Catechetical Foundations

On the Importance of Knowing Salvation History and the CCC as a Catechist

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,add_classroom_student
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

CCC 2100

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.


Next Authenticum: August 7th!


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!

 The Pint


In Which Pooh and Piglet Go Hunting and Nearly Catch a Woozle


“Hallo!” said Piglet, “what are you doing?”
“Hunting,” said Pooh.
“Hunting what?”
“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 why88756070-0b88-472d-ae30-2d06a670befa 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.

Catechetical Foundations

Ora et Labora

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!


And the news is in…


Fr. John Zuhlsdorf ( will be our guest lecturer at the September 4, 2014 Grand Rapids Authenticum. The topic will be determined soon. Mark your calendars!



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