Marian Catechist Basic Catechism Course: Intro Meeting on 2 June at 7p

Marian Catechist Basic Catechism Course: Intro Meeting on 2 June at 7p

The Marian Catechist Basic Catechism Course is a guided home-study program designed to draw participants closer to God through a systematic exploration of the Catholic Faith.  These 16 lessons follow a straightforward outline to address the fundamentals of the Catholic Faith in order to equip any Catholic, regardless of their vocation, to clearly and confidently express what Catholics are called to believe.

The Marian Catechist Apostolate believes that all Catholics, whether they teach in a classroom or in Religious Education or not, are called to be Evangelists.  Neighbors, friends, and fellow-commuters engage with Catholics every day, and through these interactions all Catholics are asked to, as Saint Peter exhorts us, ‘give a defense for the hope that is in us.’  Because we cannot give that which we do not ourselves possess, the Apostolate’s mission is to equip faithful men and women with a thorough, basic understanding of the Faith so that they may effectively and rightly share it.

The Apostolate is a public association of the faithful, begun by Servant of God Father John Hardon, SJ and currently guided by His Eminence, Raymond Cardinal Burke.  The content in the Basic Course is based on a program developed by Fr. Hardon to help train St. Mother Teresa’s Sisters of Charity to effectively share the Catholic Faith.

The Basic Course is the first component of a Consecrated Catechist’s formation, and while any Catholic can and should participate in the doctrinal formation the Basic Course provides, it is hoped than many will continue through the full spiritual and theological formation provided by joining the Apostolate as a Consecrated Catechist.

The 16 lessons of the Basic Course cover the essentials of the Faith (Salvation History, The Apostle’s Creed, the Ten Commandments, the Beatitudes, the Seven Sacraments and The Lord’s Prayer). Each student uses a textbook (the Course Manual), the current Catechism of the Catholic Church, and supplementary texts (the Modern Catholic Dictionary) to study and learn the faith before answering questions to gauge how well-prepared they are to accurately discuss the topics in the lesson with others.  Every test is open-book, and questions are carefully designed to help fully digest the doctrines of the Church.

The Basic Catechism Course follows the following outline:

  1. Salvation History
  2. The Apostles’ Creed, Article 1
  3. The Apostles’ Creed, Articles 2-5
  4. The Apostles’ Creed, Articles 6-8
  5. The Apostles’ Creed, Articles 9-12
  6. The Ten Commandments: 1,2 & 3
  7. The Ten Commandments: 4,5 & 6
  8. The Ten Commandments: 7,8 & 9
  9. The Beatitudes – Promises of Happiness
  10. The Seven Sacraments
  11. Baptism and Confirmation
  12. The Holy Eucharist
  13. Penance
  14. Matrimony
  15. Holy Orders & Anointing
  16. Prayer and the Lord’s Prayer

At Prince of Peace, we will be hosting the Basic Catechism Course again this year. An introductory session will be hosted on 2 June at 7p. The course is designed to be a guided home-study course, so participants may work at their own pace, either using the traditional format and mailing their completed tests to be marked for completion and accuracy, or they may use the Marian Catechist’s Online Course option and submit their work electronically.

The Discussion Groups we host with a consecrated catechist and volunteer theologians provide an invaluable support network to understand and inwardly digest the beauty of the faith, and we are thrilled to offer this resource.  Participants who choose to work independently may join our discussion group nights on campus and ask questions, provided they have already completed the test for that lesson.  For more information, please contact Michael Sandifer in the Parish Office at or 864.331.3902.

4 May: Feast of Saint Florian of Lorch

4 May: Feast of Saint Florian of Lorch

4 May: Feast of Saint Florian of Lorch. Florian was born around 250 AD in the Roman city of Aelium Cetiumin (present-day Sankt Pölten, Austria). He joined the Roman army as a young man and advanced quickly through the ranks, rising to commander of the imperial army in the province of Noricum. In addition to military duties, he was also given the responsibility of leading men to fight fires. Florian saw the need to organize permanent firefighting brigades; he trained elite groups of soldiers whose sole duty was to fight fires. During the Diocletianic Persecution of Christians, reports reached Rome that Florian was refusing to kill Christians in his province. Diocletian sent Governor Aquilinus to investigate; the suspicion was that Florian was refusing to carry out executions because he, too, was a Christian. To test his faith, Aquilinus ordered Florian to offer a sacrifice to the Roman gods. Florian refused. Florian was offered greater pay and more power if he would abandon Christianity. But Florian stood firm in his refusal. Enraged, Aquilinus ordered Florian to be brutally beaten. Florian boldly declared, “Tell the Emperor that I am a Christian and will suffer the same fate as the Christians.” After he was beaten, Aquilinus ordered Florian to be burned. Florian’s own soldiers were commanded to burn him at the stake. His friends hesitated, but as he stood on the funeral pyre, Florian encouraged them to be brave and light the fire: “If you do, I will climb to Heaven on the flames!” Aquilinus overheard and decided against burning. Instead, he had Florian flayed, beaten again, and then drowned by tying a millstone around his neck and throwing him into the River Enns. Florian’s body was recovered and buried by a faithful Christian. Later his remains were taken to the Augustinian Abbey near the city of Linz, Austria. In 1138 King Casmir of Poland and the Bishop of Cracow requested that some of St. Florian’s relics be taken to the city of Cracow. Pope Lucius III agreed. Since that time, St. Florian has been considered a patron saint of Poland. There were many miracles reported through his intercession, including when a fire in 1528 destroyed most of the town but not St. Florian’s Church. Although recognized by the Church as a saint and one of the earliest known Christian martyrs, St. Florian was never formally canonized, as he lived in a time called “pre-congregation,” before the creation of today’s formal process of canonization. International Firefighters’ Day is also celebrated on his feast day, May 4. This day is celebrated in Europe with parades and festivities. Central Europe especially venerates St. Florian as the patron saint of firefighters. In German, the word “Florian” is often used interchangeably with “firefighter” and is a universal radio call sign for fire departments. The Saint Florian cross is the most famous symbol of St. Florian. It is widely used to represent organizations of firefighters around the world. St. Florian is often depicted in portraits pouring a bucket of water onto a burning building. This comes from a legend that St. Florian saved an entire house, and sometimes it is said an entire town, from flames using only a single bucket of water. St. Florian is the patron saint of Austria and Poland; also of firefighters, chimney sweeps, barrel-makers and brewers. He is invoked against fires, floods, drowning, lightning, and the pains of purgatory.

Ideas for celebrating this feast at home:

  • Decorate your dinner table with red, the color of martyrs. Enjoy an Austrian or Polish meal. Since St. Florian is also the patron of brewers, enjoy a good brew tonight in his honor.
  • Visit your local fire station and deliver treats and thank you’s. Say this prayer to St. Florian for firefighters.
  • Celebrate St. Florian’s feast day with a FIRE! Light up the fireplace or build a big backyard bonfire. Roast marshmallows. Sit by the fire telling stories of the saints and tell children what it means to be a martyr and why we must all be ready to die for our Faith.
  • Finish the day with a family prayer time; include a Litany of the Saints.


(sources:;; The First Firefighter Saint Florian by Gary Green)