The Catechetical Review - Communicating Christ for a New Evangelization

Teaching a “Living Catechism” with Mary

Authored by Dr. Petroc Willey in Issue #1.3 of 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 [email protected]

Articles from the Most Recent Issue

Editor’s Reflections: Eucharistic Communion and Seeing Those in Need
By Dr. James Pauley
Free The Catechism of the Catholic Church tells us that receiving the Eucharist “commits us to the poor” (1397). Why is this so? Receiving the Eucharist means that we enter into union with the Second Person of the Blessed Trinity. And being in Holy Communion with Jesus himself means something profound. Let’s consider one facet of this great mystery.... Read more
The Anawim and the Kerygma
By Colin and Aimee MacIver
Sarah: aged and barren. Joseph: rejected, betrayed, and enslaved. Moses: desperately cast afloat in a basket. Daniel: sent to death by lions. Mary: unknown, unmarried, unbelieved. Salvation history is the story of the poor ones, the bowed down, the lowly—the anawim , as they are named in Hebrew. In both the Old Testament and the New, God tends to... Read more
The Spiritual Life: Poverty, Purity of Heart, & Eucharistic Living
By Sr. Alicia Torres, FE
Free This article is part of a 3-year series dedicated to promoting the efforts of the National Eucharistic Revival in the United States. “The Body of Christ.” “Amen.” Each time we participate in Mass, we have the opportunity to encounter the Lord Jesus in the most intimate way through the reception of Holy Communion. This moment is the most practical... 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