Catechetical Foundations had a grace filled year! Our programming by the grace of God has been able to reach hundreds of people every month and many of those who have been a part of this Apostolate have given CF some powerful endorsements. We humbly share some of these, not to boast in ourselves but rather to boast in what God is doing! In the near future our website will include a full list of endorsements as it’s own category. We are very thankful for everyone who prays for this ministry, countless selfless volunteers, donors, guest speakers and of course the many Catechists who have taken part in our ongoing training! Here are a few of the endorsements that came back to us this year:
“My experience in speaking at the Authenticum Lecture was most refreshing. It appears that those in attendance first of all have a foundation in the knowledge of the Faith and second are most eager to continue to learn more about the Faith. It was a pleasure to speak with your group about the liturgical life of the church and how to make the Church Year a living reality. It was also a very good sign that there was a mix of “older” Catholics and “young” Catholics. May the Sacred Heart of Jesus inspire you to continue to touch many hearts through the work which you provide for the Church”
Rev. Frank Phillips – Founder of the Canons Regular of St. John Cantius, Chicago
“I am very excited about the Authenticum program that Michael Tober and Mark Postma have recently organized and put into operation. They asked me to participate in this program as a guest lecturer which I did just this last March 6th. My presentation was entitled Augustine’s “Solution” To the Problem of Evil. The event was quite well attended with around 125 people. We are excited here in the department that some of our philosophy majors from GVSU were in the audience (as were as a couple of my colleagues). From comments people have made to me, my sense is that the attendees found it to be a learning experience. That was certainly my experience as an attendee at all of the other Authenticum presentations that have occurred to this date. I found all of them to be engaging, edifying and deepening of my faith.
I am really looking forward to upcoming presentations. Michael Tober and Mark Postma are to be really commended for and supported in this endeavor.”
Mark Stephen Pestana, Ph.D - Professor of Philosophy: Grand Valley State University
“Catechetical Foundations is one of the bright lights of the New Evangelization in Michigan. Like Aquinas College’s Catholic Studies program, CF recognizes the necessity of a real Catholic culture in preserving and passing on the Faith in its fullness. Authenticum plays an important role in this mission. In a very short time it has grown into a popular lecture series and it is easy to see why. The quality of the speakers and the importance of the topics are terrific. But what makes Authenticum so fully Catholic is the way in which the audience is invited to eat, drink, and join in conversation long into the night after the lectures have ended. This is definitely God’s work.”
John C. Pinheiro, Ph.D – Director of Catholic Studies: Aquinas College
“The Authenticum lecture series at Sacred Heart parish integrates intellectual, moral, and spiritual realities of the most profound–and timely–sort. As such, it both builds up and is an expression of authentic Catholic culture. I highly commend it to anyone who is able to participate.”
David Whalen, Ph.D – Provost & Professor of English: Hillsdale College
“I had the pleasure to participate in the Catechist Basics course offered through Catechetical Foundations. At first, I must admit I was a little nervous and maybe intimidated, feeling that I would not know as much as some other folks. I was quickly put to ease. From the minute I began the assignments I could not put the material down and could not stop thinking about the concepts we were covering. I have only been an “official” Catechist for a couple of years and became immersed in Catechesi Tradendae (authored by St. John Paul II). In fact, I believe it should be a must read for every Catechist. The assignments were challenging, fun and very rewarding. I would recommend this course to anyone! In closing, I affirmed my continued realization that I have a deep passion and desire to study and learn more about our faith. As a catechist it is imperative for me to gain the knowledge and confidence to “pass the faith on” through my interaction of leading others to God.”
Michael Medveck, Participant – Catechist Basics: Online Catechist Certification Course
And there is more coming in! We’ll be sharing that in the coming week!!
Earlier this week the first reading for Mass was from the first chapter of the prophet, Isaiah. Verses 10-17 is about the sacrifices we make and how shallow they are if there is also not a sacrifice of the heart and love of neighbor taking place. Let’s take a look at the text, then let’s consider some important points about catechetics that a short study using the Catechism of the Catholic Church shows us.
10Hear the word of the LORD,
princes of Sodom!
Listen to the instruction of our God,
people of Gomorrah!
11What do I care for the multitude of your sacrifices?
says the LORD.
I have had enough of whole-burnt rams
and fat of fatlings;
In the blood of calves, lambs, and goats
I find no pleasure.f
12When you come to appear before me,
who asks these things of you?
13Trample my courts no more!
To bring offerings is useless;
incense is an abomination to me.
New moon and sabbath, calling assemblies—
festive convocations with wickedness—
these I cannot bear.g
14Your new moons and festivals I detest;h
they weigh me down, I tire of the load.
15When you spread out your hands,
I will close my eyes to you;
Though you pray the more,
I will not listen.
Your hands are full of blood!* i
16Wash yourselves clean!
Put away your misdeeds from before my eyes;
cease doing evil;
17learn to do good.
Make justice your aim: redress the wronged,
hear the orphan’s plea, defend the widow.
Can’t you see how a Fundamentalist, Non-Denominational, “Non-Relgious” Christian would read this text and instantly think about how anti-Biblical the Catholic is? Can’t you see how easily an uncatechized Catholic would read this and begin to question so much of what they may have experienced? Although, many uncatechized Catholics belong to parishes that never use incense or talk much about sacrifice.
What is Isaiah getting at here? As a student; and especially as a catechist, your first stop will be the Catechism of the Catholic Church. So, grab your Second Edition (this is the green one…the official approved translation) and turn to the Index of Citations to find which passages from Isaiah are used in the Catechism. Yes, there are several. For Isaiah 1:10-17 you will find CCC 2100, 1430, and 1435 are paragraphs that quote or reference this passage. Let’s take a look and see what we find. How does the Church interpret these texts?
I want you to grab your Catechism of the Catholic Church and read the following paragraphs
Now look to the side of the page. You see three more paragraphs listed: 2711, 614, and 618. These are called Sidebar paragraphs. Think of them like a choose your own adventure…except you don’t die. These sidebar paragraphs clearly show the organic unity of the Faith.
Read CCC 2711
Now read the sidebar paragraph from CCC 2711: CCC 1348
We are seeing a theme developed here: Sacrifice, involvement of the heart, love of neighbor, contemplative prayer, and Christ presiding a the Eucharistic Liturgy. The context for Isaiah is now being given some clarity.
Now read CCC 1430; followed by the sidebar paragraph of 1098. Here we see the importance of a properly disposed heart and the obligatory dimension of the Liturgy.
Lastly, read CCC 1435, which has to do with penence and love of neighbor. In fact, you will see this passage referred on Tuesday of the Second Week of Lent.
We must also have an understanding of Salvation History. Sacrifice and Incense are not bad. Rather, they are right and appropriate for worship as prescribed in Leviticus. Yet, when our sacrifice is mere formality, then the sacrifice is in vain.
This is a short illustration of some of the preliminary preparation a catechists must make when preparing a catechetical presentation. We must use Scripture, the Catechism of the Catholic Church, and must see, study, and catechize in light of Salvation History.
Catechetical Foundations presents
Authenticum Lecture Series
August 7, 2014
The Pint, The Pipe, and the Cross: A Christian Understanding of Leisure
Lecture by Dr. Dennis Marshall, Professor of Theology at Aquinas College
Lecture begins at 7pm
Grilling begins at 5:30pm outside in the courtyard of Sacred Heart Parish
(if it rains we will be in the parish hall)
We will be grilling hot dogs for whoever wants them beginning at 5:30pm. If you want to bring some other meat to grill, please do! We will grill it up for you! We’ll also supply a bunch of other picnic style edibles.
Dan Wagenmaker will be supplying some homebrew for the event.
Charlie Leidel and Ethan Wurm will be providing live music as well. These guys are very talented and will surely be a great addition to this Authenticum Lecture!
“Hallo!” said Piglet, “what are you doing?”
“Hunting,” said Pooh.
“Tracking something,” said Winnie-the-Pooh very mysteriously.
“Tracking what?” said Piglet, coming closer
“That’s just what I ask myself. I ask myself, What?”
“What do you think you’ll answer?”
“I shall have to wait until I catch up with it,” said Winnie-the-Pooh.
As a catechist, what are you catechizing for; or toward? Who are you catechizing? Why are you catechizing? If you ask a catechist why they are a catechist you will get a large variety of answers. Some answers will be spot on (more on that in the next post) and others will have you wondering if they’re just walking about the same tree over and over again following their own footsteps, thinking they are make progress because they keep seeing more footsteps as they circumference the tree another time. Some of the poor responses we need to personally steer clear of when asked about why we are a catechist are:
* To share my faith
* To meet and develop all the assets and values as listen in Renewing the Vision
* To help the youth become active leaders in the Church
* To give them a sense of belonging
* To let the R.C.I.A. candidates and catechumens know that “All Are Welcome” (a song that should be ripped out of every hymnal and burned)
* Because the the DRE needed another catechists
* It’s how I can serve in parish
* I’m not a catechist, I’m a volunteer
There are others that I have heard and I am sure you have heard. Some of the reasons certainly have elements of truth to them, but they are all very inadequate, and like Pooh, they don’t know what they are really searching for. Consequently, they don’t know what to tell their audience (Piglet) what they are actually searching for. And in the end, the audience will run away as Piglet does because he is scared…or in the case of many catechetical settings, they are confused at best.
What a year! Mike is off for the summer now and Mark is still working his “day” job to pay the bills. However, both are on vacation with their families in different “up north” locations! Mike will be fishing until the fish are endangered in the lake and Mark will be reading and writing for a few hours each day (it’s not his favorite hunting season yet).
Pray for us and we begin a summer of catechetical production and intense prayer for this apostolate.
See you soon!