I started a young adult study group

Hey all,

I started a young adult study group with a few friends. The purpose is to learn & discuss about the Catholic teaching. I’m still preparing for the material, I will appreciate if you can help me with the syllabus/topics. In the long term, I want us to learn about apologetic but it is a long way to go as we need to learn the basic Catholic teaching.

We did our preparation last week, the name suggestion is Deo Vindice. Could anyone suggest whether this is an appropriate name for a Catholic group?

Well, I will also appreciate if you have suggestion for me, I still have a lot to learn. Prayers are also appreciated. :slight_smile:
Thanks & God bless you.

It’s always good to want to know more about your faith. Lutherans, Episcopalians, Baptists should all know more of their roots along with Catholics but never forget the basis for all denominations is the Holy Bible and getting to know that is very important. It’s God’s word to us so we must know what He says to guide us through life.

Maybe a good approach would involve compare and contrast Catholic doctrine with other non Cathooic views.
amazon.com/Charts-Christian-Theology-Doctrine-Wayne/dp/0310416612/ref=sr_1_1?ie=UTF8&qid=1385134829&sr=8-1&keywords=chart+of+theology

I’m sure David John means well, but please remember the Bible teaches that the Church is the “pillar and foundation of the truth” NOT the Bible (cf. 1 Tim 3:15). This poster seems to be implying the false doctrine (Protestant doctrine) of sola scriptura which was held by exactly zero Christians for the first 16 centuries of Church History. Remember, the Bible came from the Church. The Church didn’t come from the Bible. Finally, according to the Bible, “God’s word to us” is NOT the Bible. It is Jesus Christ (cf. John 1). None of that is to dismiss the importance of the Bible, but it must be read in the context of the Church that wrote it.

God bless!

I recommend to use the DVD “A Biblical Walk through the Mass” along with the student book as a group project. You can chip in money to purchase the DVD at ascensionpress.com/t/category/study-programs/the-mass It is a six-week course that helps you know the biblical root of the Mass and fall in love with every part of it.

I also recommend you to use “Rediscover Catholicism” by Matthew Kelly as your book club reading and discussion. It is written by a young man in a simple language. cart.dynamiccatholic.com/Free-Rediscover-Catholicism-p/1rc.htm?gclid=CM3hk5K4-boCFUzxOgodLGcAuQ&Click=50611/

Thank you PietroPaolo for saying I meant well because I do mean well and with love as a fellow Christian I respond to some of your statements.

1 Timothy 3:15 does say that the church is the foundation and pillar of truth but the church at the time Paul wrote this to Timothy was a band of believers in Jesus and certainly not the Catholic Church as we know it today. These were a group of Christians that were trying to avoid persecutions from the Jewish establishment and even the Romans.

Your statement that Sola Scriptura was held by zero Christians for the first 16 centuries seems hard for me to understand. What DID they have to hold on to but Sacred Scriptures which the Catholic Catechism says on page 30 “In Sacred Scipture,the Church constantly finds her nourishment and strength, for she welcomes it not as human word, but what it really is , the word of God” . I think the early Christians depended upon these scriptures for their strength.
The statement you make that the Bible came from the Church; the Church didn’t come from the Bible. I ask you, which came first the holy scriptures written in times before Christ or the church started in 30 AD? God is the author of the Bible. Again in the Catholic Catechism on page 31 “God is the author of Sacred Scripture” … and written down under the inspiration of the Holy Spirit. For Holy Mother Church, relying on the faith of the Apostolic Age, accepts as sacred and canonical the books of the Old and New Testamernts, whole and entire, with all their parts on the grounds that, written under the inspiration of the Holy Spirit they have God as their author and have handed it on the to Church herself.
I offer this for your understanding. Thank you.

Thank you for the kind offering. As a Catholic, I rather enjoy the catechism myself, however I do not disconnect the Sacred Scriptures or the Catechism from the Church that is described within them. We must, then, use caution as we appeal to them as authoritative.

Perhaps you’ve heard lately that some Catholic lawmakers have used Pope Francis’ words (largely from the Catechism) to justify why they’ve buckled to political pressures and voted in favor of same sex marriage laws. I’m sure that you would agree that the Pope would not endorse the redefinition of marriage, so how can we explain the actions of these lawmakers?

Neither Sacred Scripture nor the Catechism views the manner discipleship of Jesus Christ to be something best left to the discretion of the individual. Both attest to “one faith, one Lord, one baptism”; however, we do understand that some faith communities are joined to the Body of Christ as well, albeit imperfectly. As you said, it behooves all of us to read and reflect on Sacred Scripture. But to suggest that we are free to accept or reject certain aspects of teaching as our own discretion while all reflecting that “one faith” is neither correct, nor charitable to those seeking guidance.

Thank you for the thoughtful reply and kind tone.

Jesus founded a Church (cf. Matt 16:18). This was a visible Church, a Body not a Spirit (cf. Col 1:24). Something which had authority (cf. Lk 10:16) and that you could take someone to, if they refused to listen to their Christian brothers and sisters (cf. Matt 18:15). You’ll note that you cannot do that with a “spiritual” Church of all believers.

Jesus also promised that this Church would never fail (cf. Matt 16:18), so we know it must have been founded in the first century and still be around today. That excludes all Protestant denominations.

Can you produce one Christian before the Reformation that taught Sola Scriptura? You ask what they had to hold on to, the Bible tells us, the teaching of the Church - both oral and in writing (cf. 2 Thess 2:15). Do you really think the early Christians only had the OT to guide them? If so, how did the NT become scripture? How do you know that Hebrews is in the Bible and the Gospel of Thomas isn’t?

Further, if you believe in Sola Scriptura can you produce a scripture verse that teaches it? If not, sola scriptura itself isn’t scriptural and is self-refuting.

Remember, Jesus wrote nothing, pretty strange if He was founding a religion of a book. Even more strange, He never commanded any of His disciples to write anything - and indeed most didn’t. What did the early Christians have? What Catholics have. The preaching of the Church and the Sacraments (cf. Matt 28:19 and Acts 2:42-47). Jesus didn’t come to write a book, He came to found a Church - the Catholic Church. And it was the Catholic Church that wrote the Bible (through the inspiration of the Holy Spirit) and who established the Canon, that is simply a matter of history.

God bless.

Thanks for all replies, I definitely read each comments and will take into consideration when I’m doing the program.

Does anyone have any input about the name?

  1. Thanks for the prompt response. I respect what you say about the disconnect but don’t know what you mean. We are both Christians going through life seeking God’s guidance.
    It seems you are placng much emphasis on the Church (Catholic in your case) whereas I depend more on the Bible. The Church (Christian with no particular denomination) uses the Bible and the Catechism (whether Catholic or Westminster or others) to guide their flock.
  2. If these Catholic lawmakers were not torn apart by many influences of the world and reverted to the Holy Bible for guidance they would not be advocating same sex marriage.
    Pope Francis goes the to Bible to reject the lawmakers ideas on this. To me the Bible is the common denominator, the guide to what God says. These lawmakers are buckled as you say to political pressures of man and not listening to what God says in the Bible.
    3.Your last paragraph is a little deep for me. I’ll try to understand. Do you mean “manner of discipleship of Jesus Christ” as a method of witnessing to non believers then I agree to- one faith (belief in Jesus as my savior) -one Lord (only Christ Jesus) and one baptism. Both Bible and catechism attest to these things then yes I do agree. Some faith communities (I think you mean other denominations)are joined to the Body of Christ although imperfectly (we can’t all be perfect but we’re trying to imitate Christ as best we can). Yes I did say we should read scriptures,the Bible, for guidance as to what God wants of us.
    I was looking from you a response regarding the Church writing the Bible. I really don’t know where that comes from. Can you explain? It seems very clear to me from reading in the Catholic Catechism that the Church in its’ formative years relied greatly on Sacred Scriptures or Old Testament. The Bible was written by various men under the inspiraton of the Holy Spirit, i.e. John the apostle, Mark, Matthew, Luke, Paul, and others. All of these men were Christians, followers of Jesus and members of the Christian Church.
    Hope this finds you well. Thanks.

OP, in searching for the translation of your group’s name, this is what I found: “Deo Vindice (English: Under God, our Vindicator), was the motto of the Confederate States of America…” The Confederate Army believed God was on their side. There’s nothing inherently wrong with “Deo Vindice” but maybe members wouldn’t want to be associated with the CSA or the Civil War. Have you discussed naming your group with your friends?

Thank you for getting involved in young adult ministry. You said it’s a study group. There’s so much you can consider doing - here are a few ideas:
[LIST]
*] Do a study on the faith using the USCCB’s Catechism for Adults
*] Ask the members if they want to study a particular book of the Bible, over a period of time - there is a variety of resources available.
*] Show Father Robert Barron’s series of “Catholicism” DVDs
*] Show the Stephen Ray’s “Footprints of God” series - each DVD can be played in four segments for more intensive discussion and study, or all at once.
*] Find resources for topical studies, such as on the Theology of the Body (ascensionpress.com/t/category/study-programs/theology-of-the-body/young-adult), or the Mass (ascensionpress.com/t/category/study-programs/the-mass/biblical-walk-through-the-mass)
*] If your members are all men, consider some ideas from here: nfcmusa.org/index.cfm?load=page&page=170
*] Use one of Matthew Kelly’s study guides (free download): dynamiccatholic.com/free-resources/study-guides
*] Here are some ideas from the Diocese of Madison: madisondiocese.org/Ministry/EvangelizationandCatechesis/Resources/SmallGroupStudies.aspx
[/LIST]

You can also look on the USCCB website for some ideas and guidelines: usccb.org/beliefs-and-teachings/who-we-teach/young-adults/ and old.usccb.org/laity/ygadult/toc.shtml

It’s probably best if you ask the group members, especially those who seem committed to participating, what they prefer doing. Different groups have different needs. They might want to alternate (e.g., DVD once a month, comprehensive teaching and discussion on a topic once or twice a month, something less intense once a month).

You might also ask the RCIA coordinator to let you review his/her syllabus and resources, especially if most of the group members are not well-catechized.

Hi DavidJohn31. Regarding the response to the Church writing the Bible, I’m not sure I had a horse in that race but I’ll see if I can help. The Church was founded first by Jesus and its mission carried out by the apostles, their teaching transferred down through the ages by their successors. The Gospels and letters we have today (or “memoirs of the Apostles”, as they were called) were written records of the formation and acts of that Church. There were many other letters that testified to the acts and faith of the Church, such as the Didache and Shepherd, which were often read in the local churches but of these 400+, the 27 we have today were officially accepted as Sacred Scripture at the 3rd council of Carthage in AD411, “pending approval from across the lake (Rome)”. I don’t usually get into the chicken and egg debate since they were both from the same henhouse anyway. My point is that both the Holy Writ and the Church reflected the same reality and there is not disconnect between them.

I agree whole-heartedly that Sacred Scripture is authoritative, however, I do not agree that each individual person is authoritative in their rendering of its passages. As Catholics, we are instructed not only to read scripture, but to first pray and ask God to shield us from predispositions, bitterness, feelings of pride, etc. so as not to subject the Holy Spirit’s message to our preconceived notions. We need to avoid tell the Bible what it says and empty ourselves (or at least not be full of ourselves).

Not only is my own small town filled with 56 different “bible-churches” that cannot agree on anything other than “Jesus died for me”, (except the JWs) but the forum that we are currently on is filled with threads demonstrating the same. If one group accepts the efficacious grace given at Baptism and another group rejects this, they are clearly not of the “same faith”, wouldn’t you agree? If they both point to the Bible for their proof, how is the truth decided?

The early Church was called Catholic because of its nature. It was not exclusive in terms of salvation as Judaism or later Gnosticism. It was Catholic because it embraced all of humanity as Children of God, that Jesus died for all of humanity. By accepting this faith in Jesus Christ, you “named” (“nomen”, eg. our English word nominate) yourself to the Catholic faith. Later, schisms led to people “de-nomen-ate” themselves, which is why they are called denominations. Catholics are not de-nominated, we are nominated. These denominations have made choices to accept or reject certain sacraments, authority, etc.; lots of different reasons. So does it matter if you accept or reject that baptism is necessary? I answer “yes” it really does. Does it matter if you believe Jesus is truly present in the Eucharist? I answer “yes” it really does. By accepting of rejecting different aspects of the faith handed down by the apostles, we drastically change the personhood of Jesus Christ and the image of who we are worshipping.

And the OP, I am sincerely sorry to derail and take due responsibility for messing up your thread. My vote is for the Great Adventure although the cost might be prohibitive. I hope your Bible study is fruitful!

What does Deo Vindice mean? What language is it?

Speaking from experience of starting a group like this a few years ago, I highly recommend tailoring your topics and activities to the people who are coming. If your group is filled with practicing Catholics who are well-versed in their faith, then I like several of the suggestions already posted. If this is not the case, then I suggest finding out what topics interest the group members about their faith and pursuing topics and activities along those interests.

Groups like the one you are starting can empower their members to start actively pursuing God through Catholicism. This sense of ownership comes from connecting Catholicism with things the group is already actively interested in. Deep understandings of apologetics and catechesis are wonderful, but please do not underestimate the value of “less intense” topics if those “less intense” topics allow your members to really take ownership of their Catholic faith.

Deo Vindice is taken from Latin, but I think it has 2 meanings, that’s why I’m very cautious now as I’m not fluent in latin.

So I’m wondering whether there is anyone who fluent in Latin able to help me with this. Thanks.

I am not fluent in Latin, but I think I can help. First of all, vindicare is first conjugation so you probably want to change the form.

perseus.uchicago.edu/cgi-bin/philologic/getobject.pl?c.20:949.lewisandshort

What is thr name supposed to mean?

Deo Vindice was suggested by someone in a group, then we drew lots. So far, the only definition I got from wikipedia, and it’s related to American Civil War.

From Wikipedia

Deo Vindice (English: Under God, our Vindicator), was the motto of the Confederate States of America, and was engraved on their official seal. The CSA[who?] firmly believed that the Christian God was on their side during the American Civil War, and made repeated proclamations to that effect. The Confederate Senator Thomas Semmes, in proposing this motto, took pains to stress that the CSA had “deviated in the most emphatic manner from the spirit that presided over the construction of the Constitution of the United States, which is silent on the subject of the Deity”, and he clearly expected this invocation to bring his side victory.

and some other website give

“Deo” means “God,” Vindice” means avenge, revenge, and defend. “Deo Vindice,” then means God will revenge; He will avenge, He will defend.

That is why I’m very cautious now as I don’t really see Catholics use it.

Okay. I see. It is from the noun vindex. The sense is something like “God is our Defender (or Avenger)”. I would not use it. It’s association with the CSA gives unecessary opportunity for scandal.

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