The Catechetical Review - Communicating Christ for a New Evangelization

Articles Under: Saints and Holy Men & Women

In the first part of this series, we reflected on the life and times of St. John Vianney and the great obstacles he had to overcome to fulfill his mission to draw his flock into a closer union with Christ. He did so with humility and trust in the God who called him to this vocation. In this second part, Bishop Davies offers St. John Vianney as a role model for priests in their responsibility as catechists. A great English Cardinal, Henry Edward Manning, may have inadvertently started a misunderstanding with regard to Saint John Vianney. In the Preface to... Read more
In this three-part series, I want to focus on a Saint of the New Evangelization who many of you will already have met in the Communion of Saints: St. John Baptist Mary Vianney, more popularly known as “the Curé of Ars.” In this first part, I wish to lead you in mind and heart to that tiny village in the obscurity of the French countryside, to meet this saint, whose witness the great John Paul II declared would never fade in the sight of the Church. In a letter to the priests of the world, John Paul II writes of... Read more
To view this image on a smart board or other computer projection technology click here . “God is the author of Sacred Scripture,” and “God inspired the human authors of the sacred books.” [1] These catechetical truths are brought to life in a masterpiece painting titled, “Saint Jerome and the Angel,” from the National Gallery of Art, Washington, D.C. Completed around 1625, this ethereal image is the work of the French Baroque painter, Simon Vouet. His masterful use of color, light, and line offers a visual catechesis on the power and beauty of God’s Word in the life of Saint... Read more
St. Thérèse of the Child Jesus wrote, “God gave me a father and a mother more worthy of heaven than of earth,” [i] and she called them “parents without equal.” [ii] Her saintly parents, Louis and Zélie Guérin Martin, were canonized in Rome on October 18, 2015, during the world Synod of Bishops on the Family—the first married couple with children to be canonized together. At a time in popular culture when the term “marriage” has been all but eviscerated by those denying its transcendent value or questioning its original purpose, the life of Louis and Zélie serves to prophetically... Read more
At the end of his announcement of the Year of Mercy, Pope Francis invoked the Blessed Virgin Mary, Mother of Mercy: “Let us henceforth entrust this Year to the Mother of Mercy, that she turn her gaze upon us and watch over our journey: our penitential journey, our year-long journey with an open heart …” [1] This invocation of Mary, Mother of Mercy was underscored by the announcement that the Holy Year will begin on the Solemnity of the Immaculate Conception. Let’s think about these two titles of the Blessed Virgin Mary together and ask ourselves how they are related... Read more
This article is the final in a series on the spiritual life commemorating the five hundredth anniversary of the birth of St. Teresa of Avila. From the moment of her conversion, a wellspring of joy sprang up in Teresa’s heart from its most inner “dwelling place,” and she wanted to share this wellspring with others. She proposes the image of two large basins of water in a garden to explain the essential feature in her new life of prayer, source of this wellspring: With one, the water comes from far away through many aqueducts and the use of much ingenuity;... Read more
Noëlle Le Duc, a member of the Carmelite secular institute Notre Dame de Vie , was a pre-school and kindergarten teacher who worked with three to seven-year old children, in order to awaken their faith. Her work with children formed a foundation for the later development of the Come Follow Me program. She believed that even very young children can enter into a lively personal relationship with God and live this out through prayer, as well as in all the dimensions of human life. This relationship grounds catechesis and allows it to bear lasting fruit. In this article, [i] we... Read more
This year marks the 200 th anniversary of the birth of St. John Bosco. This great saint’s insights into forming young people remain vitally important and relevant today. In 1988, St. John Paul II wrote a letter to the head of the Salesian Order to commemorate the centenary of the death of St. John Bosco. It was titled, Iuvenum Patris , or “Father of Youth.” Only the Italian version is available on the Vatican website—perhaps that is why few English speaking people have heard of it. [1] It is a beautiful document that looks at the educational spirituality of St... Read more
At the beginning of her consecrated life, St. Teresa experienced a “surprising” joy: “I was filled with a joy so great, that it has never failed me to this day…I was filled with a new joy that surprised me, nor could I understand whence it came.” [i] At the same time, though, she was also attracted by worldly vanities, which tempted her even in the cloister. [ii] How did she become able to sacrifice immediate “vain” joys for lasting joy? She needed to experience a true conversion, a kind of liberation. Like Mary Magdalene, she reached joy through the experience... Read more
In this year dedicated by Pope Francis to the consecrated life, Saint Teresa of Avila is a vivid icon of the joy given by the “sequela Christi.” She followed the steps of Christ , his way of life, through obedience, poverty, and chastity. Teresa was a joyful woman, full of the light of her Lord. She was gifted for relationship and many people were fond of her company, but these very gifts could become traps in her search for happiness. Thus her way to reach true joy—that is to say, joy that remains in the depths of the heart even... Read more