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Internet 'Singing Catechism': catechesis for the 21st century
Mere print cannot convey the power of this singing catechism: it needs to be heard. It can be accessed on www.cardinal newman.com.au or a free CD can be posted on request.
It has 50 Questions and Answers from the Catholic Family Catechism Disciples' Edition on Creed, Sacraments, Commandments and Prayer, which are the core of our holy faith.
'Singing, Remembering, Knowing' mutually support each other, and thereby help the young disciples to have that mind which was also in Christ Jesus. Thus, singing helps remembering, and remembering is needed for singing. Likewise, remembering is also needed for knowing - and knowing with understanding helps remembering.
The singing catechism contains the vital Catholic words by which the faith is expressed:
* If you use our words, you will think our thoughts.
* If you think our thoughts, you will do our deeds.
The printed text of the 50 Q & As is also on the website, and can be downloaded from a sub-menu 'Downloads' on the home page. Within it is a menu called 'Handouts' - see n. 13.
The printed text has italics for the 'add-on' lines - omit them for the younger beginners.
The entire text fits on the two sides of a single sheet of A4.
The 50 Q & As are a skeleton which is fleshed out in the 128 pages of the Catholic Family Catechism Disciples' Edition. Each double-page spread has one Q & A, explanations, diagrams, pictures, Bible verses, further Bible references, and cross- references within the book.
The singing catechism supplements any program of lessons already in use. Or it can be used for revision, remedial catch-up, or as a stand-alone. It contains hints on 'How to Teach and How to Learn'.
It fulfils the requirement of Pope John Paul II that a family catechism be 'clear, brief and easily assimilated by all', and includes six of his seven categories for memorisation, (not his fifth, the liturgical texts, which are readily available elsewhere).
Its 50 Questions & Answers in rhythmic prose; its sense-lines for ease of understanding and learning by heart; and now its simple Gregorian chant, are a positive contribution to the new evangelisation and catechesis for the 21st century.
Reprinted from AD2000 Vol 20 No 10 (November 2007), p. 17
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