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 Michael.Sandifer@princeofpeacetaylors.org or 864.331.3902.