Ready-Made Catechism Study Engages Adult Parishioners
100% of participants in this four-part small-group Catechism study have re-registered for part II of the program, growing in their faith and building strong, new friendships with fellow-parishioners.
"The Catechism of the Catholic Church is such a gift to the Church and I am thankful to Fr. Octavio for initiating this program in our parish. It has truly
produced and continues to produce much fruit. We are all growing in our faith as well as our relationships with each other. It has been a blessing for our
Kathi Mickan, program participant
The need it meets
This program unpacks the contents of the Catechism of the Catholic Church for Catholics in the pews. It is a comprehensive, up-to-date formulation of our beliefs. The material is arranged for use by small faith-sharing groups. It enables adult participants to dig into their faith, connect it to their everyday lives, and build strong, Christian friendships.
Where it came from
Father Octavio A. Muguerza implemented a program called "Why Catholic? Journey Through the Catechism", developed by Renew International. Program materials have received the Imprimatur by the Most Reverend John J. Myers, Archbishop of Newark.
How it works
- Those interested attend an information night, signing up for the weekday they wish to attend.
- Study groups of eight to fifteen people are formed. Each group meets weekly at a location and time of their choosing to go through the program material. There are four 12-week sessions, one for each major division of the Catechism.
- The study sessions begin with prayer and a song (included in the material), followed by personal intercessions.
- All lessons consist of reading highlighted Catechism paragraphs and related Scripture passages, plus answering that lesson‚Äôs questions.
- Sessions end with personal and/or group resolutions, thereby putting into action what was learned that week.
There are now twelve groups and 150 participants at the Immaculate Conception parish(including a Spanish-speaking group). All those who began the first 12-week session chose to attend the second. New sign-ups have been ongoing. All participants have grown considerably in their knowledge of the faith. Most have also formed new, faith-based friendships, increasing the sense of community in the parish.
- The pastor's support, leadership, and enthusiasm
- A Church staffer to organize the logistics
- Ideal: Participants will complete all four parts of the program and will reach out to those particpants starting after the first session.
How to implement it
- The Pastor mentions and briefly explains the program at Mass, to gain the parishioners‚Äô interest.
- Place information in the bulletin about the program three to four weeks prior to kick off.
- Hold a ‚Äúkick off‚Äù night, placing individuals into faith formation groups and providing them with the format each group will follow.
- Each small group decides who leads their meetings; it is not necessary to choose and train facilitators ahead of time.
- After each twelve-week study, all groups gather with Father for Vespers and a time of sharing their experiences.
- Allow a two to three week interval between the four sessions.
- Those wishing to join in subsequent sessions are placed in existing groups.
Promotion, organizational, and study material are available at www.whycatholic.org
Father Octavio A. Muguerza is pastor of