By Marnie McAllister, Record Assistant Editor
If you’ve been curious about “why we do what we do” as Catholics, this may the time to join a Why Catholic? group in your parish.
The next six-week season, beginning in early October, explores “belief” and delves into the fundamentals of the Catholic faith. Participants will examine the “desire for God” and the nature of faith, among other topics.
“This season is on the creed, what we believe,” said Sal Della Bella, director of evangelization for the Archdiocese of Louis-ville. “We get a lot of requests for this. People say, ‘Can we have more (programs) to understand why we do what we do?’ This is the season that will address those things.”
Parishes will be holding “sign-up Sundays” to register Why Catholic? partici-pants in mid- to late-September. Participants are divided into small groups that meet weekly — either in a participant’s home or at their parish. They follow curriculum provided in the Why Catholic? book which offers Scripture passages and citations from the Catechism related to each topic. It also prompts participants to share their own experiences and invites them to reflect on church teaching.
The only cost to participants is the purchase of a $10 book, available in parishes. Della Bella said that some parishes cover this cost, as well. The book includes 12 topics — six will be studied this fall and six will be studied in the spring sessions. The fall schedule is designed to end the week before Thanksgiving.
Della Bella said a couple of new things may be happening this year at the parish level.
Small groups are encouraged to write down questions about topics they find difficult to understand and submit them to their parish priest or director of religious education. The parish is encouraged to print the questions and answers in the weekly bulletin.
The archdiocese also is providing a list of local experts in various topics who are available to speak to broad parish groups. Parishioners who don’t participate in the small groups may benefit from attending a large-group presentation, Della Bella said. Small group participants may also enjoy supplementing their studies by attending a presentation, he added.
Weekly topics to be covered this fall will be:
1. Desire for God — Della Bella said this will examine “why and how we seek God in our own lives and how we know God exists.”
2. God’s Revelation: Scripture and Tradition
3. Faith: I believe, We Believe
4. The Trinity
5. The Mystery of Creation
6. The Incarnation
Topics to be studied in the spring will be:
7. The Public Life of Jesus
8. The Paschal Mystery
9. The Holy Spirit and the Church
10. One Church with Diverse Roles
11. Mary, Mother of Christ, Mother of the Church
12. We Believe in Everlasting Life
For more information about Why Catholic?, a program of RENEW International, visit the www.archlou.org Why Catholic? section.
(This is the first in a series of stories about the lastest season of the Why Catholic? program.)