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Test your knowledge with this Catholic trivia

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How much do you really know about the Catholic Church — its saints, teachings, historical events, etc.? With school getting back in session, we’ve created a fun quiz to test your knowledge of all things Catholic. The categories cover anything from Mary to papal documents to American churches. Take the quiz by yourself or with family, and see how well you did by using the answer key at the end.

Good luck, and happy trivia!

Michael R. Heinlein is editor of OSV’s Simply Catholic. He writes from Indiana.

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Vatican II

1. Two different popes presided over the Second Vatican Council.
True
False
 
2. How many documents were approved by the Second Vatican Council?
A. 5
B. 12
C. 16
D. 19
 
3. This future pope was the first since the council to have no role in it at all.
A. Pope Francis
B. Pope Benedict XVI
C. Pope St. John Paul II
D. Pope John Paul I
 
4. Of the following, which was not a theme of any document of the Second Vatican Council?
A. Ecumenism
B. Racism
C. Bishops
D. Scripture
 
5. Including the Second Vatican Council, how many ecumenical councils have been recognized by the Catholic Church?
A. 7
B. 15
C. 19
D. 21
 

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Could-be saints

1. Pierre Toussaint, a former slave in New York City, declared venerable in 1996, did this type of work, from which he gained a sizable income, most of which he gave away in charity.
A. Carpentry
B. Hairdressing
C. Teaching
D. Map making
 
2. Which author’s daughter, who founded a community of Dominican sisters to care for terminally ill cancer patients with few resources, is a candidate for canonization?
A. Mark Twain
B. F. Scott Fitzgerald
C. William Faulkner
D. Nathaniel Hawthorne
 
3. Dominican Father Samuel Mazzuchelli, declared venerable in 1993, founded a variety of churches, including which following state?
A. Texas
B. Iowa
C. Florida
D. Pennsylvania
 
4. Father Edward Flanagan, founder of the Boys Town orphanage in Nebraska and whose canonization cause is underway, was played in the 1938 film “Boys Town” by which actor?
A. Bing Crosby
B. Spencer Tracy
C. James Stewart
D. Gregory Peck
 
5. Sister Blandina Segale, whose canonization cause opened in 2014, is known for her work in the American Wild West and is remembered for an encounter with which famous outlaw?
A. Butch Cassidy
B. Jesse James
C. Billy the Kid
D. Bronco Bill
 
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Mary

1. Which of the following is not one of the traditional Seven Sorrows of Mary?
A. The Visitation
B. Simeon’s prophecy
C. Flight into Egypt
D. Loss of Child Jesus in Jerusalem
 
2. How many officially approved Marian apparitions occurred in France?
A. 4
B. 5
C. 6
D. 7
 
3. Formal approval has been granted to the apparition known as Our Lady of Good Help, which occurred in which U.S. state?
A. Wisconsin
B. Iowa
C. Illinois
D. Indiana
 
4. According to tradition, Mary revealed the Rosary to which saint?
A. St. John the Apostle
B. St. Jerome
C. St. Dominic
D. St. Thomas Aquinas
 
5. In which Gospel do we hear almost nothing about Mary’s life, but we do hear her speak?
A. Matthew
B. Mark
C. Luke
D. John
 
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Feast days

1. Which of the following days, according to the current general calendar, has a set date and is not dependent on the date of Easter?
A. Corpus Christi
B. Sacred Heart of Jesus
C. The Transfiguration
D. Immaculate Heart of Mary
 
2. On how many liturgical feasts during the year do we celebrate and honor the cross and Christ crucified?
A. 1
B. 2
C. 3
D. 4
 
3. The commemorations of saints most typically occur on which of the following?
A. Saint’s birthday
B. Saint’s baptism date
C. Saint’s death date
D. Whatever is available
 
4. On the current general calendar, how many days during the year does the Church commemorate St. Joseph?
A. 2
B. 3
C. 4
D. 5
 
5. Which of the following apostles is not commemorated on the same day as another apostle?
A. St. Bartholomew
B. St. Jude
C. St. Philip
D. St. Peter
 
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Last Things

1. Which of the following is not considered one of the “Four Last Things”?
A. Heaven
B. Purgatory
C. Hell
D. Death
 
2. Which symbol is not typically associated with a Catholic funeral?
A. Paschal candle
B. Holy water
C. Chrism
D. Incense
 
3. Current directives do not allow for a non-Catholic to receive a Catholic burial.
True
False
 
4. Which season of the liturgical year is associated with the end of time?
A. Advent
B. Lent
C. Triduum
D. Easter
 
5. A common iconographic depiction of the Resurrection shows Christ raising these two from the grave.
A. Adam and Eve
B. Abraham and Sarah
C. Moses and Isaiah
D. Sts. Joachim and Anne
 
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Churches

1. This American city is home to the oldest active cathedral in the United States — although it wasn’t always.
A. New York
B. New Orleans
C. Baltimore
D. St. Augustine
 
2. The largest Catholic church in Canada is dedicated to which saint?
A. Blessed Virgin Mary
B. St. Anne
C. St. Joseph
D. St. John the Baptist
 
3. This state is home to more minor basilicas than any other in the U.S.
A. California
B. New York
C. Pennsylvania
D. Illinois
 
4. In the United States, how many minor basilicas are dedicated to St. Louis IX, King of France?
A. 1
B. 2
C. 3
D. 4
 
5. This city is home to the largest Catholic church building in the United States.
A. Los Angeles
B. Chicago
C. New York
D. Washington, D.C.
 
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Papal documents

1. The papal encyclical Rerum Novarum, which in many ways defines the Church’s social doctrine, was promulgated by which of the following popes?
A. Pope Pius IX
B. Pope Leo XIII
C. Pope St. Pius X
D. Pope Pius XI
 
2. Pope Pius XII promulgated the apostolic constitution Munificentissimus Deus in 1950, defining which dogmatic teaching on Mary?
A. Immaculate Conception
B. Perpetual Virginity
C. Assumption
D. Coronation
 
3. After the great controversy surrounding Pope St. Paul VI’s teaching on contraception in the 1968 encyclical Humanae Vitae, he never published another encyclical.
True
False
 
4. Pope St. John Paul’s apostolic letter Ordinatio Sacerdotalis clearly defines the Church’s teaching on:
A. the rite of ordination.
B. the ordination of bishops.
C. the ordination of deacons.
D. the nomination of women.
 
5. In his 2007 encyclical Spe Salvi, Pope Benedict XVI highlights the life of which saint as an example of a hopeful Christian life?
A. St. Gianna Beretta Molla
B. St. Catherine of Siena
C. St. Josephine Bakhita
D. St. Kateri Tekakwitha
 
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Americana

1. How many Catholics signed the Declaration of Independence?
A. 1
B. 2
C. 3
D. 4
 
2. Which of the following saints was an honorary U.S. citizen?
A. St. Teresa of Calcutta
B. Pope St. Paul VI
C. Pope St. John Paul II
D. St. Damien of Molokai
 
3. Who was the first Catholic to top the presidential ticket of a major political party?
A. Roger Taney
B. Geraldine Ferraro
C. Alfred Smith
D. John F. Kennedy
 
4. Our Sunday Visitor founder Archbishop John F. Noll was instrumental in raising funds to complete which Catholic shrine?
A. Basilica of the National Shrine of St. Elizabeth Ann Seton
B. Basilica of the National Shrine of the Immaculate Conception
C. Basilica of the National Shrine of the Assumption
D. Basilica of the National Shrine of Our Lady of Victory
 
5. How many popes visited the United States after assuming the papal office?
A. 1
B. 2
C. 3
D. 4
 

Answers:

Vatican II
1. True
2. C
3. A
4. B
5. D
Could-be saints
1. B
2. D
3. B
4. B
5. C
Mary
1. A
2. B
3. A
4. C
5. D
Feast days
1. C
2. B
3. C
4. A
5. A
       
Last Things
1. B
2. C
3. False
4. A
5. A
Churches
1. B
2. C
3. B
4. C
5. D
Papal Documents
1. B
2. C
3. True
4. D
5. C
Americana
1. A
2. A
3. C
4. B
5. D
 

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