Church History


I have been asked to cover this subject in our RCIA class. I welcome opinions on high points in the Church’s history.


Hi, Michael! Would that be in one hour or less?? heh, heh.


I hope all is well with you. I was hoping the faithful here would jog my memory of something I may may be overlooking.


You might to briefly discuss the 21 Ecumenical Councils (some are more high points than others which are basically concerned with canon law that was obsolete within a century or two).

Here’s a brief outline of the Councils:


That sounds like the time when I was waxing lyrical about the Catechism and my daughter asked me to summarise it in a sentence! :smiley:


Hello Michael, the earliest church times are fabulous.
Or the first 400 hundred years. The apologetics for that time are superb.
Good luck and God bless


For RCIA, I would hit
*]The first 4 councils.
*]The Edict of Toleration
*]The growth of the Church as it began to fill in the gaps left by the collapse of the Empire.
*]Doctrinal developments to the Council of Florence
*]Temporal corruption leading to the Reformation – emphasizing that the TEACHING was never corrupted
*]The Counter-Reformation
*]The struggles with the Ottoman Empire in the 1600s (Battle of Lepanto, the siege of Vienna)
*]Evangelization of the New World
*]Catholicism in the U.S. (including the Know-Nothings and other anti-Catholic movements).[/LIST]


after i read the 1st volume of The Faith of the Early Fathers i knew i had to be catholic. i like justin martyr alot. it was interesting to see things i recognized from the mass of our day in 175ish. totally cool! and the lists of canon of scripture from different people in different places. i learned how we got our bible. that was a biggie. and reading the council decrees or canons was neat. cause i know there where council and the bible was canonized at the councils but i didnt realize they discussed other stuff and they sounded very catholic to me.


In most Catholic textbook series the 8th grade book covers Church History and Catholic identity. Even if your parish does not use such a book, as a reference for you it would be great. Loyola Press Christ Our Life (2002 or 1997 editions) are great for your purpose.


I am currently reading “Triumph” by Harry Crocker. What a great book, the reading goes so fast. I just finished reading about Constantine. What an interesting character.


Michael C I have read Triumph and you are correct when saying that the reading goes so fast; Crocker writes at a breakneck pace and the reader is swept along with him. I know that his book is just an overview of Catholicism but it was wonderful to me, a layperson with no knowledge of Church history, to be able to obtain this glimpse.

I am next going to read How the Catholic Church Built Western Civilisation by Thomas E Woods. One Holy Catholic and Apostolic by Kenneth D Whitehead is on my ‘to read’ list too.


That book is really FUN! But it is shamelessly pro-Catholic (OK by me!). I guess it could be a good tool for RCIA but the more scholarly among your group might challenge it. Crocker doesn’t twist history; he just looks at everything from the REALLY bright side!


He leans heavily in favor of the Latin rite too. But that’s my view, I’m a revert.


Well, if you’re in a Latin Rite parish, I would think that at the RCIA level, focusing on the Roman part of the Church wouldn’t be much of a problem. Are your people actually going to READ that book?

Our RCIA program thinks stuff like reading books (y’know, the *Catechism) *spoils the personal significance of RCIA. :rolleyes:


I’m struggling with the same thing, but I get 1 1/2 hours!!!

I’m reading “The Catholic Church Through the Ages”, and adapting his style. Here’s a link to a review.

Here, then, is a church history that one can confidently place in the hands of R.C.I.A. participants, Catholic college students, Newman Center attendees, parish adult education groups and a host of others in similar circumstances. Father Vidmar’s work is a masterpiece of pedagogy, an example of fine scholarship, and an important voice in the Church’s own reporting of what the author calls her “family story.” The sheep will be well fed by the accomplishment of this book’s priest-friar-scholar-professor-historian author.

I’m going to hand out a timeline with everything I can think of (look at Wikipedia for a start). Then I’m going topic by topic-Apostolic age, ECFs, how the church spread, and so on. Until time runs out! I’ve asked for another session, but cannot have one until Mystagogy. Then, the next lesson I have…The Four Marks of the Church-also in 1 1/2 hours (our pastor took 6 weeks in our adult Catechism class!).


You’re smart to go with one monster handout with a lot of shorthand references. Maybe a bibliography of books like Triumph.


No that’s just one of a number of sources I’m using for info.

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