USCCB Catechism Specialist Offers ‘Five Things Catholics Should Know About The Catechism’

October 31, 2012 By Public Affairs Office

WASHINGTON—To honor the fiftiethanniversary of the Second Vatican Council and the twentieth anniversary of the Catechism of the Catholic Church, PopeBenedict XVI has announced a Year of Faith. It began October 11, ends November24, 2013, and is meant to strengthen the faith of Catholics and draw the worldto faith by their example.

The pope hasencouraged Catholics to study the Catechismas part of the Year of Faith. Alissa Thorell, catechism specialist for the U.S.Conference of Catholic Bishops' Secretariat of Evangelization and Catechesis,offers "Five Things Catholics Should Know About the Catechism." Thorellexplains:

1. It's universal in its scope. Promulgatedin 1992, the Catechism of the CatholicChurch is the first book of its kind in 450 years, an effort by the world'sbishops to convey the content of the Catholic faith to the whole Church. Followingthe Second Vatican Council (1962-65), the bishops recognized the importance of providinga more complete presentation of the Catholic faith and teachings to Catholicsliving in the modern world.

2. It's universal in its content. The Catechism compiles the living Traditionof the Catholic Church and divides it into four sections: what Catholicsbelieve (the Creed), how the faith is transmitted (worship and sacraments), howCatholics are called to live (moral life) and prayer. The contents of thesefour parts are interwoven, providing an organic presentation of the faith.

3. It's a resource for education. The maingoal of the Catechism is to helpbishops, pastors, catechists, parents and all who teach the faith. It providesa foundation that encourages bishops' conferences to develop teaching materialsfrom it.

4. It's an invitation prayer. The Catechism draws from the richness of theCatholic Church, including Sacred Scripture and Sacred Tradition, the teachingdocuments of Church and the lives of the saints. This makes it not only usefulfor learning about the Catholic faith, but for growing in one's faith throughmeditation and prayer.

5. It's for Catholics of all ages. Learningand living the faith is an ongoing process throughout a person's life, and the Catechism can help Catholics come toknow and love Christ. At almost 700 pages, the Catechism can be intimidating, but it contains short summaries atthe end of every section for easy reference. Further, the Compendium of the Catechism of the Catholic Church offers anexplanation of each section of the Catechismthat is accessible for all readers.

More informationon how Catholics can live the Year of Faith is available online:


Keywords: Catechism ofthe Catholic Church, Year of Faith, Second Vatican Council, Alissa Thorell,prayer, Creed, faith, Evangelization and Catechesis, USCCB, U.S. bishops, U.S.Conference of Catholic Bishops

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MEDIA CONTACT ONLY:Don ClemmerO: 202-541-3206Email