Teaching a “Living Catechism” with Mary

Authored by Dr. Petroc Willey in Issue #1.3 of The Catechetical Review

Pope St. John Paul II described Mary as a “living Catechism.”[i] What did he mean by this phrase? How might this description help us to understand more about the pedagogy of the faith that is enshrined in the pages of the Catechism of the Catholic Church?

From this identification of Our Lady with the notion of a catechism we can clearly expect there to be an intimate relationship between the Catechism of the Catholic Church and Mary. What is this relationship? We go to the Catechism, of course, to find the definitive and authoritative teaching of the Church on Mary. We go there to learn how to teach about Mary and how to proclaim her place in salvation history and in the lives of each of the members of the Church.

Calling Mary a “living Catechism” suggests something more, however: that, as we read about Mary in the Catechism, we will be learning not just about her but also about the contents of the Catechism as a whole, because she is herself a kind of catechism. As we learn about her from the Catechism, we will be, at the same time, learning the faith from her. She is the living Catechism; she is, in a sense, the book we learn from.

[In the October issue of The Catechetical Review, Dr. Willey will be contributing a longer article focused on the issue’s theme of “The Liturgical Encounter.” This series on The Catechism & the New Evangelization will then resume with the January 2016 issue.]

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

Start your subscription today!


This article is from The Catechetical Review (Online Edition ISSN 2379-6324) and may be copied for catechetical purposes only. It may not be reprinted in another published work without the permission of The Catechetical Review by contacting editor@catechetics.com

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

Pages

Watch Tutorial Videos

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

Watch Now