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The authority of the church through the pope and bishops to teach religious doctrine.


The name given to Mary's prayer in Luke 1: 46-55, which the Church prays everyday at Evening Prayer.


The writer of the gospel of Mark. His is probably the earliest of the gospels written. Tradition has used the symbol of a lion to depict Mark.


The permanent, faithful union of a man and woman. open to children and willing to share all aspects of life together.


The mother of Jesus who as a young virginal maiden conceived and gave birth to our Savior. By tradition her parents are named as Joachim and Anna.

Mary Mother of God

Mary is the mother of Jesus and, now that she is in heaven with him, is our heavenly mother who prays for us.


The Mass is another name for the celebration of the Eucharist. The name comes from the phrase used at the end of Mass, "Go, the Mass is ended," which in Latin is Ita missa est.

Mass of the Lords  supper

The liturgy we celebrate on Holy Thursday evening, the first of the three central liturgies of our entire Church year we call the Triduum. We remember the institution of the Eucharist at the Last Supper and Jesus' example of washing the feet of his disciples.

Mass, The

The most common name for the celebration of the Eucharist. It comes from the Latin phrase used at the end of the celebration: "Go, the Mass is ended" (Ita missa est).


The writer of the gospel of Matthew, usually also identified as the one called Levi in that gospel. The symbol most often used to depict Matthew is a picture of a man.


A form of prayer that starts with a specific word, phrase, reading or image from Scripture or the Christian tradition.

Memorial Acclamation

The time of Mass, immediately following the consecration, when the community sings/prays that "Christ has died, Christ is risen, and Christ will come again".


The ways we serve God and all people according to God's special call to each of us.


A special healing or answer to prayer that takes place unexpectedly, which we give God thanks for. Jesus performed many miracles in his life.


Headpiece worn by a bishop to symbolize his apostolic authority. It is a tall pointed hat with two ribbons hanging down the back.


A place where people with religious vows live together.


A man who lives in a religious community to devote himself to prayer.


The belief that there is only one God, who is creator of all things. Christians share this belief with Jews, Muslims and others.


A container for the consecrated host when it is placed on the altar for special times of prayer called Eucharistic Adoration. It is usually gold-colored, in the form of a cross, with a sunburst pattern.


The responsibility of human nature to look at consequences of actions and chose according to human values. The ability to live according to a morality is one of the distinguishing features of being a mature human being.

Morning Prayer

The first traditional time of day for prayer, placing the day in God's hands, with a focus on praising God for the day ahead.

Mortal Sin

Serious or grievous sin, which must be confessed in the sacrament of Reconciliation and which puts a person outside of real communion with the Church and salvation.


When the pharaoh (the Egyptian king) orders every Hebrew male child killed, Moses' mother saves him by putting him into a basket, which is found by the daughter of the pharaoh (Exodus 1-2), and so Moses is raised in the royal house.

Mt. Sinai

The traditional name given to the mountain in the desert where God gave the 10 Commandments to the people of Israel.

Mystical Body

A way to remind us that the body of Christ is greater than just the visible Churchy. It includes all people, living and deceased who live lives that lead to salvation.


Religious experiences where people experience an immediate knowledge of and union with God. In the history of the Church there have been a number of saints who have had many such experiences