If we have not taught our faith well since 1960, what should we do to change this?

If we have not taught our faith well since 1960, what should we do to change this? On another thread, Church morality is a “parent” responsibility. What should the Church teach and when? No more I was not taught my faith and the priests are not teaching it to us every Sunday?

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It’s not up to the priests entirely. PARENTS are the first educators in the faith.
Convince parents that they are shirking their proper role in the lives of their children.
Tell parents that faith formation is every bit as important as soccer, competitive cheering and scouting.
Implore them to keep there kids in formation, just as they keep them in school.

Catechists get little or no support.
Change THAT, and the youth world will change the world.


Why pick 1960? Why not 1950, or 70 or 80 or 90?

I know Clare will disagree with me (still love ya :slight_smile: ) but go back to something like the Baltimore Catechism. My mother still remembers at 77 years of age nearly all of the lines she was taught from it. I, on the other hand, grew up in the post-VII church, went through 12 years of Catholic schooling, and didn’t know until I was well into adulthood that receiving the Eucharist in a state of mortal sin is itself a mortal sin. Couldn’t tell you anything from my catechism experiences if my life depended on it.

Tell parents which solid catechism materials to use at home. I’ve had to locate materials on my own.

Actually include discussions of sin in homilies. I’m not saying priests should be dark at all times, but sometimes it seems like sin is a dirty word in Catholic parishes.


Who says we haven’t? Do you think that Catholics over 75 are really that much better informed than younger people?

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In my experience, yes. Granted, my experience is limited.

Catholicism was taught well to baby boomers? Yeah, nothing went wrong with that generation. :roll_eyes:


In my opinion the answer is Catechism-based education. Every Catholic middle school/high school should have a mandatory class devoted exclusively to teaching the catechism. For every student, every year.

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The problems with this idea are twofold. One, getting sufficient numbers of people who are able and willing to do the teaching.

The second, is getting middle /high school kids and their parents sufficiently interested to actual sign up and participate in this.

Any theology teacher at a Catholic high school should be able to do this. As for the parents…you think they’re going to send their kids to public schools because of a catechism class? I don’t.

I think there is a crying need for adult faith formation. We seem to believe that by the time a person finishes high school (or earlier) they know everything there is to know about the faith. And then we’re somehow surprised when people face adult situations their faith isn’t prepared for.

Every parish should have classes, lectures, discussions, etc. for people to attend and learn more. It would also fill another need I hear expressed often, fellowship with other Catholics. You can make it easy by offering programs when children are attending religious ed classes or after Mass when people are already present.


That’s a lot more realistic, for these instructions only for Catholic school students- I misread you, I thought you were prescribing it for all Catholic teens

Absolutely, they are better informed. They may not have put the time in to understand what they have been informed of, but it is there.

I am 51 and spent many a night in my twenties sitting drunk at a camp fire after everyone else had passed out, wondering what the meaning of life was. Those who grew up with the Baltimore Catechism were very informed and would rattle off, “God created us to know Him, love Him, and serve Him in this life and be happy with Him forever in the next life.” Or something to that effect. They may not fully understand it but they do know it.

The world is a much different place than it was even twenty years ago. Even if one has never left their home town, we are now one global society. This means (especially the younger generation) we see the world in a different way than in anytime in history. It means that for this generation coming up, if they are to be interested in learning the Church’s teachings and inclined to follow them, they need to find them to be relevant.

I think there is a lot of relevance that can be found in Church teaching, but if it isn’t taught in a way that the receiver of the information can make that connection, the effort is futile. Memorizing a good line out of the Baltimore Catechism about the meaning of life doesn’t cut it any more.

I think the Church needs to re-evaluate how it teaches, not necessarily what it teaches.

I was born in 1965, I was taught you cannot receive communion if youve committed a mortal sin. I was taught that in the home by my loving mother and 1st catechist

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All good. Working Moms definitely mess things up. If Dad isn’t an involved parent kids don’t get to CCD.
The Baltimore Catechism, by rote, is good.
Why did we stop Catholic HS’s. The teens are a tough time. Unisex HS’s needed. Colleges having bi-gender DORMS., Catholic Colleges should set s standard. Hopefully, are still separate. Their teaching has gotten liberal. After 9/11, one of our Univ.’s had a bad person to speak. OK, Alice! What was the bad person?
I’m inclined to think an Anti-Semitic person.
Anyway, back to kids learning about God. That was part of it on College level.
We’re competing w soccer, piano lessons, etc.
Have parents take BC home and give assignments? Extra things to do interfere w sports, etcand driving kids back and forth at different schedules… I keep coming up w problems.
OK! How’s this! A thirty minute Christian Catechism class on EWTN at 830pm?? After homework. Have kids in a class on the TV.
The church can have a library of movies to lend on Biblical stories. Or EWTN on a Sat. afternoon can show movies-at 2pm? Pick a better time non-conflicting. Or have different showings.
What rewards can be offered?!
Complicated! Bless you all for thinking
In Christ’s Love

The problem has been for decades now that we have unrealistic expectations regarding students. We are told we HAVE to make it so they WANT to learn.

we’re finding this out in just about every single aspect of society as the generations taught between 1960 and today have grown and entered into the work force–this group of people who have, by and large, the most affluent society, and greatest amount of opportunity for education in the largest possible number of ways in the whole history of history–in many cases simply refuse to bother to learn anything at all.

That’s the problem. We have tried to make ‘tailor made’ education for each individual, because individualism is the god of the American people. So you walk into a classroom of 40 students and the teacher is supposed to make the lesson of the day something that every single student finds relevant and fun so that the student will want to learn it. Right. In that class of 40 in some schools half or more of the kids haven’t eaten that day. The majority haven’t had 8 hours of sleep, some through choice, some not. Some are visual learners, some are oral, some are kinesthetic. Many have learning disabilities. Many have allergies or other health conditions. Many come from ‘broken families’, some from ‘affluenza’. Some are minorities, some are not.

And above all. . .some wish to learn EVERYTHING. Some wish to learn some specific things based upon their desires. . .which may, or may not, be realistic or achievable. Some wish to just ‘drift’ through life. Many self-medicate with booze, pills, or sex.

And this is with the ‘compulsory education’.

You’re asking that an ‘extra’ (Catholic education) offered often at a time which interferes with the student’s ‘life’ (based on the student’s perspective) and which is often mocked and insulted by the student’s family, peers, teachers, and society, somehow magically achieve something which the public schools haven’t been able to instill. . . a desire for learning. . .because they’re working backward.

People sneer at ‘rote learning’. The point of the ‘old style’ of education though wasn’t to END with ‘rote learning’, it was to BEGIN with it.

Ever learned a musical instrument? You have to know your notes by HEART before you can move forward into anything. Same with language --you need to know your alphabet by heart before you can form words. You need a ‘basement foundation’ before you start all the freeform ‘fun’ of furnishing your house. All the frills and the fun can only come about when you have your foundation, your rooms laid out, your roof on top, etc. And if you start to put in a jacuzzi when you don’t even have the pipes or the flooring established, you wind up with a wreck.

So yes, get the student grounded with all the ‘rote stuff’ to START and use that to BUILD with’.

Jesus did it that way. He addressed the crowds with things like, “You have heard it said. . .but I say.” He doesn’t go around, “Oh hai, people, I’d like to know your thoughts on X. What does it mean to you? oh, is everybody comfy here, hey Simon, put up the projector, let’s do a mindfulness minute here,” when He taught!!


I think there is enough qualified catechists…but the problem is not just uncatechised youth, but adults who believe they are well cstechised simply by virtue of being cradle Catholics.

My own experience has been that Adults coming into the Faith via RCIA are much more knowledgable than those thinking they have it wired because they were norm into the fsith.

This goes back to what I posted about us living in a different world because of global societies. We have thousands of choices. We are consumers of our education, and this means even kids. It is sort of the thing about “brining a horse to water, but not being able to force them to drink”, right?

Religious education is different than learning multipication tables. Religious education is only going to be accepted if the recipient a) believes what they are learning, and b) decides it has enough value to keep the information as a guide as they navigate through life. You aren’t going to get kids to even consider a or b unless you are able to convince them it is relevant to them.

Like it or not, that is where it is. Differentiation in the classroom can be a wonderful thing, and without too much extra effort on the part of the teacher. We all take in information differently. Rote memorization is something I am all about. It is the way I tend to learn best. But I don’t waste my time, as an adult, memorizing things I believe are false or have no value in my everyday life. I think I am pretty normal in this regard. Why should we or would we expect kids to be different. Especially kids in today’s world who have so many other options available to them?

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They should start from small. Catechism should be learned in the Church/school and at home. Then learning and practicing.

For poorly catechised parents, it is never too late but more importantly, it has to start somewhere.

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