St. Augustine, Master Catechist

Authored by Scott Sollom in Issue #28.3 of The Sower

In the last issue we looked at the use of St. Augustine’s story of salvation as a unifying context for catechesis. Here we take a look at another of his catechetical contributions: the role of the theological virtues in teaching for conversion.

Ten years ago, I attended a debate between a Lutheran minister and an atheistic philosophy professor. The venue was a small theatre that seated about 300 people, but by the time it began, it was certainly pressing the limits of the fire code. People were seated in the aisles, behind the stage, and even out in the foyer.

The gentlemen took their places at their respective podiums and the Lutheran minister spoke first, saying ‘Those of you who believe in God, please pray that we do not have a fire!’ This drew much applause from half of the audience. He continued, ‘And for those of you who do not believe in God, well, you better just hope like hell.’

And thus, within his first two sentences, he had set forth the key theme of his presentation, not to mention the distinguishing feature of Christianity itself: namely, we are a people who believe, hope and love. Without Christ, we have no life.

The rest of this online article is available for current subscribers.

Start your subscription today!

This article is from The Sower and may be copied for catechetical purposes only. It may not be reprinted in another published work without the permission of Maryvale Institute. Contact

Articles from the Most Recent Issue

Editor's Reflections: Kerygmatic Catechesis and the New Directory
By Dr. James Pauley
Free The much-anticipated Directory for Catechesis is finally here! So many of us involved in the work of catechetical renewal have eagerly awaited its publication. This directory is the third of its kind, following 1971 and 1997 directories that each proposed a vision for catechesis intended to prepare Catholics to live in the modern world as well-... Read more
An Invitation to a Faithful, Dynamic Renewal of Catechesis
By Jem Sullivan
Free This article explores c hapters 1-2 of the new Directory for Catechesis. The publication of a Directory for Catechesis by the Pontifical Council for the Promotion of the New Evangelization could not have arrived at a more providential moment as the universal Church seeks a renewal of Christian faith in local churches struggling through the effects... Read more
Becoming Windows for the Light of the Living God
By Brad Bursa
This article explores chapters 3-4 of the Directory for Catechesis. O ne could liken c hapters t hree (The Catechist) and f our (The Formation of Catechists) of the new Directory for Catechesis to a meditation on windows and how they are made. Identity and Vocation of the Catechist In the early Church, those who followed the Way were often called... Read more


Watch Tutorial Videos

We've put together several quick and easy tutorial videos to show you how to use this website.

Watch Now