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Catechetics Resources

Catechetics Resources to help Grandparents in Passing on the Faith

We cannot pass on what we do not know, so some of the Resources listed below are aimed at helping Grandparents to know the Faith better, especially in the context of the modern world.Other resources can be directly used with primary school age children and younger, or with secondary school pupils and older.

Resources to help Grandparents know the Faith better.
(Some of these resources could also be directly helpful for older secondary level pupils / young adult grandchildren).
The Catechism of the Catholic Church and the Bible are the most important and basic references for Catholic catechesis – every Catholic home should have a copy of each.

The Bible: Should be Catholic Edition, with all the books of the Bible. Several good translations are readily available, e.g. Revised Standard Version; Jerusalem Bible; New American Bible. Paraphrased Bibles, such as The Living Bible, may read well but are less accurate translations, and so are not recommended. Some editions of the Bible have helpful references, study notes, and other information. Bible Dictionaries and Concordances can also help in study of the Bible. There are also good online Bibles, e.g. The Powered Access Bible www.jonathanhayward.com/powerbible.cgi

Catechism of the Catholic Church, London: Geoffrey Chapman, 1999. This is the Church’s official comprehensive standard reference for the content of Catholic catechesis.
Compendium of the Catechism of the Catholic Church. London: Catholic Truth Society, 2006. This is a very readable summary of the Catechism of the Catholic Church.

Youcat – Youth Catechism of the Catholic Church. London: Catholic Truth Society, 2010. Designed especially for secondary level / young adults, but also useful for parents / grandparents.

Frances Hogan is a gifted Catholic Scripture teacher, with a wide selection of Scripture teachings on CD and DVD, available at www.franceshogan.com . Her knowledge of Scripture is deep, yet the presentation is simple and readily understandable. Frances has also published several books on Scripture, including: Can You Trust the Bible?; Words of Life from Luke; Words of Life from John the Beloved; Words of Life from Exodus; Psalms of Praise. The books are now out of print, but may be downloaded free from Frances’ website.

Jeff Cavins is another gifted Catholic Scripture teacher, see www.biblestudyforcatholics.com . For an excellent and comprehensive overview of the Bible, see The Bible Timeline: The Story of Salvation – a 24-part study on DVD or CD. Also recommended is the book: Tim Gray & Jeff Cavins, Walking with God – A Journey through the Bible, West Chester PA: Ascension Press, 2010.

Scott Hahn. A Father who Keeps His Promises – God’s Covenant Love in Scripture. Ann Arbor MI: Servant Press, 1998. This book gives an excellent overview of the Bible in the framework of God’s covenants, from Adam to the New Covenant in Jesus.

EWTN (Eternal Word Television Network). Available on cable networks and satellite. Wide range of teaching, news, discussions and other programmes related to Catholic Faith, including some programmes especially for children. Some programmes originate in Ireland.

Patti Armstrong. Catholic Truths for Our Children – Guidelines for Parents. New York: Scepter Publishers, 2006. A helpful guide for parents on the basics of Catholic Faith.

Austen Ivereigh and Kathleen Griffin, Catholic Voices, London: Darton, Longman & Todd, 2011. A practical guide to presenting and defending truths of Catholic Faith in the modern world, with specific guidance on several current ‘hot-button’ issues.

Scott Hahn, Reasons to Believe – How to Understand, Explain, and Defend the Catholic Faith. London: Darton, Longman & Todd, 2007. An excellent primer on ‘Apologetics’ – how to explain and defend Catholic Faith.

Joseph Ratzinger (Pope Benedict XVI). Introduction to Christianity. San Francisco: Ignatius Press, 1968, 2004. Originally written in 1968, but still an excellent overview of Christianity.

Fr Robert Barron. Catholicism. A 10-part series on the Catholic Faith, presented by Fr Barron on DVD, filmed in 50 different locations around the world, including several in Ireland. Available in bookstores or www.wordonfire.org (includes other excellent teaching resources by Fr Barron).

The Book of ManReadings on the Path to Manhood. Nashville TN: Thomas Nelson, 2011. Specially for fathers/grandfathers.

Daphne McLeod. Will Your Grandchildren be Catholic? An experienced Catholic religious educator gives an excellent analysis of Catholic catechesis post-Vatican II, looking mainly at the situation in England, but also very relevant to Ireland.
Resources to be used directly with younger children – preschool and Primary School.

Bible Story Books for children, of various ages, with illustrations. Many good versions available, including: Lawrence Lovasik SVD, New Catholic Picture Bible – Popular Stories from the Old and New Testaments. New York: Catholic Book Publishing Co. 1990. Children’s Illustrated Bible. London: Dorling-Kindersley, 2003. Illustrated Bible. London: Dorling-Kindersley, 2012. Lion Bible for Children. Oxford: Lion Hudson plc, 2002. The Children’s Bible. Peabody, Mass: Hendrikson Publishers, 2011. Bible Stories for Little Children. Bedford, NH: Sophia Institute Press.

There are a number of good complete Catholic catechetical series for primary-school children, including Pupil Book / Workbook and Teacher Books; examples include: Faith and Life series. Grades 1 through 8 (equivalent to 1st Class Primary, to 2nd Year Secondary). San Francisco: Ignatius Press, revised edition 2004. Image of God series. Preschool through Grade 8. San Francisco: Ignatius Press, 2nd edition 2012.

“Deirdre Mary Ascough. My First Holy Communion. Clonmacnois Press, 2012. Excellent aid for preparation for First Confession & Communion. Designed for parent or grandparent to read with the child preparing for the sacraments.Available at: www.clonmacnoispress.com, email: info@clonmacnoispress.com, tel 045900742, address:  4 Aran Centre, Blessington Business Park, Blessington, Co Wicklow.

Mary Gallagher. My Confirmation book and My First Holy Communion book. Available at 087 236 1721 / 074 913 1955, or email marydonegal@yahoo.com.”

St Joseph Picture Book Series. New York: Catholic Book Publishing Co. Authors: Lawrence Lovasik SVD, and Jude Winkler OFM. Various books for young children, including: I Believe in God – the Apostles’ Creed; The Holy Spirit; The Gifts of the Holy Spirit; The Holy Eucharist; The Mass for Children; The Our Father & Hail Mary; Going to Confession; The Miracles of Jesus; The Apostles of Jesus; The Angels – God’s Messengers & Our Helpers; The Works of Mercy; My First Catechism. The New St Joseph Baltimore Catechism. Three books: Holy Communion; No.1 for younger children up to age 9; No.2 for children age 10-12. New York: Catholic Book Publishing Co.
Caryll Houselander. Catholic Tales for Boys and Girls. Bedford, NH: Sophia Institute Press.

Vision Series. 28 books, each on an individual Saint. San Francisco: Ignatius Press. Sr. Mary Dominic. Little Nellie of Holy God. Tan Books and Publishers Kathleen Pearce and Martina Spinkova. Chloe and Jack visit the Vatican. Don Bosco Publications. Jeanne Perego. Max and Benedict series. London: CTS publications (Catholic Truth Society) Rosary Colouring Book. San Francisco: Ignatius Press. Katherine Sotnik. Life of Jesus Colouring Book (Holy Imitation series). San Francisco: Ignatius Press. Other colouring books in the Holy Imitation series include – Eucharistic Adoration Coloring book (with Saints and Symbols of the Eucharist). William J Bennett. Book of Virtues – Treasury of Great Moral Stories. New York: Simon & Schuster, 1993. Inspiring and entertaining stories to read to younger children. Gladys Hunt. Honey for a Child’s Heart. Grand Rapids MI: Zondervan, 1989. Laura Berquist. The Harp and the Laurel Wreath. San Francisco: Ignatius Press.

A selection of good literature from various sources, some items more appropriate for primary school level, others for secondary school level. Susan Brindle, Miriam Ladun, Joan Ball. Seven Sacrament Series. New Hope KY: Precious Life Books, 2000. Series of books on each of the seven sacraments; suitable for primary and secondary pupils.

Resources to be used directly with secondary school pupils / young adults.

Youcat – Youth Catechism of the Catholic Church. London: Catholic Truth Society, 2010. An attractive adaptation for youth of the Catechism of the Catholic Church, (inspired by Pope Benedict XVI).
Mary Beth Bonacci. Real Love – Answers questions on Dating, Marriage, and the Real Meaning of Sex. San Francisco: Ignatius Press, 1996. Most relevant for late teens to twenties; may be too advanced for some younger secondary school pupils
Mary Beth Bonacci. We’re on a Mission from God – The Generation X Guide to John Paul II, the Catholic Church, and the Real Meaning of Life. San Francisco: Ignatius Press, 1996.
Fr. John Laux. Catholic Apologetics. Charlotte, NC: Tan Books.
Jason Everett. If you really loved me. Cincinnati OH: Servant Books / St Anthony Messenger Press. Laura Berquist. The Harp and the Laurel Wreath. San Francisco: Ignatius Press. A selection of good literature from various sources, some items more appropriate for primary school level, others for secondary school level. Susan Brindle, Miriam Ladun, Joan Ball. Seven Sacrament Series. New Hope KY: Precious Life Books, 2000. Series of books on each of the seven sacraments; suitable for primary and secondary pupils.
Cardinal George Pell. Issues of Faith and Morals. San Francisco: Ignatius Press, 1997. Based on the Catechism of the Catholic Church, gives clear presentation on key relevant issues for today’s youth.
Fr Frank Chacon & Jim Burnham. Beginning Apologetics 1. Farmington NM: San Juan Catholic Seminars, 2000-2010.
Didache Series. Chicago: Midwest Theological Forum. Series of four books aimed at the senior classes of secondary school. Titles: Introduction to Catholicism; Understanding the Scriptures; History of the Church; Our Moral Life in Christ.

Éanna Johnson PhD, 8 Dec. 2012

Pope Benedict’s Prayer for Grandparents
Pope Benedict’s Prayer for Grandparents