Catechism of the Catholic Church, mass market paperbackWhen I sponsored a friend in the RCIA (1) last year, I accompanied her to all but one of the classes. We dutifully carried Bibles, Catechisms, notebooks, and other materials with us…until we realized that the instructor wasn’t referring to materials, didn’t expect us to, and generally displayed an amazing lack of familiarity with (or understanding of) the teachings of the Church. We had stopped bringing books with us, but after a few incidents we began bringing our book bags back. The most important book in our bags was the Catechism. I cannot stress this enough: if you don’t have a good grounding in the faith, please refer to the Catechism to answer enquirers. If you do have a good grounding in the faith, please refer to the Catechism to answer enquirers. Then maybe you won’t tell someone that “the Church teaches evolution” or that the Gospel of Life is “just an encyclical”. Oy. Continue reading

I just downloaded an article from the EWTN Library entitled, Why American Catechists Don’t Teach the Catechism, by Russell Shaw. I haven’t read it yet, it’s nearly 1am and time to shut this laptop down and call it a night, er, morning. Whatever. But I’m going to read this in the next couple of days. Yeah, along with the thousand and one other projects on my ever-burgeoning to-do list. Funny, not long ago I was wondering what I was going to do with this blog and now I’ve got so many ideas I’m afraid my head is going to explode. Okay, maybe not that many ideas. But almost!

Well, I’m not a catechist. Not yet, anyway. But I’ve been grousing about the deplorable state of catechesis in our parishes for a long time now and my theologian friend asked me today, “Why don’t you do it?”

Do what, I said.

“Be a catechist. You could even train catechists.”

You’ve got to be kidding, I said. Continue reading

I have a friend in RCIA (Rite of Christian Initiation for Adults) and I can feel the frustration growing. It’s a good thing she’s an avid reader; I’ve given her some Catholic books and every time I see her, she’s either ordering books and DVD’s online or she’s heading out the door to look for more. She goes to Mass with me every chance she gets and Catholicism has become our favorite subject to discuss. And it’s a good thing because she would be learning nothing at all about the faith in that class. Continue reading