Anyone out there actually do any teaching at their parish?
I am thinking of teaching some of the more basic Catholic concepts at my parish and have already received my priests permission to do so. The problem is that I am not sure where to start or how to go about it.
I would like to teach the basic concepts of Catholicism that everyone should have learned at Confirmation. Basically the same things that everyone here on this forum tends to discuss. (Mary, Popes, Eucharist, etc.)
My problem is that most of the Catholics here seem to just show up to church for an hour or so on sundays. I need to find a way to get them excited about their faith. I had been here not even two months and was already asked to be parish council president after I attended my first parish council meeting. I have no idea what I am doing as head of the parish council, but that is another matter.
The reason I went to the meeting at all was because I wanted to help with the RCIA program, but it appears that is already taken. So I am hoping to teach a sort of Catholicism for dummies class since I have never done this and feel I should start out with the easy stuff.
Any advice or help that anyone out there can give would be appreciated.
Anyone out there actually do any teaching at their parish?
Allow me to post a previous post of mine on this issue:
My wife presented a beginning apologetics bible study for her women’s group which was very well received. We worked on it together and here’s the topics we covered:
Apologetics 101: What Do Catholics Believe and Why?
Week 1: Sola Scriptura? (The Bible Alone?)
Where did we get the Bible? What is the role of the Bible in the Church? What is Sacred Tradition?
Week 2: Salvation – How do we get to heaven?
Do Catholics really believe we can work our way to heaven? Can we lose our salvation?
Week 3: The Sacraments
What are sacraments? Why are they necessary? Why do we baptize infants? Why do we believe in the Eucharist?
Week 4: The Pope, the Bishops and the Magisterium**
Where does the pope get his authority? Why do we have a church hierarchy? When does the pope speak infallibly? What exactly is “Church teaching?”
Week 5: Mary and the Marian Doctrines
Do Catholics worship Mary? Does she have a role in salvation? What about the Marian Doctrines (The Immaculate Conception, The Assumption) and Marian apparitions (Lourdes, Fatima, etc)?
Week 6: Communion of Saints
What do Catholics believe about the saints? Why do we pray to them?
Week 7: Tour of the Church/The Meaning of Catholic Practices
What is the meaning of the various items in the church? Why do we have statues, paintings, icons, holy water, incense, candles, etc? Why do we have a crucifix instead of just a cross?
Why do Catholics cross themselves? Why do they kneel, stand and sit at various times of the mass?
What are relics, scapulars and medals?
Week 8: The Last Things – Heaven, Hell, Purgatory and the End Times
Do Catholics still believe in Purgatory? Why? What do we know about heaven and hell? What is “Limbo”? What do we believe about the end times?
In our experience, you cannot assume your audience, even lifelong Catholics, have any working knowledge of apologetics, the Scriptures, and an adult level knowledge of Catholic teaching. Be prepared to explain the basics.
You also might want to check these previous threads for more ideas:
Good luck. I am starting to teach another apologetics class next week, this time using the Beginning Apologetics 1 book.
Pray for me and the success of the class!
[quote=Fidelis]Allow me to post a previous post of mine on this issue:
My wife presented a beginning apologetics bible study for her women’s group which was very well received. We worked on it together and here’s the topics we covered: In our experience, you cannot assume your audience, even lifelong Catholics, have any working knowledge of apologetics, the Scriptures, and an adult level knowledge of Catholic teaching. Be prepared to explain the basics.
We use a loose leaf set of handouts/text called *Journey of Faith * from Ligorian that covers most of the topics that Fidelis mentioned for our RCIA program. It is basic but complete, and can be easily used by a teacher as an outline and starting point for expansion. The paperback book called *Catholicism for Dummies * would be an excellent supplement. I would suggest also the Cathechism of the Catholic Church, but I think of it as kind of the next step; an advanced course, but very handy for the teacher for those questions that need looking up. The loose leaf stuff provides sufficient material for about 10 months meeting for about 1-1/2 hours per week with time out for holidays, school breaks, etc. I have often thought that these materials we use for RCIA would provide a fairly substantial course for Catholics who want to learn more than they got in CCD or even in Catholic grade school.
This is an excellant project, I am glad you are willing to try.
I was looking for just such a program when I first returned to the church as an adult many years ago.
There is a crying need for adult catechesis. If you can make it interesting by including some brief slide shows and powerpoint presentations it will help keep the “students” coming back.
Always start and conclude with a prayer.
My wife and another woman are trying to get Familia started at our parish.
I taught an adult class called “***Catholic for a Reason” ***by advertising a our doctrinal study group in the parish bulletin. We started by going line-by-line over the creed using DeSales course material entitled " OurCatholicCreed" We also used San Juan Catholic Seminar’s “Beginning Apologetics” material (catholicapologetics.com/booklets.htm). Unfortunately I had to stop when I started my Master’s studies.
The parish and/or diocese library ought to have some resources for you to choose from. If not, try to get them to buy it. I recommend the above material as a good starting point.