How do you introduce the Catholic faith to others?


#1

I have a friend who is pretty much neutral about Catholicism, but I can tell she is curious about it. I just don't know how to introduce it to her, I did give her a Bible so she has a source to refer to, but I have no clue where to start. Should I just ask her to read the whole thing? Start at certain chapters? use other sources?

Any advice is welcome.

P.S. Just in case I encounter a child in the future who might be interested as well, how do I interact with them too?


#2

[quote="simmania, post:1, topic:206450"]
I have a friend who is pretty much neutral about Catholicism, but I can tell she is curious about it. I just don't know how to introduce it to her, I did give her a Bible so she has a source to refer to, but I have no clue where to start. Should I just ask her to read the whole thing? Start at certain chapters? use other sources?

Any advice is welcome.

P.S. Just in case I encounter a child in the future who might be interested as well, how do I interact with them too?

[/quote]

Bibles are fine, but can be difficult to understand and interrupt correctly. Also, there is a fairly good chance that she already has a Bible (maybe not a Catholic Bible but a Bible nonetheless). If you want to spark her interest in Catholicism, I'd start by giving her a book on the Saints; either a specific Saint or a compendium of many Saints. She can discover who they were; how they lived; what they taught and what their hardships and victories were. Two suggestions come to mind:

1) Butler's Lives of the Saints
2) Diary of Saint Maria Faustina Kowalska: Divine Mercy in My Soul


#3

Invite her to mass.


#4

My mechanic has been here all week trying to fix my farm truck and he is very much an agnostic bordering on atheist, with a tad of wiccan thrown in (he prays to mother earth at times) and throughout the week we had conversations about a lot of issues and finally he had to bring up religion. I know he has always wanted to ask about Catholicism and felt this was a good time. He likes to believe he knows a lot about it----;) so I just kept quiet while he told me what he knows and I only interjected when he really went off course (and I made sure to site references/sources, catechism), then he just started asking questions.

He tried to be very respectful of his thoughts and feelings on Christ and I appreciated that. We had a really good conversation. The Catechism of the Catholic Church I think is a good way to start.


#5

I second inviting her to Mass. Even if she's not particularly comfortable with worshipping that way, it's quite a cultural experience (at least, all the tourists at the Cathedrals seem to think so). And her questions about what she sees and hears are the perfect jumping-off point for explaining Catholic stuff.


#6

I suppose it can depend to a large degree on where she is starting from theologically speaking. Is she religious at all? Only in a general way? Raised in a NC Christian Home? etc.

As far as the bible is concerned, I like Matthew as a good jumping off point.

Inviting her to mass could be a good idea.

Other than that, just try to be there to answer her questions and Live as Good a Christian life as possible.

Peace
James


#7

The example of your life lived as an active prayer filled Catholic is the sure way!
St.Francis of Assisi said to his Brothers as he sent them off to preach the Gospel into town with these words " Go and preach the Gosepel and use words if necessary"! (no wonder there are so few converts in our western society-A nigerian woman at work said to me recently "the faith is dead in your country,in my former country it is full of the Spirit"

I knew of one person during World War Two who worked on the sick soldiers being brought back by ship.What he used to do was have a large supply of Truth Pamphlets on different issues on the catholic faith.When someone brought up an objection to the faith he said "read this'! He was responsible for bring many of them into the Catholic Church.
Pillar of Fire Pillar of Truth(by Carl Keating of Catholic Answers) is a good one to give out I think!

Though you seem to be doing a great job!Pray to the guardian angel of the person who you are trying to help is a good useful approach.


#8

[quote="simmania, post:1, topic:206450"]
I have a friend who is pretty much neutral about Catholicism, but I can tell she is curious about it. I just don't know how to introduce it to her, I did give her a Bible so she has a source to refer to, but I have no clue where to start. Should I just ask her to read the whole thing? Start at certain chapters? use other sources?

Any advice is welcome.

P.S. Just in case I encounter a child in the future who might be interested as well, how do I interact with them too?

[/quote]

I agree with the idea that it depends a lot on where the person is presently. Is the person an agnostic, a pantheist, or a monotheist? If the person is not a Christian then a general introduction to the concepts of God, creation, the Fall, and the need for redemption would be great places to start. A New Testament could be useful for such a person if they started with the Gospels.

If a person claims to already be a Christian (and actually demonstrates some knowledge of Christianity) then a Catechism of the Catholic Church might be more useful. Catholics see the Mass as the form of worship most pleasing to God. We believe saints are alive and join with us to worship God. Prayer is used in worship but it is not worship in and of itself. The more fundamentalist Christians tend to see Catholic sacraments as "human works" while we understand them to be the ongoing work of Christ in the physical world.


#9

I believe shes Buddhist, which is why I'm not so sure about bringing her to mass, at least not yet. I'm afraid her :frighten:"comfort" zone might go down, so I just want to move in slowly.

I'll definitely try reading/discussing the Gospel :bible1: with her, though I might need to give her a different version...the King James one is written in a way we kids sometimes don't understand. :confused:

Sorry for all the Smilies...they are just so fun to play with haha


#10

[quote="simmania, post:9, topic:206450"]
I believe shes Buddhist, which is why I'm not so sure about bringing her to mass, at least not yet. I'm afraid her :frighten:"comfort" zone might go down, so I just want to move in slowly.

I'll definitely try reading/discussing the Gospel(specifically Matthew first) :bible1: with her, though I might need to give her a different version of the Bible...the King James one is written in a way we kids sometimes don't understand. :confused:

Sorry for all the Smilies...they are just so fun to play with haha

[/quote]


#11

Here's what I would recommend.

First, buy her "Catholicism for Dummies". This excellent book describes all of the basics (and even some of the advanced stuff) of Catholicism in a very clear and easy to read format. It is also entirely faithful to Catholicism. (As an aside, do NOT get her the similarly titled "Idiot's Guide to the Catholic Church", which is written with a very liberal bias and has some outright doctrinal errors in it.)

Next, get her a good Bible. You might even start her with the new Ignatius Study Bible New Testament (about $15 on Amazon), which just came out and has copious notes, essays, maps, and essays helping people to understand the Bible from the Catholic perspective. Unfortunately, the Old Testament is still a work in progress, so she's still have to pick that up somewhere else.

Then, I'd invite her to Mass, and maybe even make an appointment with the priest to give her a quick tour of the sanctuary and explain what everything is and what it's meaning is.


#12

Whatever you do, DON'T start by giving her a Bible. The Bible was never designed to be given to unbelievers to read to proselytise them.

I'm surprised nobody has yet mentioned RCIA classes. Contrary to what some people think, they are not only for people who have decided they want to become Catholics. You'll probably find your local parish RCIA classes will welcome uncommitted searchers who just want to find out more about Catholicism, and they are welcome to keep coming every week for as long as they want. I know some who have attended RCIA classes for years.


closed #13

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