Category Archives: Catechesis and Fundamentals

Catechesis and Fundamentals

“Let’s get back to the fundamentals.” Usually one hears this said when complications arise from hyperactivity or novel experimentation. As the saying goes “the old ways are tried and true.”

The Church teaches that our holy Faith comes to us from the two fountains of scripture and tradition. There are no new doctrines, no new, inspired revelations. Everything that we believe by Faith is found explicitly in at least one of these, and at least implicitly in the other.

When we speak of Catholic fundamentals, we are speaking of the basic tenets of our religion. Where are these tenets found? In our Creeds, in the Ten Commandments, in the theology of the seven sacraments, and in our prayers. In fact the structure of every good catechism begins with questions and answers about each of the articles of the Apostles Creed, followed by an inquiry of each of the Ten Commandments, questions about grace and the seven sacraments, the petitions of the Our Father, and ending with questions pertaining to discipline and the laws of the Church. Of course the common prayers approved by the Church are also listed in the final pages of every catechism.

So, getting back to the fundamentals in Catholic parlance means to get back to the catechism and the things that we learned directly therein, or indirectly as an extension thereof.

The Holy Ghost in Sight and Sound

This year, my High School religion course is covering, among other things, the Catholic doctrine concerning the Holy Ghost. Because I wanted to give my students a sense of how the rich heritage of Catholic art strives to express the orthodox Faith, I spent a few minutes in class showing them the Altarpiece of Boulbon. Dating from about the year 1450 and by an unknown … More →


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What You Believe Matters

Reading the masterpiece of Catholic spirituality, The Interior Life Simplified and Reduced to its Fundamental Principle, I came across a passage that speaks eloquently of the importance of faith to one’s moral worth. (The passage may be viewed in context here — bottom of page 107, continuing to the next page.) No, it is not the autonomous conscience, the doing of one’s own will, or … More →

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Sidebar-hehockeysticks

Why Hell Needs to Be Preached from the Housetops

Over the last fifty years, the Catholic faithful have become increasingly more presumptuous, believing that if one is judged to be a “good person” by his fellow human beings, his soul would immediately go to heaven. The notion that he might be condemned to Hell or sent to Purgatory escapes them. Their reasoning would be something like the following: “How could a good and merciful … More →


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"The Sermon On the Mount" by Carl Heinrich Bloch (1834–1890)

The Sermon on the Mount

In my high school religion class, we have recently been covering the Sermon on the Mount. To prepare myself for the classes I was going to give, I reread the Sermon and reviewed some notes on it from years ago. I hope the day never comes when I lose a sense of amazement at these three chapters of Saint Matthew’s Gospel, which summon us to … More →


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Michelangelo's Last Judgment: Charon

The Demonic

Brian Kelly is writing an article on the guardian angels for the next Mancipia. I shall here take up the subject of the fallen angels so that readers might eagerly await what Brian has to say about those blessed spirits who help us in combating them. Without engaging in a perverse curiosity about their workings, it is helpful to have a practical knowledge of what … More →


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LCWR Could Learn From Sister Augustine: Nun Draws 66 Converts in First Year Catechising

AsiaNews: Sister Augustine, a nun at the Ave Maria Convent of the Good Shepherd Sisters in Nayakakanda, teaches catechism. In the first year and half of teaching, she brought 66 people to baptism. Currently, she is helping an additional six, drawn to conversion by love or hardships. Irrespective of their reason, if they “are here, it is because the Lord wants” it. Read more here.

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Catholic Online’s 10 Things to Know About St. Patrick

Actually they list eleven things. I respectfully take issue, however, with the way the website news’ editor describes the Trinity in item number 7, where he notes that Saint Patrick used the three-leaf shamrock to demonstrate the doctrine of the Holy Trinity.

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St. Pius X Ordered All Parish Priests to Spend 1 Hour Every Sunday Catechizing Children

The Catholic Thing: Pope Pius X is often criticized because in 1910 he demanded that all priests take an anti-modernist oath. It’s hardly known that in 1905 he ordered all priests around the world to do something else, perhaps even more challenging.  Did he call for greater commitment to the glory of Eucharist? Did he demand more emphasis on missions? Or did he rebuke them … More →

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Mothers, Fathers, and Wicked Spirits: Stories from the Catechist

[Taken from The Catechist by Very Rev. Canon Howe Imprimatur: Edm. Canonicus Surmont, January 26, 1922] Efficacy of the Hail Mary — In the year 1604 there were in the city of Flanders two young students who, instead of attending to the acquisition of learning, sought only the indulgence of the appetite and the gratification of their unchaste passions.


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The Priesthood of the Roman Catholic Church

The Bible teaches that Christ had ambassadors or agents (His bishops and priests) who represent Him in this world. 2 Cor. 5:20: For Christ therefore we are ambassadors, God as it were exhorting you, be reconciled to God. 1 Cor. 4:1: Let a man so account of us as of the ministers of Christ, and the dispensers of the mysteries of God.


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Catholic Stories, Edifying and Terrifying

[Taken from The Catechist by Very Rev. Canon Howe Imprimatur: Edm. Canonicus Surmont, January 26, 1922. For the Help of the Catechist in the Explanation of Christian Doctrine.] The Thundering Legion — Marcus Aurelius, the Roman Emperor, was engaged in a disastrous war. His army had been hemmed in by the


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More Stories for the Help of the Catechist: The Cross, the Judgment, etc.

[Taken from The Catechist by Very Rev. Canon Howe Imprimatur: Edm. Canonicus Surmont, January 26, 1922] Saint Andrew and His Cross — Of St. Andrew it is related that when he was led out to be crucified, as soon as he perceived at a distance the cross on which he was to suffer, he cried out in a transport of love: “Hail, precious cross,


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Stories for the Help of the Catechist in the Explanation of Christian Doctrine

[Taken from The Catechist by Very Rev. Canon Howe Imprimatur: Edm. Canonicus Surmont, January 26, 1922] Words of Diderot — One of the greatest enemies of religion last century was Diderot; yet he taught his daughter the Catechism. When one of his impious friends saw this, and laughed at him for doing it, he said: “I make Marie learn the Catechism and the Gospel. Is … More →


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Purgatory, Indulgences, Predestination, and Relics – an Apologetical Wrapup

[Questions Asked by Protestants on Purgatory, Indulgences, Predestination and Relics briefly answered by Father M. Philipps, Rector of St. Joseph’s Church, Buffalo, NY. Cabinet of Catholic Information, 1903 Imprimatur: Archbishop John Farley] Purgatory Does the Bible say that there is a purgatory? The Bible does not mention the word purgatory, but it says we should pray for the dead: “It is, therefore, a holy and … More →

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Eucharist Stories

[Taken from The Catechist, by the Very Rev. Canon Howe. Imprimatur: Edm. Canonicus Surmount, Jan 26, 1922.] There once lived a man who had given himself up to every passion, and had become by his life a scandal to all who knew him. Being at length upon his death-bed, his family, who were good Catholics, sent for the priest, who heard the sick man’s confession, … More →


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