"Predestined for damnation"?
Yes, that is correct.
Before all decision to create the world, the infinite knowledge of God presents to Him all the graces, and different series of graces, which He can prepare for each soul, along with the consent or refusal which would follow in each circumstance, and that in millions of possible combinations ... Thus, for each man in particular there are in the thought of God, limitless possible histories, some histories of virtue and salvation, others of crime and damnation; and God will be free in choosing such a world, such a series of graces, and in determining the future history and final destiny of each soul. And this is precisely what He does when among all possible worlds, by an absolutely free act, he decides to realize the actual world with all the circumstances of its historic evolutions, with all the graces which in fact have been and will be distributed until the end of the world, and consequently with all the elect and all the reprobate who God foresaw would be in it if de facto He created it.
" [The Catholic Encyclopedia Appleton, 1909, on Augustine, pg 97]
In other words before a man is conceived, God in his infinite knowledge has already put that person through the test with millions of possible combinations and possible histories, some histories of virtue and salvation, others of crime and damnation;along with the consent or refusal which would follow in each circumstance (of millions of possible combinations!!!) and God will be free in determining which future history and final destiny He assigns each soul.
This Doctrine means that from all eternity God has known who were His own
. It is for the salvation of these, His Elect, that Providence has directed, does direct, and will always direct, the affairs of men and the events of history. Nothing, absolutely nothing, that happens, has not been taken into account by the infinite God, and woven into that tapestry in which is written the history of the salvation of His saints. Central in this providential overlordship is the Church itself, which is the sacred implement which God devised for the rescuing of His beloved ones from the damnation decreed for those who would not. (Mt. 23:37).
The Doctrine of Divine Election means that only certain individuals will be saved. They will be saved primarily because, in the inscrutable omniscience of God, only certain individuals out of all the human family will respond to the grace of salvation. In essence, this doctrine refers to what in terms of human understanding and vision, is before and after, the past, the present, and the future, but what in God is certain knowledge and unpreventable fact, divine action and human response.
Calvin and others have made the mistake of believing that these words mean that predestination excludes human choice and dispenses from true virtue. Catholic doctrine explains simply that the foreknowledge of God precedes the giving of grace.
It means, further, that, since without grace there can be no merit, and without merit no salvation, those who will be saved must be foreknown as saved by God, if they are to receive the graces necessary for salvation.
Thus, what is the meaning of this election? That from all eternity God has ordered the events of history, so that His Elect might have the grace of salvation. And how do they know of this election? By the fact that they are in the Church, through no deservingness of their own? They know of no reason why God should bestow this grace, the knowledge of the truth, and the willingness and power to believe it, upon them, while others, who seem more worthy, go without it. As regards His Elect, not only has God determined to bestow necessary grace, but also, all His actions in the world must be seen as part of His salvific plan. In a word, nothing that He does is unrelated to the salvation of His Beloved Sheep. Human history, apart from the glory of Holy Church, and the salvation of the Elect.