The Catechetical Review - Communicating Christ for a New Evangelization

Articles Under: Catechizing Children

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As another Holy Day of obligation rolls by, the question arises once again about the wisdom and sustainability of current Mass provision in our Catholic schools in Scotland. In our Cathedral parish here in Motherwell, we have three Sunday Masses, but between us as clergy we normally celebrate eight Masses on Holy Days, mainly in school settings, with varying degrees of enthusiasm and participation on the part of pupils. What is the point? Are we (as is often argued) sacramentalizing pupils who have never been evangelized, never mind catechized? In addition, as Catholic schools worldwide also become increasingly multi-faith—with, for... Read more
“For freedom Christ has set us free… For you were called to freedom... serve one another through love.” (Galatians 5:1, 13) Diego is eleven years old. For years he has received religious formation through the Catechesis of the Good Shepherd (CGS) in a carefully prepared environment for the religious life of children called an atrium. He is working with a material known as the “Unity and Vastness of the Kingdom of God,” a timeline that takes a long and essential view of the history of salvation. Diego ponders the moment in this history when God says, “Let us make humankind... Read more
Among the five essential tasks of catechesis, the 2020 Directory for Catechesis mentions “initiating into the celebrating of the mystery.” [1] This task includes teaching learners “to understand the liturgical year.” [2] In the simplest of terms, the liturgical year is the way in which the Church tells time. It unites the Western Catholic Church and provides a framework for us to connect with salvation history as we contemplate our own walk with God. The themes we find as we experience and contemplate the liturgical year are familiar to us in many aspects of our lives. In Advent, we experience... Read more
Most Catholic parents are so far removed from a rich Catholic culture that living a liturgical season—let alone the liturgical year—can seem impossible. Dr. Tracey Rowland, professor at the University of Notre Dame Australia, describes the scene by saying that young Catholics “find themselves in a situation where they have rarely experienced a fully functional Catholic culture.” She continues, “To find out about Christianity, especially the Catholic version of it, they watch documentaries and movies, they interrogate older Catholics, they google information about the saints, liturgies, and cultural practices. The cultural capital that should follow as a natural endowment upon... Read more
In the book Speaking the Truth in Love , Dr. Petroc Willey offers a triadic framework for transmitting the faith: the heart, head, and hand, where hand is the process of “handing on” the Deposit of Faith. [1] I hope he won’t mind if I borrow this triadic framework and modify it slightly for teaching St. John Paul II’s theology of the body (TOB) to the very young by changing “hand” to refer to “hands-on teaching,” i.e., manipulatives. In this way, all three—head, heart, and hand—can come together in forming the young child’s Trinitarian-Catholic identity. A Mini-Scripture Study Where did... Read more
In modern culture, relativism reigns supreme. Consequently, the transcendentals of truth, goodness, and beauty no longer seem to transcend beyond the subjective whims of every autonomous individual self. Truth is a matter of one’s opinion. Goodness is relative to each person. Beauty is a matter of personal preference. Catechists and Catholic educators have been given a great opportunity to lead the young people entrusted to their care to encounter objective truth, consistent moral laws that lead to the flourishing of goodness, and to appreciate authentic beauty. Although the three transcendentals are inseparable, I would like to focus on the role... Read more
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