Where did you learn what you know about Catholicism?

This is an offshoot of the poll, “Why are Catholics so reserved, generally speaking, about sharing their faith?” (forum.catholic.com/showthread.php?t=16057). It struck me that the overwhelming vote was that Catholics are poorly catechized. I wish the bishops would see that poll and take it as a wake-up call regarding Catholic education and catechesis.

However, if the average Catholic is poorly catechized, from where did you learn what you know about the Catholic Faith?

Almost all of my Catholic education has come from my study and Catholic radio. One of the downsides of leaving The Church for so long (at least 6 years) and not really knowing what it meant to be Catholic for a lot of the time I was involved.

Where did I learn what I know about Catholicism? In the Episcopal Church. When I approached the Catholic Church and read the Catechism I realized that the faith I knew, learned, loved and practiced as an Episcopalian IS the Catholic faith. The parts I had not fully accepted as an Episcopalian, I nevertheless understood according to the Catholic teaching.

I learned most of what I know from Relevant Radio. I came from a good Catholic home and was educated in Catholic schools and attended Mass every week. I understood my faith to an extent, but my eyes were really opened about a year and a half ago by Relevant Radio. Before then I thought I knew a lot about my faith, but after listening to the radio I realized I knew nothing. Because of the radio, I have a deeper understanding of my faith. Now I know what it truly means to be Catholic.

For starters, before I entered RCIA, I read a book call the “The Complete Idiot’s Guide To Understanding Catholicism”. I must say, it was a blessing to find such a book. I was able to learn the basics of the faith before entering RCIA which really helped. My RCIA was very solid and well structured. Since becoming catholic, I continue to self study, and learn from watching shows on EWTN, listening to catholic books on tape, and from getting involved in different ministries within the church. For example, right now, I am training to become a minister of care to bring communion to the homebound. I have learned a great deal about my faith from this training. The pastor at my parish also does a great deal to continue teaching us adults through talks and classes he holds each month.

i learned what I know about Catholicism from the Catechism classes at the Catholic School I attended and also from self study, EWTN, Catholic Answers, and my Spiritual Advisor.


Up until 20 years ago, when I was 28, I was completely uncatechised, not even had my first communion. When I met my wife, a practicing Catholic I started a journey of discovery in the Catholic faith. It was kind of hit and miss for a year or so until I discovered Catholic Answers (Karl Keating came to speak at my parish) and then it was off to the races with no looking back. Catholic Answers led me to study scripture and introduced me to other orthodox Catholic books and speakers. EWTN has also added a boost. I am now active in teaching scripture, adult ed and apologetics. I’ve said it before, but I’ll say it again: Thanks, Karl.

I would ammend my original vote. There was a two-year span in which I received very good catechesis about the faith from the sermons at Mass. At St. Mary’s by the Sea in Huntintgon Beach, CA the Reverend Daniel Johnson (may God bless him in his retirement) and his associate (I want to say Eakin but that doesn’t sound right) gave very clear, precise, and informative sermons that taught the faith. Sadly, I have encountered few other examples that can come close in the rest of the 12 years I have been back in the Church.

The essentials from my parents & religion classes up to age 13. The so-called religion classes in secondary school (13 to 18) were a mixture of social studies & investigate all faiths except catholicism. The lives of various saints (off my parents bookshelf) was a huge source of knowledge. And finally from about age 16 I decided that if I wasn’t going forward & developing an ‘adult’ faith I was going to go backward & might lose my faith so I read more books, saints,Catechism etc… I didn’t discover these online forums until about a year ago.

My father was a heavy influence in my cathechisis. His example of faith is what triggered my deep spirituality…I searched many answers to my questions on my own, but my father was there to guide me.

I’ve learned the most from Catholic Radio :getholy:

I learned a few basics from attending a Catholic grade school for 7 or 8 years, but unfortunately it was at a time when the catechesis was very poor: books with lots of pretty color photos depicting multiculturalism, and I distinctly recall learning about reincarnation (which was not explained as being contrary to Christianity). My parents were observant, but not fervent, and religion was not discussed at home. Many years later, the Catholic Answers radio show and a new friendship with a devout Catholic couple sparked an interest in self-study, and so now I would say that reading is my main source of information, as well as Catholic Radio (Catholic Answers continues to be my favorite program). Since becoming more informed, I also made the effort to find a good orthodox priest, and now I can say that I learn from the pulpit as well, which is a great blessing.

I went to a Catholic grade school. We learned our religion from the Baltimore Catechism.

The basics of my Catholic teaching and love for Our Lord Jesus Christ, along with His most Blessed Mother, came from my parents. They are the foundation stones on which my journey began. I have continued my learning through the writings of the early church fathers, the great saints and of course the Magistarium and our Holy Father.

I can only hope someday to be half the man my father was. His courage, strength, and tremendous love for Jesus Christ carried our family through some very difficult times.

In His Peace!

I learned pretty much what to believe in Catholic grade school and Catholic High School.

I learned why to believe those things from self study, reading / listening to Catholic and Protestant apologists.

I learned the basics of the Faith in elementary school, but then, obviously, I learned with the understanding of a child; nonetheless, my faith took root. I developed a love for the saints, the Blessed Mother, and I of course developed a healthy fear of the awesome power of God. I also loved the Church’s rituals, and even though I may not have understood their theological meaning as a child, I nevertheless intuitively understood that there was a certain sublimeness about them which could within us develop holiness. But as as adult it is self study which is truly teaching me about my faith. For example, when I first returned to the faith as an adult, it was the radio show “Catholic Answers” which made clear to me the intellectual muscularity of the faith. That the Catholic Church embodies Truth was exciting to me after having been for so long exposed to a false intellectualism in the halls of academe. What is helping me the most though, hands down, is EWTN. Without this divinely–inspired network, I never would have developed the fervor for the faith that I now possess. In addition, I read voraciously —books and magazines, all orthodox of course, and I visit orthodox websites. There’s such an abundance of material out there on all mediums regarding our beloved Church, that it is now possible, more than ever, to read and study one’s way into the Catholic faith. And now more than ever, one must avail oneself of these resources because the Faith imparted to us through the hierarchy is oftentimes diluted, uneven, or misinterpreted.

  1. Baltimore Catechism
  2. Frank Sheed

I’m a cradle Catholic who attended CCD and was confirmed at age 14, attended a Catholic high school and a Catholic University (Villanova). I really didn’t know didly sqat until my faith got challenged by some Evangelical friends. Then I hit the books - Keating, Hahn, Curry, CCC and, of course, the Bible. The more you know, the more you gotta love the Catholic Faith.
I really believe that all of us who have the awareness of how poorly catechised we were through the traditional methods employed by many parishes need to be PERSONALLY INVOLVED with Catholic study groups, bible studies, youth groups, RCIA, etc. The time is now - let’s step to the plate for our Faith. :thumbsup:


I am also a cradle Catholic, but I fell away from the Church for about 20 years after my parents’ divorce when I was a child. It’s hard to be properly catechized when you stop practicing your faith at about 8 years old :frowning: It wasn’t until my “secular life” left me totally empty that I began searching for answers. Through a lot of reading I realized that God was missing within me, and the best place to find him was back home in His Church.

i didn’t know much about my faith till i came to a protestant place.

as they say, neccessity is the mother of …(yeah, i know i didn’t invent anything!)

i was catholic but didn’t know much about my faith. 13 years in a catholic school and lots of years in catechism classes in church didn’t amount to much
then i came to study medicine in a protestant college. i was asked some polite questions by my classmates about my faith. the commonest line i heard was- you guys worship mary and we worship jesus. i could handle that but i grew afraid
i was afraid there are questions i couldn’t answer and my faith would not be properly heard.
so i asked around at home and my friends at opus dei dished out loads of books and help. i started reading and haven’t stopped till now.
i know more than i did 3 years ago.
still, i know there’s probably loads of questions out there that i don’t know the answers to offhand. but the important thing is i know where to look for them.


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