For the last five hundred years, Catholics and Protestants have been arguing about this. Protestants say that faith alone is what saves you. Believe on Jesus and you will be saved. Catholics say that faith is needed, but you can't ignore works either. Catholics say you need the sacraments. Most Protestants don't see the need for those, and they usually only have two if any. Then we start the Bible wars with proof texts flying from both sides.
Round and round we go, for going on 500 years. So much ink spilled, as well as blood and tears. Debates and arguments galore.
I don't know why they didn't just ask me in the first place. I can tell you in one word. I don't care who you are, Catholic, Protestant, whatever. Here's how you get saved:
Every Catholic teaching boils down to Him. Every Protestant view I've ever heard boils down to Him. No matter what else we can say about the subject, salvation is all about Jesus.
There is a lot more to be said on the subject. There are a lot of Bible topics that need to be waded through. As I continue to go through Romans, I'll have a lot more to say about faith/works/justification and what the Catholic view is on all of the above. But really, I think that we could spend a lot less energy fighting each other, knowing that we all believe that salvation is from Christ. We also have a lot that we could learn from one another, too, if we could recognize our common ground at the starting point.