Dr. Dennis Marshall: The Pipe, The Pint, and the Cross
Fr. Aaron Ferris: On Human Suffering
With many parishes about to begin the Pre-Catechumenate/Inquiry Period for the R.C.I.A., Catechetical Foundations invites you to take advantage of our free Catechetical Presentations for topics that should be taught during this period. Also included are many handouts, table tents, and suggested Sacred Art.
Click on R.C.I.A. under the Resources Tab above for the resources.
Remember CF when considering training for your catechists. Click the Booking tab above to contact us.
“I sense that the moment has come to commit all of the Church’s energies to a new evangelization!”
(Pope Saint John Paul II – Mission of the Redeemer)
Five years ago Catechetical Foundations was formed by two lay people in West Michigan. Catechetical Foundations was created as part of a desire to help the Church in its noble task of evangelization by offering sound and faithful Catechetical training to priests, religious, parents, parish catechists, DRE’s, and youth ministers. We have experienced steady growth since our founding, and in the last year this local Apostolate has experienced substantial growth! The Holy Spirit has worked in marvelous ways!
Along with this substantial growth, Catechetical Foundations became a Michigan Non-Profit organization, and this Apostolate now reaches hundreds of people every month, equipping them with the necessary tools and knowledge to faithfully pass on the Faith of Christ.
We now serve catechists effectively with On-Site Training, On-line courses, a Catechetical Training Day called “Day for Catechists”, as well as a Monthly Lecture Program called Authenticum that is attended by over a hundred people each month. Our programs and courses count for ongoing catechist certification credit in the Diocese of Grand Rapids. As this Apostolate grows, Catechetical Foundations plans to organize Family Mission opportunities and to lead catechetical pilgrimages to the historical sites of Christendom.
Your support is both needed and helpful! Most of what Catechetical Foundations offers is free of cost. We run almost entirely on free will offerings. We believe that this model of ministry takes away any expectations that we owe each other something, and it allows for relationships and support to develop and flourish more freely. The primary reason, however, is to put our entire trust in the Lord’s hands. Our desire is to allow the Lord to use Catechetical Foundations as a means to inspire those we encounter to have an awakening of mind and heart to the love that never ends (CCC 25). Our desire is simply to serve and help build the Body of Christ.
Today you can make an immediate difference in the lives of many people, as well as help advance the urgent and necessary work of evangelization. Our goal for this year is to reach $10,000. Each financial gift will allow us to continue bringing high quality speakers to Authenticum, hold more Day for Catechist trainings, develop more online courses, as well as provide helpful resources and excellent hospitality to those we serve.
I am confident that I can count on you for much needed prayer support for the evangelization efforts of Catechetical Foundations. I hope that you will also be able to help us with a financial gift as well.
If you are able to make a donation please make checks out to Catechetical Foundations and send to:Catechetical Foundations 15300 Lake Ave. Grand Haven, MI 49417
Thank you for all your support and May God continue to bless you abundantly!
In Christ’s Peace,
Mark Postma-Director | Michael Tober-Associate Director | Rev. Aaron Ferris-Spiritual Director
It’s certainly hard to believe that it is already August. School is about the begin; and for parishes that do not have a year around R.C.I.A. ministry a new year of Inquiry/Pre-Catechumenate meetings are about to begin. Most likely, for those parishes who do have year around R.C.I.A., another round of Pre-Cat meetings are about to get underway. Many R.C.I.A. coordinators may feel like our question mark guy to the right, squashed, but not with questions from those inquiring to become Catholic, but with questions about what to do and how to get started.
Evangelization efforts are increasing in many of our dioceses so is your parish ready to take on an influx of inquirers this year…or next year…or in January? Where to begin? What meeting room to use? What food to have? Okay, that’s an easy one…no junk food! And do not settle for a cruddy old church basement table with dishes that do not match. Utilize a nice table cloth, fresh food, homemade breads, cheese, good coffee, and once you get to know your crowd it may be appropriate to incorporate wine depending on when and where you are meeting.
I think the most pressing questions an R.C.I.A. coordinator will have is around what subjects to cover and when to cover them. There are some good programs out there (ACM being one of them) and there are some that should be put in the paper gator before you leave the office tonight. So, what should your Pre-Catechumenate Period look like? What should you cover in these meetings?
The truth is that your inquirers will likely have many questions they would like answered. You will end up surrounded with questions from the inquirers, sponsors, your catechists; as well as addressing marriage situations. The R.C.I.A. program I went through was set up to have the first few meetings as just Question and Answer sessions. I have seen many programs run this way. I have also seen programs run by covering a topic for the meeting and then allowing time at the end for Q&A on anything at the end of the meeting. This is a better approach than having pure Q&A sessions because the material covered should spark additional probing questions. I will suggest an approach to your first couple of months that is a touch different than this.
Let’s get in front of the questions. Our suggestion at CF is so address all their questions, present the deposit of faith in a systematic manner, and be patient all at the same time. Below are links to one way to organize your Pre-Cat period. You will notice a couple of things: 1. No hot button issues (Mary could be one I suppose) and 2. These are very foundational. What if you have 15 inquirers who are all baptized Christians? Why would you have to cover the Trinity and Incarnation? Why not jump right in to the nitty gritty issues? The more complex answer to this is that it is precisely an error of teaching around these subjects that causes immense disunity among Christians. The simple answer is that what you cover during the rest of the R.C.I.A. meetings up to their full communion with the Church will be directly connected to these foundational truths and principles. The Sacraments may be given light by focusing on Salvation History or the Incarnation; or even the Church as Sanctifier depending on the make up of your group. Marriage may be seen in light of the Trinity or the Paschal Mystery…or both. This doesn’t mean you isolate them from the rest, but due to time restrictions you may have to focus on one more than another.
What about the Q&A? Read CF’s lesson plan on the First Meeting. In there you will see an idea on how to gather questions in an anonymous fashions. Go ahead and address any burning questions too. What you will end up with at the end of the first meeting is a gigantic list of questions. You will consolidate this list by eliminating duplicates and perhaps grouping some together. Now, explain to your group that you will address their questions in the next several weeks. Line up the questions with particular weeks in the Pre-Cat, aligning them with which foundational truth will best answer the questions. Also keep in mind that many questions will be answered during the catechetical presentations in the Pre-Cat. Now, what is extremely important is that you always invite folks to ask burning questions. This can be done at the end of the session or privately if they are more inclined to do so. They can also utilize their sponsor, which is another topic that should be covered.
Get on top of your questions now and have grace-filled start to your R.C.I.A. Pre-Cat Period!
Catechetical Foundations can assist you in training your R.C.I.A. Team. Click on the Booking tab at the top of the page to contact us.
Over 200 adults in attendance at Authenticum last night! Thank you to the many of you who provided help in so many areas – Father Robert and Father Peter who graciously open their doors for these events, set-up, music (AWESOME), food donations, Homebrew (DAN!!!) Cigars (even priests coming ready to share cigars!!) the kind words and moral support to Mark and I to continue pressing on with Catechetical Foundations. We are grateful to God first for as Dr. Marshall said so well….”it’s all a gift”! I am in gratitude. I loved meeting the many, many young couples who came out…and those of other Christian professions. It was, truly a Catholic Intellectual event. A couple things to remember:
Father Z will be CF’s speaker for Authenticum next month!!! Spread the word.
Digital recording of last nights lecture will be produced and online soon. It’s free go to our website and listen…maybe form a church group to listen and discuss! If you want a free CD contact us and we’ll send you one.
Remember we have just begun our first Annual Summer Appeal. Our Goal $10,000 to allow us to continue to afford quality hospitality at all our CF events, quality speakers for Authenticum, quality programming both online and in those parishes that host us this year. It’s a meager budget…but it is our Gideon Fleech. Information on our website.
Lastly – Check out the great pictures from last night! Until next month!!!
Pictures can be seen on our Authenticum facebook page: https://www.facebook.com/authenticum
And as a bonus, here is June’s talk On Human Suffering.