Articles Under: Catechesis and Culture

The seventeenth chapter of John’s Gospel captures an intimate conversation between Jesus and God the Father. Jesus and his disciples will soon cross the Kidron Valley and enter into the Garden of Gethsemane. He will be arrested and enter into his Passion. “The hour has come” (Jn 17:1). Earlier in John’s Gospel, when Mary approaches Jesus at the wedding at Cana, Jesus responds by saying, “My hour has not yet come” (Jn 2:4). Later, when Jesus heals on the Sabbath, the people seek to arrest him, but “no one laid hands on him, because his hour had not yet come”... Read more
“About Jesus Christ and the Church, I simply know they’re just one thing, and we shouldn’t complicate the matter.” [1] These are the striking words of St. Joan of Arc, boldly spoken as she stood trial. “They’re just one thing” because Jesus himself described his relationship to the nascent Church as the relationship of vines united to a single branch (cf. Jn 15:1–5). In other words, while distinctions are not difficult to find between Christ and the Christians who make up the Church, at root (forgive my pun), they are one living thing. We live in a time of heightened... Read more
For more information about the celebrations for the University's 75th Anniversary, please go to . Or call (740) 283-3771 .Read more
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Editor’s Introduction : The last one hundred years have seen significant developments in how the Church has understood the nature of her catechetical mission. There has been both a movement toward the past and a movement toward the future: a desire to recover the dynamism seen in the teaching of Christ and the catechesis of the early Church as well as an eagerness to help catechists meet new challenges by thoughtfully engaging contemporary insights. Three catechetical directories have been written, as well as summaries from numerous Study Weeks and official documents, through which we can trace a compelling description of... Read more
A powerful narrative exists within the popular culture that the advancements of modern science pose an existential threat to religious belief. This narrative, popularized by many influential authors, argues that scientific discovery is gradually upending the stranglehold Christian “superstitions” have held over the popular imagination. Nowhere is this apparent conflict more evident than in the field of evolutionary biology. For example, Christians maintain that we are made in the image and likeness of the Creator, yet many advocates of evolutionary theory claim humans are a meaningless twig on the evolutionary tree of life. This view holds such force that Pope... Read more
There have been some very good books written in the past few years centered on helping parishes to become mission-focused. One of the best of these is a ninety-page book published by the University of Mary, From Christendom to Apostolic Mission: Pastoral Strategies for an Apostolic Age . Monsignor James Shea, in his preface to the book, describes a fundamental cultural shift of recent decades that is dramatically accelerating. We are living in an era of transition away from the relatively comfortable confines of a Christendom-oriented relationship with culture to a new and much more challenging environment. A Catholic (or... Read more
In 2020, the Shepherds of the Church gave us a treasure in the new Directory for Catechesis . Dr. Farey was a member of the working party for the bishops on the new Directory and continues additional reflections on its practical implications from the last issue and will finish in the next issue. It is an unswerving Catholic conviction that “The Christian community is the origin , locus and goal of catechesis” (DC 133, my emphasis). This phrasing is taken directly from the catechetical directory of 1997 (GDC 254). Other Christians would not claim this so explicitly. They are more... Read more
Some people approve of “baby-worship;” others don’t. I’m one of the worshippers. Baptizing babies—the younger the better—is one of the greatest joys of my priesthood. I love to see and hear babies at Mass. They preach a far better sermon than I could ever do. By raising their voices in praise of God, they tell us that a mother has had a baby, and that her faith is so fundamental to her life that she wants to bring the child to Mass with her. Thank God for mothers and fathers and babies! On Christmas Day Our Lady and St. Joseph,... Read more
The following is a true conversation that took place in my classroom with a group of seventh graders. I was pregnant with my daughter, Annie, at the time: Student: Mrs. Deighan, when Annie is in middle school, are you going to let her have a Tik Tok? Me: Absolutely not. Besides, fourteen years from now, Tik Tok probably won’t be popular anymore. Student: But it’s Tik Tok! Me: Let me ask you something: have you ever heard of Myspace ? Another student: What’s that? Me: My point exactly. This conversation was certainly not a stand-alone one. There have been many... Read more

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