What Constitutes a Practicing Catholic?


Hi, my name’s Father Mike Schmitz, and this is Ascension Presents. So a number of years ago one of our students, she’s a young woman. She had a friend, she invited her friend to go with her to Mass off campus because school wasn’t in session, it was summertime So she drove this young man to the cathedral and on the way there—he was raised Catholic—on the way there She said, “You know, if you aren’t a practicing Catholic … “… you can’t receive Holy Communion unless you go to confession first.”, and he was like, “Wait, what? “What, what? I was raised Catholic.” And she’s like, “Yeah, but you’re not a practicing Catholic.” And so then when school started like the next week he came to Mass and afterwards he said, “I have some questions,” and his big question was this, “What is it to be a practicing Catholic?” I thought that’s a great question so we started meeting and talking about what it is to be a practicing Catholic. So what does the Church say it is to be a practicing Catholic? What is it to say I’m not just Catholic in name only, but you know, it’s a part of my everyday life? Well a couple things: the Church says, well, we have to, you know, observe the ten commandments We have to assent to Church teaching and then the third thing is to do our best to follow the five precepts of the Catholic Church. In the Catechism of the Catholic Church I think starting in article 2041 or paragraph 2041 talks about these five precepts of the Church. Now what it says is that these precepts are the indispensable minimum or another translation is the very necessary minimum for life. Basically the Church is kind of saying that if these aren’t there that life connected with Jesus, connected with the Church, it’s not there. I don’t know if you know this but like I think like something like ninety percent of Americans believe that there’s some kind of God. So ninety percent of Americans, ninety percent of Americans, are theists. And yet most of us, the way we live our lives, we’re practical atheists like we’re practicing atheism, because why? because we often make decisions not in light of this God that we claim exists. So these five precepts of the Church—the very necessary minimum, the indispensable minimum are basically just, are you alive? Are you connected to the Church? Here’s number one: Going to Mass on Sundays and holy days of obligation, so every single Sunday a practicing Catholic has to go to Mass and every holy day of obligation. That might sound incredibly overwhelming or demanding, but that’s roughly, I don’t know … I’m bad at math …
sixty-five hours of church every year That’s it. That’s it—the indispensable minimum, the requirement is just go to Mass every Sunday and every holy day of obligation. So it’s not overwhelming. Number two is: Go to confession at least once a year. Go to confession at least once a year. That’s what we’re called to do. Number three is receive Holy Communion at least once every year, during the Easter season. what had happened in the past is actually the … at one point people are staying away from Holy Communion because they thought the Holy Eucharist is too holy and I’m too unholy, I could never possibly receive Holy Communion, I can never possibly be in a state where I’m worthy, I can have worthy reception of Holy Communion, even if I’ve just gone to Confession, there’s something wrong. So they would stay away from Holy Communion So at one point, the pope had to say, listen, one of the precepts: you have to receive Holy Communion at least once a year during the Easter season. Why? Because Jesus loves you. He gives us the Eucharist to feed us because he wants intimacy and communion with us. Number four is observe the prescribed days of fasting and abstinence. Now, this is incredible. So days of penance are Fridays throughout the whole year. Days of abstinence are Fridays throughout Lent and and Ash Wednesday, these are abstinence, means we avoid meat. The two days of fasting—we only have two days of fasting in the entire 365-day calendar year—that’s Ash Wednesday and Good Friday. And that fasting is what? It’s, you know, have two small meals and one meal regular sized meal that doesn’t exceed the size of the two small meals combined. You think about this: that’s not very demanding because if you live in the Western World or developed world, developed countries, your fast day could still be more food than most people in the rest of the world eat on a normal day, so just observe those days of fasting and abstinence. And the fifth precept of the Catholic Church is to provide for the material needs of the Church according to your ability. It doesn’t even say, provide for the material needs of the Church by giving ten percent of your income. It says, according to your ability. Whatever you can do just help the Church out. Now think about that. I remember when I came upon these, I talked about them. At one point this man wrote me a letter saying like, that’s ridiculous, this is crazy, that might be fine for some monk on a mountaintop somewhere but for regular human beings, no one could possibly do this. I’m thinking, wait, these are the minimum requirements. This is the Church being absolutely super generous on what it means to be a practicing Catholic, not just a nominal Catholic,
but one who lives their faith out. Now I was talking to this man about this and he was like, OK. And we walked through this whole kind of story.
And actually in the course of this, talked about the story of the gospel and the story of the Church and the story of Jesus Christ calling him to live in the Church to live up, rise up to this and actually transcend this, so he started praying, started being part of a Bible study. By the end of that year he had entered seminary This June, this man is going to be ordained a priest for our diocese. His friend, she could have said, I’m embarrassed, I don’t want to, I don’t want to tell him that he can’t receive Holy Communion if he hasn’t been going to Mass. So I’ll just be quiet. You know what would have happened? Nothing. Because she was willing to in love just speak the truth to her friend, this man in like days from today will be ordained a priest of Jesus Christ in the Catholic Church and he will give us the Eucharist and he will give God’s reconciliation through confession And this man, already, he’s holy already. He’s just like, it’s incredible to see the transformation in this man’s life. I can’t imagine how many people he will lead to heaven because his friend was willing to say, “Hey, by the way, I don’t want to be rude, but if you’re not a practicing Catholic, you can’t receive Holy Communion.” And that prompted him to ask these questions If you’re asking the question, I think it also means that God has a plan for your life just like he has a plan for my buddy’s life, my future brother-in-orders’ life. From all of us here at Ascension Presents,
my name is Father Mike. God bless.

100 thoughts on “What Constitutes a Practicing Catholic?”

  1. What about retarded people? This is where I feel a disconnect from the Catholic faith. This seems like works salvation, as if to say Christ's sacrifice isn't a sufficient enough work to both justify AND sanctify us. I like the mysticism of the Catholic church (at least what's left of it), but I can't believe that a bread chip and wine is the ACTUAL body and blood that Christ is referring to. He makes it clear that he was speaking metaphorically when he said we are to eat his flesh and drink his blood to enter his life.

    I am not trying to cause a debate. I am just seeking truth…

  2. Quick thought on the fasting I am a Boy Scout, and now am an Eagle Scout, throughout my career as a Boy Scout we had sereveral honor societies that we had to fast for to get in (ie OA, Mic-o-Say ect.) In some of the more difficult fast we had skipped two meals completely and after that had one regular meal so yeah

  3. You opened my eyes, Father Mike…I do all the listed, but did not know it was obligatory to take communion during lent…it was never taught to us on the Cape in the 60s.

  4. What worries me is that…. So many things could have possibly changed in Christianity….. So what do we follow, the Church or God

  5. And also the thing is, is that why do u go to confess to a person…. Why don't u go ask mercy and forgiveness from the Lord

  6. To be a practicing Catholic and not a Satanist cultist, the most important rule is that one NOT be a damned Jesuit. One cannot be a Catholic Christian and a Jesuit. Choose one.

    Unfortunately, Pope Francis is a Jesuit, so it might be best to wait for his death, before entering a re-Catholic church. That is what I decided to do, anyway.

  7. My 8yo daughter recently asked me; why should I be Catholic if I always feel guilty and how can I baby sin because bavies don't know anything? 🤣 I'm just glad she is thinking logically. We go to soft play and she has a way of bringing other children together and I was shocked at how many of the "good Catholic parents" clearly disapprove of her making friends with children of other faiths. I am overjoyed that she has seen how I treat people and is doing the same.

  8. what constitutes a practicing catholic? whether or not you catch the priest diddling your child, catholicism is demonic, do some research and see how corrupt the vatican is, you don't need a priest or catholicism, you need Jesus and to be born again, you don't need the tradition and the idolatry this represents, ask God to forgive you and find a born again believing church, steer very very far fro catholic, trust me

  9. Almost the same thing happened to me. I'm a born-again Christian, of an evangelical church residing in the Philippines, who still struggles with smoking… My partner's sister-in-law once told me that a friend of hers who is also a born again Christian told her that my smoking means that I have not accepted Christ as my Lord God and Saviour. I felt bad for a few days, because the thought of me making a mistake in knowing with my whole heart and being that I had accepted JESUS as my Lord and Saviour was unthinkable for me! And thus, was simply unacceptable, even quite insulting for me. Still, I chose to forgive… although, how I just shrugged it off of my mind, and gave the woman who said that to me the cold treatment, I admit was not the best Christianly thing to have done.

    Until this very moment ("THANKS BE TO GOD!!!!" For God had softened my heart even more through Fr. Mike and this video), I was the non-practicing Catholic in Fr. Mike's video, WITHOUT the moral of the story… Of which is: LOOKING TO GOD for whenever judgments, accusations and rebukes are thrown at you. No matter how far-fetched, ridiculously exaggerated, or even close to a lie it seems to you, in arrogance, and even indifference, you justify self-righteousness, vanity and pride. BUT, in humility, there will always be LIGHT in those who patiently endure for our Lord God and Saviour who teaches us in His perfect love how to love those who/that are unacceptable and hard to love.

  10. Lord I'm the Vampire Prince. I am religious but God may never forgive me for who I am. I deep down want to go to heaven, my empire of blood suckers is very demonic. I'm sorry

  11. A practicing Catholic is one who reads The Holy Bible WORD of GOD n allow GOD The Holy Spirit to lead him into All Truth n not allow his mind be diverted to be Roman Catholic!

  12. Thank you Father for this info. Really important. Can you talk about LIFE. When does LIFE really start. I believe LIFE BEGINS when an egg fertilizer by the sperm.

  13. Ya gotta practice in order to be right. I'm being facetious, forgive me. The point of any form of religious doctrine or dogma is to grow in said religion, it is also a form of witness to the world. We better express our faith through deeds rather than words. Now, I have a question, at what age is one no longer eligible to become a priest? I don't think there an age limit in most of the Protestant denominations. I'm just curious and would appreciate some feedback.

  14. To me to be a practicing Catholic you have to believe the Pope's lies you have to pray to Mary would you God says he don't want to put anyone before him I could go on forever was there did that got out the best day of my life

  15. "Now the just shall live by faith!!! If any man draw back (to the world and its vaguely elements)…God shall have no pleasure on him. Be not deceived by this deceiver.

  16. Hey, so I am a protestant and was wanting more info on catholic history if any could please give me a link to a credible source, that would be amazing. God bless.

  17. Regarding abstinence at 3:31 I think this is more accurate: Can. 1251 Abstinence from meat, … is to be observed on all Fridays, unless a solemnity should fall on a Friday. Abstinence and fasting are to be observed on Ash Wednesday and Good Friday.

  18. The more I listen to you, Father, the more I believe I missed the boat on what I'm supposed to do as a Catholic which distresses me greatly

  19. What about troops. Especially infantry marines. Which is what I happen to be. What can I do to be a better catholic? I'm about to deploy and I haven't prayed since bootcamp about 12 months ago. But my family is super catholic and my mom even gave me a bible to take with me (along with some family photos.) I guess My question: how can I continue my catholic faith while on deployment while it is already hard to find the time for mass??

  20. You're making all of this up. You dont know Jesus, He would never tell you what you're teaching. Seek Him for the truth. You are just practicing religion. You've made up these doctrines yourself. Seek Jesus… NOT a man to teach you. You talk a lot about what the "church" requires, however you have never asked Jesus what HE requires… it's none of the things you are teaching. Jesus requires you to follow and obey Him… not a man. Jesus is your teacher, not a man. You are greatly deceived and deceiving others. Seek Jesus directly for the truth.

  21. 5 minimum requirements to be a Practising Catholic:
    1. Attend mass on days of obligation.
    2. Confession once a year
    3. Receive communion once during Easter
    4. Observe days of fasting
    5. Support material needs of the church according to your ability

  22. Traditional Catholicism is not essential to being a practicing Catholic.  In fact, most Traditional Catholics I know are un-Christian because of the anal-retentive view of religion.

  23. Practicing Catholic is a brainwashed lost soul in a cult. False doctrine. Confession false, idols false, praying to saints false, purgatory false, calling a priest father false, pope false, sacraments false, Mary sinless false, reciting prayers false. YouTube false Catholic doctrine, learn the truth from Kjv bible, do not trust any church that claims to be the authority on God and adds books to the bible. God bless us all. Worship the one and only triune God and read His living word for yourself.

  24. I don't think practicing catholic should mean to follow those 'instructions'. It's okay to have some religious rules but I don't think Jesus died in the cross to make us go to mass on Sundays. Practicing catholic (or being a true christian) should mean to fight for justice and truth in your own life and in what sorrounds you: Mass is something that should help you to do it. Charity is where your relationship with Christ is reflected, not 'practicing' in the way you say. I think that charity without eucharist can be more real than eucharist without charity. In fact, is charity what leads to eucharist. 'Practicing' alone in the way you say can easily become a deep and dangerous emptiness, if practicing does not mean to 'practice' virtues too.

  25. Would you further explain Friday’s are ‘Days of Penance’ throughout the year. Thank you & God Bless!

  26. Fr Mike, I enjoy your videos – always insightful & down to earth. You always explain our faith & important issues very well. I wish you'd explain how important it is to go to confession more often to deepen our own faith & relationship with God. Thank you!

  27. A practising catholic is someone whose god is the pope who is the infallible, supreme holy father. Believing in the catholic Jesus and papal religion means not being saved, redeemed or justified. The catholic Jesus was unable to complete his sacrifice on the cross and gave them purgatory to redeem themselves. Their Jesus is not Lord. He is a sacrificial victim of the priest at the altar on which he continues to be on the cross When there is no mass the catholic Jesus is a prisoner in a locked up box or exposed in a monstrance. Catholics believe they are saved by baptism and instead of the Holy Spirit they have a lady they call Mary who intercedes on their behalf with their god. Their god cannot protect them so they pray to their lady of the miraculous medal and to their guardian angels to keep them from harm. This is just a summary of some beliefs and practices in the papal religion.

  28. A sincere question: as a protestant Christian, I was taught to always put the Word of God above all other documents because of the Bible's infallibility. But in the list Fr. Mike presented there is not even a need to open your Bible, but instead, the teachings of the church seem more important…? This is quite confusing. Some answers are greatly appreciated 🙂

  29. I was baptized Catholic, had my first communion when I was a kid. Went to mass too as a kid even helped at the church. I'm an adult now. I haven't been active in a long time. What do I do to get back into practicing. I need guidance.

  30. I believe Christians and Catholics must come together and fight against this demonic force called abortion murdering our countries from the inside out literally.

  31. Ex Muslim here after saw JESUS Lord Amen. Catholic its from satan. Pope prophet of devil. JESUS never start religion. I follow JESUS not religion. Religion sets rules JESUS sets free. Islam is death cult as catholic. ✝️✝️✝️✝️✝️✝️🙏🙏🙏🙏🙏

  32. I was kinda worried I would turn out to be some horrible Catholic after watching this video, I'm very reassured now. God bless you Father!

  33. Very interesting talk. We were taught fasting means going without food, entertainment etc on Ash Wednesday and Good Friday for the entire day.That's what we practice till date in Goa.

  34. Wow.. Do not listen to this teaching unless you have read the Bible YOURSELF
    The devil is real, he is out to DECEIVE YOU!
    You absolutely have to read it yourself and ask God to teach you before you even consider following a religion based set of rules. If you believe in God you must believe he will guide you if you go to him not a MAN
    Please don’t risk your eternity and everyone you preach to throughout your life’s eternity on anyone else’s words besides God himself. If you don’t take this advice you will very likely be deceived, like the majority.

    Matthew 7:13-14 King James Version (KJV)

    13 Enter ye in at the strait gate: for wide is the gate, and broad is the way, that leadeth to destruction, and many there be which go in thereat:

    14 Because strait is the gate, and narrow is the way, which leadeth unto life, and few there be that find And ye shall seek me, and find me, when ye shall search for me with all your heart.

    Jeremiah 29:13 | KJV
    The Lord is with you, while ye be with him; and if ye seek him, he will be found of you; but if ye forsake him, he will forsake you.

    2 Chronicles 15:2b | KJV |
    Seek the Lord and his strength,
    seek his face continually.

    1 Chronicles 16:11 | KJV |
    O God, thou art my God;
    early will I seek thee:
    my soul thirsteth for thee,
    my flesh longeth for thee
    in a dry and thirsty land,
    where no water is.

    Psalm 63:1 | KJV |
    Ask, and it shall be given you; seek, and ye shall find; knock, and it shall be opened unto you.

  35. Great videos Father! I was protestant, I converted to the Catholic Faith. My conversion was less about changing from one faction to another, and more about finding the fullness that is The Church, that Christ established, it's about knowing where to find answers to many questions I had from studying the bible alone, and hearing countless opinions of well meaning protestant teachers. I highly recommend, to other 'Youtubers' to listen to Called to Communion on EWTN. The program answers many of the questions that protestants have about The Church. https://www.ewtn.com/radio/weekday/calledtocommunion.asp Another great resource is the Journey Home. https://www.ewtn.com/tv/live/journeyhome.asp

  36. I love all your videos and you have helped me more than you know! I do understand the meaning of what you are saying. I don’t mean any disrespect when I ask this but I want some clarity. I am a nurse at a hospital and I work 12 hour shifts at night. Sometimes I have to work Sat night and Sunday night. I get off work typically around 7 am and have to return to work my 6:30 pm. I typically go back to bed after I shower and eat. By the time I wake up it’s time to get up, get ready and go back to work. That does not leave me time for church on Sundays. I have thought about skipping sleep to go, but that would not be safe or fair to my patients. Also, I don’t want to tell my work I can’t work Sundays because I feel that is saying my spiritual needs are more important than my coworkers because someone has to be there for the patients. We can’t leave them. That certainly would not be the right thing to do. So my question is, what are people like me suppose do? Medical staff, police officers, the military, and professions like that have duties to serve and protect people that we can not walk away from. In a way I think we are serving God on Sundays because we are looking after and caring for his people and allowing there to be a world where people can safely go to church.

  37. Just like this new Father, you Father Mike will also and probably already have led many people to our Beautiful Lord! May God keep giving you the Grace of speaking to us all!.

  38. Francis is NOT the pope and the V2 church is NOT the Catholic Church. WAKE UP!!! This is the Great Apostasy and you are all taking part in it, ON THE WRONG SIDE. Please watch this proving Francis is an Apostate leader of a non-Catholic sect. https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=a3AnX_GBWJw&list=PLGVSKByrYzsvINCKbwxSgMnV3wdP6uBom

  39. "Are Catholics Christian?" Answered by Priest for 22 Years Richard Bennett & the Catholic Catechism https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=Iu4fjSTRgRI

  40. Hi Fr Mike, I missed mass on a holy day of obligation. Mortal sin? So no communion til confession? Any chance you can do a FaceTime confession with a priest?

  41. I agree about most things, but I will say that Jesus opened up the direct channel to GOD ( TEMPLE VEIL TORN IN 2) and we no longer need confession or intersession with a MAN that is EQUAL to ALL of us.

  42. Why does your religion/faith mater more than actually finding God? You can find God in a Rock but not in any church because He's in our heart's.

  43. I found a daily mass online. I hope this counts, since I’m handicapped by a stroke and can’t get to our local church. We do have Mass once a month at the nursing home I’m at and communion once a week.

  44. Dear Father and others,
    My Catholic parents do not believe that meat is restricted on any Friday outside of lent. They say that I'm going by the old rules pre-1960. So I tried to look it up, and I cannot find any authoritative sources (i.e. by the Vatican, etc.) which lay forth guidelines for "practicing Catholic" or days of fasting and abstinence.

    Could someone PLEASE send me the links to an official source (something that is NOT a blog or forum) regarding these guidelines? I am beginning to wonder whether there is even uniformity on this within this church, since so many people calling themselves "Catholics" have very different views the topic.

    Thank you for your time, and I hope you do not interpret my request for official source documentation as skepticism. On the contrary, I want to be able to point skeptics to official sources for Catholic guidelines.

  45. One of my favorite videos of Father Mike I can tell it hits his heart. He is so happy for that friend that is going to be a priest. Everyone that is catholic should watch this video even if you aren't catholic watch it, it's amazing.

  46. In a way I am happy I came in via conversion; they handed me a copy of the Catechism in RCIA and I did in fact read it. My wife was raised Catholic and had never heard of it!

  47. I wanted to join the Catholic church. Went to the church, talked to a priest. I even signed up for the class to join and began going. I was going through a rough time. And at that point I didn't have a ride to get there and back. I tried finding someone in the church to help me, but they didnt. So I couldn't go to classes. I never received any kind of support or even a phone call.

  48. I pray that the bros and sisters in Christ read the Bible… and see if all these teachings are there.

    The Lord Jesus said,

    “They worship me in vain; their teachings are merely human rules.’ You have let go of the commands of God and are holding on to human traditions.””
    ‭‭Mark‬ ‭7:7-8‬ ‭NIV‬‬
    https://www.bible.com/111/mrk.7.7-8.niv

    I pray that the priests teach what the BIBLE TEACH, the Gospel of the LORD JESUS CHRIST… the very will of THE FATHER IN HEAVEN

  49. The reason why I am, and will remain completely incapable of providing for the Church administration's material needs *at all*, literally and forever, is the financial support for sinful lifestyles that the church leadership has endorsed in the past *in this very country and in our own lifetimes*… that'll never change, sadly, as there's no way in good conscience or otherwise to fund any organization that supports things that no good Catholic can support, including allowing these scum bishops who cover up sexual misbehaviors, and even worse, fund abortions, to be aided at all, nor aiding the pope due to his collections and speeches supporting things that're totally anti-natural law and the hierarchy of dangers to the faithful, with him equating "climate change" to the threat of abortion to the human race and to unborn children, period.

  50. And the whole reason why I cannot support the Church leadership nor organization at all in any material means whatsoever, is because and only because if I did, I'd be funding sinful lifestyles and the breaking of the Decalogue, especially its most serious and greatest rule ever, "Thou Shall NOT Kill", which church-based groups founded by, supported by, and maintained by the bishops of this republic, pay aid to abortionists to continue their murderous and highly immoral ways via the "campaign for human development", as well as use the collection money to aid in covering up sexual misconduct.
    These things are completely against the Decalogue, and any funding of them constitutes support for breaking the Decalogue, including mandatory aid to the church hierarchy commanded by the pope- thus he cannot possibly be obeyed in rightfully formed consciences, ever, on this matter!
    The reality that these felonies have happened, Fr. Mike, is what prohibits me from funding the church or supporting it in any material way imaginable, due to these grievous violations of natural law in terms of where the money is going that they receive, now, due to the damage they've done to the lay faithful, they cannot be supported at all, no matter what they do!

  51. A practicing Catholic??? A dumbbell that will believe any old fairy tale if a guy in a pointed hat tells them it is scripture. Would LOL but it is so sad.

  52. I have the Image/Doubleday Catechism of the catholic church, but, I can't find those articles… Does anyone know where I can find it in this catechism book?

  53. I was wondering about the Eucharist requirement as a divorced and remarried woman. I didn't get the first marriage annulled and so I can't receive the Eucharist at all, much less during the Easter season. How do I make up for that?

  54. so here is a question i have for you catholics..if you miss mass just 1 time or the holy day you cant take communion until you go to confession is that correct just 1 time constitutes non practicing?

  55. the Father and the Son are the Parents of the Holy Spirit, if many churches are correct. The  Trinity is a Family– two Parents and an Offspring, if many churches are correct. In the Bible, our Lord Jesus Himself said, " I and the Father are One".–John 10:30 On the topic of marriage in general, according to the Bible Jesus said "they are no longer two but one…"-Matthew 19:6

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