How to Use the Irish Catholic Catechism for Adults in Your Parish
Experience tells us that the best way to use the Irish Catholic Catechism for Adults is within a group. This gives individuals an opportunity to discuss what they have read, to be challenged by the views of others, and to pray together as a Christian community. We would therefore encourage parishes, pastoral areas, deaneries and dioceses to organise meetings or study groups where the Irish Catholic Catechism for Adults can be discussed. These might run for a few weeks a year, in preparation for particular events, or they might target a certain group of people.
- A parish/pastoral area/deanery/diocese decides how many sessions to do, and which chapters to look at in each of the sessions. Some suggestions are given below.
- One person is appointed to act as a facilitator for the group. Veritas are willing to train these facilitators to undertake this task. Email firstname.lastname@example.org for more information.
- The members of the group are each given a copy of the Irish Catholic Catechism for Adults, and are advised in advance which chapters will be covered. Participants read one chapter in advance of each week’s session, and come prepared to review the information, and to chat about it.
- The facilitator will find a helpful guide to conducting the group sessions in the >Irish Catholic Catechism for Adults Study Guide.
Choosing what Chapters to Cover:
Some groups, for example those preparing the Rite of Christian Initiation of Adults, may choose to look at the Irish Catholic Catechism for Adults in its entirity. Others may find it helpful to organise study groups for three or four week sessions based on particular themes. You will find some examples below, but there are many others. Email your ideas to email@example.com and we will share them with readers.
- Chapter 1.My soul is yearning for you my God
- Chapter 2. God comes to meet us
- Chapter 7. The Good News: God Has Sent His Son
- Chapter 35. God Calls Us to Pray
- Chapter 36. Jesus Taught Us to Pray
- Chapter 8. The Saving Death and Resurrection of Christ
During Lent, groups might also focus on issues of justice, for example in the context of a Trócaire Lenten campaign, and might look at the following chapters together:
- Chapter 29. The Fifth Commandment: Promote the Culture of Life
- Chapter 31. The Seventh Commandment: Do Not Steal – Act Justly
- Chapter 34. The Tenth Commandment: Embrace Poverty of Spirit
This may appeal especially to young adults, who are often engaged in social justice activities. A group like this might conclude their time together by undertaking a service project in their local community.
Parents, perhaps especially those whose children are celebrating First Reconciliation, First Communion or Confirmation may come together to look at these chapters:
- Chapter 15. Baptism: Becoming a Christian
- Chapter 18. Sacrament of Penance and Reconciliation: God is Rich in Mercy
- Chapter 17. The Eucharist: Source and Summit of the Christian Life
- Chapter 16. Confirmation: Consecrated for Mission
For Marriage Preparation:
- Chapter 21. The Sacrament of Marriage
- Chapter 28. The Fourth Commandment: Strengthen Your Family
- Chapter 30. The Sixth Commandment: Marital Fidelity
- Chapter 12. Mary: The Church’s First and Most Perfect Member
- Chapter 22. Sacramentals and Popular Devotions
During the Easter season, the Gospel readings focus on the establishment and life of the early Church. A study group might come together before/after Mass on those weeks to reflect on the nature of the Church today by studying the following topics:
- Chapter 9. Receive the Holy Spirit (Jn 20:22)
- Chapter 10. The Church: Reflecting the Light of Christ
- Chapter 11. The Four Marks of the Church
- Chapter 19. Anointing the Sick and the Dying
- Chapter 13. Our Eternal Destiny
Feedback from parish groups:
‘Informative and thought-provoking.’
‘It gave me great insight into the meaning of the First Commandment.’
‘I would encourage others to attend parish study groups to learn more about their faith and how to put it into practice.’
‘Enlightening, captivating and faith-lifting.’
‘I heard things I never would have realised before.’
‘I would encourage others to attend because the sessions are lively, enriching in the faith and help in forming fellowships that are helpful spiritually, psychologically and socially.’