Here at St. Patrick's basilica we have a program that invites Catholics (who want to take a refresher
course), those who want to return to the Catholic faith, and those who want to become Catholics (for
the first time), to "come and see" what the Catholic Faith of Jesus Christ is all about.
Although the Catechism of the Catholic Church has four Parts: The Profession of Faith, The Celebration
of the Christian Mystery, Life in Christ, and Christian Prayer, the series we use has three parts which
are designed to slightly condense but basically follow the ordering of the four Parts of the Catechism.
The program is based on a series authored by Dr. Peter Kreeft. This series teaches that Christ is at the
centre and heart of all we believe, and all that we do. The Catechism (a summary of religious doctrine,
often in the form of questions and answers) is used extensively, but is not a substitute for it. No one
can be an educated Catholic today or live an authentic spiritual life without having a copy of this
Catechism and constantly referring to it.
Participants in the program prepare to receive the sacraments of rebirth, learn to become "children
of God" (Jn 1:12; 1 Jn 3:1) and become 'partakers of the divine nature' (2 Pt 1:4).
Our program begins in September, and continues each week until Easter. A team of catechists
will guide the lessons through a three-part series designed to explain what we believe (theology or
creed), how we pray or communicate with God (worship and the sacraments) and how we behave (morality).
The unifying principle of all three is the presence of sanctifying grace, or God, within us.
The lessons cover the following topics:
Creed: Faith, God, Creation, The Human Person, Jesus Christ, The Holy Spirit, The Holy Catholic
Church, The Forgiveness of sins, The Resurrection of the Body and The Life Everlasting.
Worship: Introduction to Catholic Liturgy, Introduction to the Sacraments, Baptism and
Confirmation, The Eucharist, Penance, Matrimony, Holy Orders and the Anointing of the Sick, Prayer,
The Lord's Prayer, Mary.
Morality: The Essence of Catholic Morality, Human Nature as the Basis for Morality, Some
Fundamental Principles of Catholic Morality, Virtues and Vices, The First Three Commandments: Duties
to God, The Fourth commandment: Family and Social Morality, The Fifth Commandment: Moral Issues of Life
and Death, The Sixth and Ninth Commandments: Sexual Morality, The Seventh and Tenth Commandments:
Economic and Political Morality, The Eighth Commandment: Truth.
We begin our class at 7:00 PM in the basement of the Church. We have drinks and snacks available
for everyone staring at about 6:40. Usually people will mingle a bit before we start. Here's what follows:
7:00 - Opening prayer
7:05 - 25 - discussion groups (discuss questions concerning the day's topic)
7:25 - summary of discussions given by a rep of each group
7:35 -8:30 - formal presentation on the topic of the night
8:30 - 9:00 - anyone may stay and ask questions or chat while we clean up.
Each night there are handouts (a small booklet and some other related material) for the following week.
Everyone is expected to read the small booklet and answer some simple questions on the topic prior to class.
(This may take approx. 30-45 minutes in any given week.) We expect that the remaining handouts may be read
for the following class or saved for another time.
On the opening night we ask everyone who wishes, to sign up. On that night as well, we will
introduce ourselves (there are eight team members who make formal presentations) and give an overview
of the year ahead. The tuition cost is $20.00 (for those who can afford it) - to cover the cost of the
booklets and handouts.