Be an Amazing Catechist
Faith Fusion: Waking the Sleeping Giant with Powerful Catechesis
"It has multiple uses," says David. "The original intent was primarily as a 'catch-up' book for kids who came into the program probably in fifth or sixth grade with no knowledge of the Faith. The secondary purpose was to have a Confirmation textbook, a supplemental resource for reviewing all the key points.
"Faith Fusion is also used as a ninth-grade introductory course," he adds. "Sometimes kids are enrolled in a Catholic high school, but have not had a consistent teaching of the faith, or want a review before entering a regular high school curriculum. Many parishes are also using the program for RCIA with teens or even adults, or using the reflection questions for group discussion.
"It's growing in popularity for RCIA in the bilingual edition. There is very little out there in Spanish, so people are using it in that area as well. For Hispanic teens, most kids go to school and learn in English, but their families are often not English speakers. So the bilingual book teaches the family what's being learned in the classroom."
There are five additional lessons interspersed within the main units, called "Being Catholic," which David explains are based on his many years in Youth Ministry.
"Since 1993, I've been doing confirmation retreats. Those five 'Being Catholic' lessons are a basic summary of what I've learned over the years in Youth Ministry and presented to teens. My key opening with confirmation retreats is to talk about saints as models of the faith for us. The saints were not perfect. We're called to be saints, too. So they're models for us. Their lives point to God. We talk about service opportunities, the children's prayer lives, what their particular vocation is, why they should be confirmed, what confirmation is, and the rite of confirmation itself."
As Father McBride says in his Foreword ,"The authors wisely followed the sequence of the Catechism of the Catholic Church: Creed, Liturgy, Life in Christ, Prayer. These pillars lead the learner to ponder the faith believed, the faith celebrated, the faith in moral practice, and the faith prayed."
The book's twenty concise, accessible lessons are further supplemented with beautifully-produced resources on everything from the practice of Lectio Divina and praying the Rosary, to the documents of the Second Vatican Council, the order of the Mass, and lots more. You begin to see why it's being used in so many different ways.
The catechist's manual is exceptional as well, equipping even the novice catechist with all the basic tools to succeed, and includes lots of content to enrich the presentation of the lessons to young people. The manual also provides a review of all the program's features, a developmental guide, teaching tips throughout, and an introduction to the Catechism of the Catholic Church.
If you're looking for something solidly Catholic that's comprehensive in scope, but simple and exciting to use, this resource is highly recommended . . . for waking sleeping giants.
Lisa Mladinich is a Catholic wife and mother, catechist and workshop leader, and the author of the popular booklets, "Be An Amazing Catechist: Inspire the Faith of Children," and "Be an Amazing Catechist: Sacramental Preparation" available from Our Sunday Visitor. She is the founder of www.AmazingCatechists.com.