The Catechetical Review - Communicating Christ for a New Evangelization

Articles Under: Evangelization

If you find yourself in a fight, your extremities get cold. Your adrenaline kicks in and blood rushes to your core to pump your heart, support your lungs, and power your muscles so they can keep you alive. Moments of crisis are signals to get back to the heart of things. This isn’t only true of your body but of any institution. If a business is about to fail, it desperately needs to rush back to its “why”: Why do we exist? What are our core values? Are we being true to those values? If a marriage is in crisis,... Read more
Learn more about Word of Life's evangelizing catechesis at wordoflifeseries.org or call 855-967-3720.Read more
Several years ago, I was working as a parish Coordinator of Youth Ministry, and one of my responsibilities was teaching a high school religious education class. The class was arranged by the parish DRE and met as part of her programming each Wednesday night. There was no set textbook or program. We had a wide range of topics and materials available, and we were able to move as the class needed. The class was comprised of a diverse range of students with varying backgrounds and levels of catechetical formation. Mid-year, a new family moved to the parish. The parents only... Read more
“With such affection for you, we were determined to share with you not only the gospel of God, but our very selves as well” (1 Thes 2:8). I don’t remember when I first came across this Scripture verse, but I do remember multiple instances during my time serving in a suburban parish that I’d internally wrestle with its application. After a few years working for a church, I had a good system that seemed to keep pastors and church leaders satisfied: Plan an event or program, advertise the opportunity to the parish and parents, host the event. Rinse and repeat... Read more
International Catechetical Study Weeks (1964–1968) We continue this series from the last issue of the Catechetical Review here in the From the Shepherds department because of its reflections on the writings of the bishops of the universal Church. The five decades between the Second Vatican Council and the publication of the third general catechetical directory in 2020 have been an extraordinarily important period in the history of modern catechetics. During this time the Church’s catechetical ministry has been afforded unprecedented support in documents of the universal Church as well as those of the bishops of the United States. This series... Read more
A frequently asked question from the young women I teach is, “Don’t you feel like it’s unfair that women can’t be priests?” As a woman working in the Church and teaching the faith, I think they expect me to feel cheated, as if my rights are being disrespected. While I have taken the time to consider the question and its implications, I would never change my answer: “Not at all!” The role I have is an absolute privilege and different roles do not mean unequal or unfair— they just mean different . My job as a Catholic middle school religion... Read more
The human heart loves mysteries. By mystery, I mean hidden knowledge that requires a sleuth to uncover the truth. We love the idea of discovering lost secrets that upend our entire understanding of our world. Think of space aliens and the secret Area 51 in New Mexico. Think of movies like Raiders of the Lost Ark where the “true purpose” of the Ark of the Covenant is revealed or National Treasure , which divulges the “real” mission behind the Knights Templar and features the discovery of an ancient, buried treasure. There are even “mysteries” about the Catholic Church found in... Read more
At a time when we know all too well the sins of our leaders, the “mark” of holiness raises questions. But insights from Saint Augustine can give perspective and hope—because even while the Church is “always in need of purification” (CCC 827), she is united with Christ and she is “sanctified by him; [and] through him and with him she becomes sanctifying” ( CCC 824). [i] Augustine Gives Perspective When Christians were being persecuted in the third and fourth centuries, many clergy denied Christ in order to save their lives, which caused great scandal among the faithful. So, when peace... Read more
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