of hope for Noah, since he had only stocked enough 
		martini olives for thirty-eight days. 

	ONE (1) A.D.-- The year peoples ages started increasing each year. 

	Ordinary time--The period on the litergical calendar when the Church readily admits 
		that there isn't much going on. 

	Original Sin---1. What is cleansed by baptism, after which we use the new and 
		improved kind. 2. What teenagers are always trying to come up with. 

	Pagans-People without religion whose numbers span the globe---never knowing the 
		thrill of a bingo victory or the agony of the feet after the reading of the 

	Palms---Branches you leave behind in the pews on Palm Sunday, only to have the 
		priest burn them and rub the cinders on your forehead the next Ash Wednesday. 

	Pantheism---the belief in the miracle of Teflon. 

	Papal bull-- a letter from the Pope that's infallibull. 

	Papal infalibility---1.The doctrine which states that the only time the Pope in wrong 
		is when he is mistaken. 2. Why the Pope would clean up on Jeopardy. 

	Papal visit--When countries roll out the red carpet and half their GNP for the Pope - 
		who tells them to do something about the poor. 

	Parochial school---Where you learn enough about religion to say Mass and enough 
		about sex to use the right public restroom. 

	Paten--The communion plate that the altar boy uses to score your Adam's apple. 

	Patron saint---The guardian you talk to when all the other lines are busy. 

	Pentateuch--the first five books of the Bible---and the only books of the New 
		Testament that Catholics can recall. 
	Pentacost---Fifty days after Easter--by which time you've more than made up for 
		your Lenten sacrifices. 

	Permanent deacon---A married man who can do almost anything a priest can, and some 
		things he can't. 

	Petitions---The time during the Mass when everyone is praying for world peace but 
		thinking, "Please help me with the lottery" 

	Pew--1. A medieval torture device still found in Catholic Churches. 2. A real pain 
		in the Mass. 

	Poverty--- A vow taken by the clergy that keeps the Church in the black. 

	Prayer- Your last resort for obtaining something that you don't have a chance in 
		Hell of getting. 

	Pre-Cana--The required wedding preparation retreat which helps a couple establish a 
		solid base for arguments in the coming years. 

	Predestination 1. The rendezvous spot for you and your friends when you're supposed 
		to be at Mass. 2.The gas station where a Catholic family stops, even though 
		Mom and Dad told everyone to go before they left. 

	Pride---Bringing photographs along to confession. 

	Procession-- The ceremonial formation at the beginning of Mass, consisting of the 
		altar boys, the lay ministers, the celebrant, and the late parishioners 
		looking for a seat. 

	Protestant-- A person who will probably make it to Heaven, but won't live in as good 
		of a neighborhood. 

	Purgatory---1. A place that Cub fans will bypass completely 2. A place where a 
		snowball still has a chance. 

	Recessional---The ceremonial procession at the conclusion of Mass - led by 
		parishioners trying to beat the crowd to the parking lot. 

	Relics--People who have been going to Mass for so long they actually know when to 
		sit, kneel, and stand. 

	Religion---A cult with a good PR department. 

	Resurrection of Christ--It's hard to keep a good man down. 

	Revelation-- The final book of the Bible which doesn't exactly end "and they lived 
		happily ever after." 

	Rhythm method--Why Catholic kids don't have rooms of their own. 

	Rome-- Where II and II is IV. 

	Rosary--A prayer ritual that seems to last five decades. 

	Sabbath-- A day of worship and rest, meaning Mass and football (in no particular 

	Sacrament-- An after-sinner mint. 

	Sacrament of Baptism--The first time the Church soaks you. 
	Sacrament of Reconciliation--Solemnly asking forgiveness for actions you wish you 
		had videotaped to show your friends. 

	Sacrilege-- Irreverent use of something sacred--but it's too late now, you're already 
		up to the S's. 

	Sacristry--1.The clerical locker room. 2. A place where divestment is not a moral 

	Saint--A person always pictured as light-headed. 

	Saint Anthony--The saint a man prays to when his wife can't find what he's looking 

	Saint Basil--A man for all seasonings. 

	Saint Christopher--The saint to call if AAA doesn't answer. 

	Saint Joseph--1.The husband of the Virgin Mary and the patron saint of cold showers. 
		2. The most boring role in the Christmas pageant. 

	Saint Jude--The patron saint of the federal budget. 

	Saint Peter--The Apostle that Jesus once called "The Rock"--now employed as a bouncer 
		at the pearly gates. 

	Satan--An angel who got fired. 

	Second Coming---When you had better not be standing anywhere near the fan. 

	Sermon- 1. The part of the Mass that begins with a recap of the Gospel and then 
		drones into other gray matters of Christianity while your gray matter 
		wanders off into subjects such as whether there are still the same number 
		of ceiling tiles as last week. 2. Another word for homily, which doesn't 
		make it any shorter. 

	Sexual intercourse--A caring, special act between two people who are in love, 
		married (to each other), in bed, under the covers, with the lights off, and 
		the door locked - for the pupose of making more Catholics. 

	Shroud--Pajamas for the big sleep. 

	Shroud of Turin--An old burial garment Christ wouldn't be caught dead in. 

	Sign of the Cross--1. How young Catholics remember which hand is their right one. 
		2. A gesture showing reverence for the Cross - used during Mass and before 

	Sin of commission--An action that is immoral, such as picking all the cashews out of 
		the holiday nut mix. 

	Sin of omission--Never putting any cashews into the nut mix in the first place. 

	Sinner--someone who cannot cast the first stone, but would be more than happy to 
		cast the next five or six. 

	Sloth--The cardinal sin of laziness - which can only be forgiven by a guy who works 
		one day a week. 

	Sodom and Gomorrah -- Where Old Testament college students went on spring break. 

	Solomon--A man known for his wisdom, despite the fact that he had three hundered 

	State of grace-- After you receive absolution, but before you see a cute girl 

	Synagogue--Where Jesus is just another pretty face. 

	Tabernacle-- Where Christ had an out-of-body experience. 

	Temptation--A condition conducive to sinning--for most people, just being concious. 

	Temptation of Christ--To once, just once, declare "To hell with what the Scriptures 
		say Peter, *I* say we're going to the beach today." 

	Ten Commandments--The most important Top Ten list not given by David Letterman. 

	Theologian--1. A sage who writes at length about how little we know of God. 
		2. Someone who would know where Noah kept the termites. 

	Theology--The college course that helps you unlearn all the things you learned in 
		religion class. 

	Tower of Babel--The reason the Lord created different languages. He scattered the 
		builders accross the continent, only to have them reunite in New York as 

	Transfiguration of Christ--When Scotty used the wrong coordinates and almost beamed 
		up Jesus. 

	Turn the other cheek--The rule of thumb when the other guy is bigger. 

	Ushers--The only people in the parish who don't know the seating capacity of a pew. 

	Vacation Bible School--How parents ruin a child's summer vacation. 

	Vatican City--The only country that will never win an Olympic luge medal. 

	Vespers--Vat ve hear ven vorshippers don't vant to vear out their velcome. 

	Vigil--Looking out for number one. 

	Vine and branches--A biblical metaphor: Christ is the vine, we are the branches -- 
		and the Big Guy has the pruners. 

	Virgin birth--Paying the fiddler without getting to dance. 

	Virginity--What cannot be refunded once a deposit is made. 

	Vulgate--The version of the Bible that Spock reads. 

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