Words That Have a Different Meaning to Catholics

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Secular definition: A deep feeling of admiration for a person or thing

Used in a sentence: “Why can’t they call me the Adorable Snowman or the Agreeable Snowman, for crying out loud?!” – Monsters, Inc.  

Catholic definition: To give reverent admiration or honor to a holy person or to the Body of Christ

Used in a real Catholic sentence: We adore you oh Christ and we Praise you.

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Secular definition: To change something

Used in a sentence: “Not unless you can alter time, speed up the harvest.” – Star Wars: Episode IV A New Hope

Catholic definition: The table of the Lord

Used in a real Catholic sentence: Blessed are those called to the altar of the Lord.





Secular definition: To admit something, usually scandalous

Used in a sentence: Confess!” “I didn’t kill my wife!” – The Fugitive 

Catholic definition: The part of the Sacrament of Reconciliation where you name your sins

Used in a real Catholic sentence: OOOOOOO! You need to go to confession!





Secular definition: To span a particular distance or terrain

Used in a sentence: “…But this is different. They crossed a line.” – The Dark Knight

Catholic definition: Two pieces of wood that bore all of our sins

Used in a real Catholic sentence: The cross of the Lord is the source of all blessings.

 joecatholic: “Darkness can only be scattered by light, hatred can only be conquered by love. ” Pope John Paul II †




Secular definition: A girl’s name OR poise and elegance

Used in a sentence: “She’s beauty! She’s grace! She’s Miss United States!” – Miss Congeniality

Catholic definition: A free gift given by God to human beings that allows us to share in His life

Used in a real Catholic sentence: It is through grace we become the children of God.

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Secular definition: Satisfying a desire or fulfilling a want

Used in a sentence: “Criminals thrive on the indulgence of society’s understanding.” – Batman Begins

Catholic definition: The lessening of temporal punishment for sins already forgiven

Used in a real Catholic sentence: Does the Church still sell indulgences or is that no longer okay?

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Secular definition: A cute fuzzy animal that grows up to be a sheep

Used in a sentence: “What do you mean he don’t eat no meat? Oh that’s okay. I make lamb.” – My Big Fat Greek Wedding

Catholic definition: The sacrificial offering of Christ for the forgiveness of our sins

Used in a real Catholic sentence: Lamb of God, you take away the sins of the world.

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Secular definition: A measure of the number of atoms within an object, a grouping or cluster of something

Used in a sentence: “Sauron is biding his time. He’s massing fresh armies.” – The Lord of the Rings: The Two Towers

Catholic definition: The central liturgy of the Catholic faith, formally referred to as the Eucharist

Used in a real Catholic sentence: In Catholic dating, you know it’s real when he takes on you a date to mass.

 If you've never been to a Catholic mass, It's still goin' on. Jim Gaffigan Not Even Close




Secular definition: To back away or turn away, for example, in battle

Used in a sentence: “No retreat, no surrender.” – 300

Catholic definition: A reflective time set aside for formal mediation and spiritual exercise

Used in a real Catholic sentence: We’re doing an all women retreat this weekend at the Dominican Motherhouse; you in?

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Secular definition: To discern something visibly, to perceive with your eyes

Used in a sentence: “It’s like seeing a dog walk on its hind legs.” – Mean Girls

Catholic definition: Another name for an archdiocese or diocese

Used in a real Catholic sentence: The Holy See has a representative at the UN.




Sister or Brother

Secular definition: Your siblings, those with whom you share parents

Used in a sentence: “And I have no brothers or sisters.” – Titanic

Catholic definition: A religious woman or man who has dedicated his or her life to the Church and who has professed religious vows

Used in a real Catholic sentence: Did you see that Benedictine brother passing beer out at dinner last night?

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Secular definition: Someone who saw something happen

Used in a sentence: “Defense counsel will address the witness as ‘Colonel’ or ‘Sir’.” – A Few Good Men

Catholic definition: Testimony of faith given by Christians as evidence for their beliefs

Used in a real Catholic sentence: The witness talks at the retreat last weekend brought everyone to tears.



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