By Sarah Mac Donald - 12 June, 2014
The Chair of the Irish Bishops’ Council for Catechetics, Bishop Brendan Leahy, has described the newly published ‘Irish Catholic Catechism for Adults’ as a ‘go-to’ resource for adults looking for explanations and apt examples of what Catholics believe.
Speaking at the launch of the Veritas publication, the Bishop of Limerick said many people today who were brought up as Catholics have a lot of questions about faith.
This is the first time a catechism has been tailored and produced specifically for an Irish adult audience.
According to Bishop Leahy, the Catechism tries to meet people where they are, “using an adult methodology for personal learning that reaches our spirit, our individuality and our personal existence.”
He said it contextualises for Ireland the presentation of faith by providing positive experiences of people of faith as well as reflecting on the challenges today facing people of faith.
The life and ministries of well-known Irish figures of faith from such as Venerable Nano Nagle and Blessed Edmund Rice as well as international figures such as St Augustine and St John XXIII are featured.
Their stories in the Catechism show how the teachings of the Church were put into action in their respective lives.
“A new phenomenon in Ireland in recent years has been the emergence of study groups of the Catechism of the Catholic Church with many claiming it has been a life-changing experience for them,” the bishop said.
He added that the exploration of the Catechism is aimed at “helping us link faith and worship, life and prayer, social commitment and intellectual insight.”
The text of the Irish Catholic Catechism will be promoted in a range of ways, including with the publication of the study-guide and helpful and brief video-clips.
At their three-day summer general meeting in Maynooth, the Bishops commended the Irish Catholic Catechism for Adults to members of the faithful for study and reflection.
The Catechism was inspired by a recommendation in the Catechism of the Catholic Church suggesting that local bishops’ conferences should consider the “writing of new local catechisms, which takes into account various situations and cultures, while carefully preserving the unity of faith and fidelity to Catholic doctrine.”
According to the Bishops, the Irish Catholic Catechism for Adults offers an accessible narrative and it explains the doctrine of the Church in a structured and user-friendly style.
Each chapter also provides material for reflection on Church teaching in the context of today as well as offering pointers for action.
The Catechism is seen as a useful resource for individuals, parishes or other faith groups. A study guide is also available.
The Catechism will also assist those working to implement the recommendations in Share the Good News, the Church’s national directory for catechetics.
It is composed of 36 chapters, divided into four sections, dealing with (i) The Creed: The Faith Professed; (ii) The Sacraments: The Faith Celebrated; (iii) Christian Morality: The Faith Lived; and (iv) The Our Father: The Faith Prayed.