What Does It Mean to Be Catholic?
What does it mean to be Catholic? -- This is not an easy question to answer. On the one hand, it means that one is a member of the Catholic Church, believes what the Church teaches, and does what Catholics do. On the other hand, to be catholic -- and here the lowercase is intentional -- is to be open, tolerant, and universal in one's interests and sympathies. But the most radical sense of being Catholic is to view the created world as a sacrament of the divine, that is, as something that both points to and makes present God's saving grace.
~ Office of Mission and Ministry, Providence College