Much of our first six months as a community was spent in catechesis. These meetings served two purposes: for those who were still in the process of discernment or our new friends and members, it was a continuation of the two series described here on our History page; but it was also the means by which those who had requested reception into the Catholic Church were prepared. As our community was composed almost entirely of well-informed adult Christians (some of whom made their way towards Catholicism from fundamentalism, examining doctrinal issues all along the way, and almost all of whom were making their ﬁnal step towards reuniﬁcation with the See of Rome from a speciﬁcally Anglo-Catholic background), reading the Catechism of the Catholic Church in its entirety was our principal means of catechesis supplemented by regular sessions of teaching which focused on distinctive elements of Catholic dogma and doctrine. This series of teachings were recorded and are available here.
The “real” catechesis was fairly simple: Read the Catechism of the Catholic Church, all the way through. The individual sessions focused on particular topics, and readings were assigned for each. In most instances, the talks were rather more free-form; “meditations” on the topics, if you will: the real work is in the reading.
First Session of Catechesis
The first session of catechesis were asked to read the following sections of the CATECHISM OF THE CATHOLIC CHURCH:
- Part One—Article Nine: I BELIEVE IN THE HOLY CATHOLIC CHURCH; and
- Part One—Article Eleven: I BELIEVE IN THE RESURRECTION OF THE BODY
For additional reading—if desired—the material presented in Article Nine of the CATECHISM will be found in chapters 10 (The Church: Reflecting the Light of Christ ); 11 (The Four Marks of the Church ); and 12 (Mary: The Church’s First and Most Perfect Member ) of the UNITED STATES CATHOLIC CATECHISM FOR ADULTS; the material presented in Article Eleven is treated in chapter 13 (Our Eternal Destiny ).
Recordings of the First Session
Fr. Liias on Part One, Article Nine: I Believe in the Holy Catholic Church:
Dr. Thomas Howard on Part One, Article Eleven: I Believe in the Resurrection of the Body:
Second Session of Catechesis
The second session of catechesis covered The Moral Life including salvation through works; morality and conscience; the evangelical virtues: poverty, chastity, obedience; and the sanctity of life: abortion and contraception. We were instructed by our brother Ernest Freeman on Section One (Man’s Vocation: Life in the Spirit) during the first hour; then Father Liias covered Section Two (The Ten Commandments). Father Liias asked those attending to read as much of Section Three of THE CATECHISM OF THE CATHOLIC CHURCH as possible, saying: it is a long section…200 pages…but very rich.
Recordings of the Second Session
Ernest Freeman on Part Three of the CATECHISM: The Moral Life:
Fr. Liias on Part Three of the CATECHISM: The Ten Commandments:
Third Session of Catechesis
Our third session of catechesis covered isThe Seven Sacraments, including Baptismal regeneration; Eucharistic transubstantiation; the sanctity of Marriage; the necessity of auricular Confession; and the ontology of Priesthood. We were instructed by Doctor Thomas Howard and Father Liias and were asked to read Part Two of THE CATECHISM OF THE CATHOLIC CHURCH, The Celebration of the Christian Mystery. For additional reading—if desired—the material presented in Part Two of the CATECHISM will be found in Part Two of the UNITED STATES CATHOLIC CATECHISM FOR ADULTS: The Sacraments: The Faith Celebrated.
Father Liias also provided the following link to the Pro Unione website and a document prepared by the Anglican — Roman Catholic International Commission entitled MARY: GRACE AND HOPE IN CHRIST. He writes:
In preparation for my Saturday seminar (which this week is on Mary) I was asked to read the ARCIC documents. I think this is excellent and might be helpful to folk in preparing for Dr. Howard’s presentation on Mary this Sunday.
Clicking on this link will bring you to the site; then each section of the document can be opened separately.
Recordings of the Third Session
Dr. Howard on the Sacraments, particularly the Holy Eucharist:
Dr. Howard on the Blessed Virgin; Fr. Liias on the Sacraments:
Fourth Session of Catechesis
The fourth session of catechesis covered Prayer (including Marian devotion and the Rosary; the exposition, veneration, and Benediction of the Blessed Sacrament; relics, shrines, and pilgrimages; indulgences; prayers for and with the dead) and was led by Ernest Freeman and Dr. Thomas Howard. The assigned reading was Part Four of THE CATECHISM OF THE CATHOLIC CHURCH, Christian Prayer. For additional reading—if desired—the material presented in Part Four of the CATECHISM will be found in Part Four of the UNITED STATES CATHOLIC CATECHISM FOR ADULTS: Prayer: The Faith Prayed.
Recordings of the Fourth Session
Dr. Howard on Catholic Prayer, Part One:
Dr. Howard on Catholic Prayer, Part Two: