What Do You Know About Education In The Catholic Faith

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Since we’re all getting back into the swing of the school routine, I thought we’d do a fun Catholic Trivia theme of education!

The most important aspect of education is that we learn our faith – so most of the questions will center around education in the faith.

But a few of them are a little more all-encompassing.

I am super passionate about this topic, so I hope you love learning a few new things with me!

A Quick Thanks to Our Sponsors!

First, I have the honor of introducing you to our sponsors who make this Trivia game possible.

Did you know that on the 4th Friday of each month, you can catch Trivia live on Instagram? Stop in to play, to test your knowledge, learn new things, and maybe even win some prizes!

This month’s sponsors and prize donors are:

Katie Warner

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I’m a big fan of everything she writes. Katie is passionate about her Catholic faith. Her resources have been pivotal in helping me grow in my own faith, in my vocation, and in passing the faith on to my children.

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I also discovered she has MUGS!

Jen takes custom orders (check her shop for availability at this time) so if there’s something special you’re looking for (wedding keepsake? family portrait?) definitely look her up.

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Among my favorites are her Saint prints – If you look closely, the entire design of the Saint is created with lettering from a famous quote!

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Kathleen takes orders through her Facebook and Instagram pages, so definitely find her and reach out if there’s something you’re looking for:

Now on to our Trivia questions!

1. Who holds the primary right and responsibility for the education of children?

A: Their parents

Marriage is ordered toward the procreation and education of children. It’s the natural environment in which God intended these two things to happen.

I think this line from the Catechism is stunningly beautiful:

“The fruitfulness of conjugal love extends to the fruits of the moral, spiritual, and supernatural life that parents hand on to their children by education. Parents are the principal and first educators of their children.”

(CCC, 1653)

It amazes me how far married love extends into the life of the children – beyond simply creating them, but by continuing to bring them to life through education.

The fruitfulness of this love cannot be replaced by another substitute.

“The right and the duty of parents to educate their children are primordial and inalienable.”

(CCC, 2221)

For clarification: primordial means existing from the beginning of time. These rights are something that was always there. Inalienable means they cannot be taken away. Let’s talk about this at length some time…

For now, let’s just assert that this right must be respected by those in government.

“The state may not legitimately usurp the initiative of spouses, who have the primary responsibility for the procreation and education of their children.”

(CCC, 2372)

Further, “the political community has a duty to honor the family, to assist it, and to ensure especially: [freedom and protection]” in regards to the education of children and their formation in the faith of the family’s own convictions.

Further, the spiritual and moral formation of children as primarily a duty of the parents is upheld in the Catechism:

“The fecundity of conjugal love cannot be reduced solely to the procreation of children, but must extend to their moral education and their spiritual formation. ‘The role of parents in education is of such importance that it is almost impossible to provide an adequate substitute.’”

(CCC, 2221, quoting Gravissimum Educationis)

Almost. Impossible. To. Provide. An. Adequate. Substitute.

We could use a reminder of that, in both the government, and in our approach to children’s catechism programs.

2. What form of teaching was characteristically used by Jesus to help the crowds understand the Kingdom of God?

A: Parables

Jesus knew the power of storytelling.

By presenting a story to an audience, a teacher draws the audience into a lived experience of the story, making them able to reflect on putting the lesson into practice in their own lives.

“The parables are like mirrors for man: will he be hard soil or good earth for the word? What use has he made of the talents he has received?”

(CCC, 546)

Jesus didn’t deliver all his teaching in parables. To the apostles, he gave clear explanations and in-depth knowledge of the truth.

When asked about his use of parables with the crowds, Jesus responded:

“To you it has been given to know the secrets of the kingdom of heaven, but to them it has not been given… This is why I speak to them in parables, because seeing they do not see, and hearing they do not hear, nor do they understand.”

(Matthew 13: 10-13)

The form of parables, or stories, makes it easier for the crowds to receive and understand Jesus’ teaching and the invitation to the kingdom.

These parables are “a characteristic feature of [Jesus’] teaching” (CCC, 546).

Personally, I strongly feel that pastors, parents, and catechists would do best to follow Jesus’ example, presenting the truths of the faith through stories and parables as much as possible (with explanation, as needed), while diving in to the depth of the teaching themselves, to provide the knowledge base that underscores the lesson of the parable.

3. Who comprises the teaching office of the Church (Magisterium)?

A: The Pope and the Bishops.

The Magisterium is the teaching office of the Church.

This office is comprised of the Pope (the pontiff of Rome) and the bishops.

“The Roman Pontiff and the bishops are ‘authentic teachers, that is, teachers endowed with the authority of Christ, who preach the faith to the people entrusted to the, the faith to be believed and put into practice.’”

(CCC, 2034)

The Magisterium “in moral matters is ordinarily exercised in catechesis and preaching” (CCC, 2033). It’s by this authority that the Church is able to continue to guide us in the moral life in the midst of a secular world.

Catholics are to honor and respect this authority, as it is ensured by the charism of infallibility.

Infallibility means that the teaching of the universal Church is guaranteed to be free from error in matters of faith and morals.

It doesn’t mean the Pope and the bishops can never make a mistake – that error in thinking has been proven false repeatedly in recent times.

But it does mean that the teachings on faith and morals they give to us cannot be rejected.

“As far as possible conscience should take account of … the authoritative teaching of the Magisterium on moral questions. Personal conscience and reason should not be set in opposition to the moral law or the Magisterium of the Church”

(CCC, 2039)

As much as people deny the Church’s teachings on moral matters (especially those in high debate these days), they are denying the authority of the Magisterium, and ultimately denying Christ, who gave that authority:

“And I tell you, you are Peter, and on this rock I will build my Church, and the gates of Hades shall not prevail against it”

(Matthew 16:18)

… along with the promise:

“And I will ask the Father, and he will give you another Counselor, to be with you for ever, even the Spirit of truth, whom the world cannot receive.”

(John 14:16-17)

4. Which Saint founded the first Catholic School in the United States?

A: St. Elizabeth Ann Seton

St. Elizabeth Ann Seton is the first American born Saint to be canonized.

She was born in New York in 1774. She was raised in the Episcopal Church, married a wealthy businessman, and had five children. She also undertook the care of her husband’s younger siblings when her father-in-law passed away.

When Elizabeth’s husband died, her family was taken in by her husband’s business partners, where she learned about the Catholic Faith.

Elizabeth converted to Catholicism and began a school for young ladies in New York in order to support her children. This school didn’t last very long, as the parents withdrew their children when they learned of Elizabeth’s conversion.

A couple years later, Elizabeth moved to Maryland and founded the first Catholic School in the United States: St. Joseph’s Academy and Free School. She subsequently started a community of religious sisters to teach at the school and help poor children.

Mother Seton launched the beginnings of the Catholic School system in America, and remains a beloved patron of Catholic education.

5. Which Saint, with a passion for education, started an oratory and school for boys in Turin, Italy?

A: John Bosco

We have adopted St. John Bosco as the patron of our homeschool.

I have had a devotion to him from my childhood, but I’m continuing to learn more about him and especially his philosophy of education.

John Bosco was a priest who lived in Turin, Italy. His heart was moved with compassion for the children of the street. He wanted them to know the love of Christ that would transform their lives, so he dedicated himself to their education and religious formation.

“Don Bosco” founded an Oratory – a place of prayer – for young street boys to find refuge. He began taking in orphans, and as his community grew, he needed a place to house and keep them. His ministry grew to be more than a place of prayer – but also a home and a school for the boys.

He founded the order of Salesians, dedicated to the care and education of youth.

John Bosco’s philosophy of education is centered around gentleness and love, rather than harsh discipline.

The quote we have on our homeschool planning board right now is:

“Without confidence and love, there can be no true education. If you want to be loved… you must love yourselves, and make your children feel that you love them.”

-St. John Bosco

6. What term do we use to refer to the “education in the faith” of children, youth, and adults?

A: Catechesis

In the Prologue to the Catechism of the Catholic Church, Catechesis is defined as

“…an education in the faith of children, young people, and adults which includes especially the teaching of Christian doctrine imparted, generally speaking, in an organic and systematic way, with a view to initiating the hearers into the fullness of Christian life”

(CCC, 5) Yes, just 5.

Catechesis is the most important education we can acquire.

One error in common culture is viewing catechesis or “catechism classes” as something solely for children.

On the contrary, all Catholics need catechesis.

The Church holds an almost inexhaustible deposit of beautiful truths to explore. There’s always something new for us to learn!

7. What word means, “a learner,” and is used to refer to those preparing for baptism and admittance to the Catholic Church?

A: Catechumen

This is the entry for catechumen in Fr. Hardon’s Modern Catholic Dictionary:

Catechumen: A learner, a person being instructed preparatory to receiving baptism and being admitted into the Church.

– Fr. Hardon’s Modern Catholic Dictionary

When baptism is done as an infant, the period of catechesis occurs after baptism, as part of the child’s formation in their early years.

When baptism is done as an adult, the person is referred to as a catechumen during the time they are being instructed in the faith before receiving the sacraments.

Adults often participate in what’s known as the Rite of Christian Initiation of Adults (RCIA), which instructs them in the faith, and prepares them to receive the sacraments of initiation: Baptism, Confirmation, and the Eucharist. (CCC, 1232).

“The catechumenate, or formation of catechumens, aims at bringing their conversion and faith to maturity, in response to the divine initiative and in union with an ecclesial community.”

(CCC, 1248)

Of utmost importance are introducing the mystery of salvation, the practice of virtues, the life of faith, liturgy, and practice of charity.

8. What person do we discover “at the heart of catechesis?”

A: Jesus

We must keep in mind that the purpose of catechesis is to know and understand Christ.

“At the heart of catechesis we find, in essence, a Person, the Person of Jesus of Nazareth…” To catechize is “to reveal in the Person of Christ the whole of God’s eternal design reaching fulfillment in that Person. It is to seek to understand the meaning of Christ’s actions and words and of the signs worked by him.”

(CCC, 426)

We can memorize the 7 sacraments, the 10 Commandments, the works of mercy, beatitudes, and other facts and knowledge about our faith – and that’s a good thing!

But the reason behind learning all these facts is to discover Christ.

The purpose of the knowledge is to know and understand him more, so that we can live in communion with him and his purpose for our lives.

In catechesis,

“Christ, the Incarnate Word and Son of God, … is taught – everything else is taught with reference to him – and it is Christ alone who teaches – anyone else teaches to the extent that he is Christ’s spokesman, enabling Christ to speak with his lips.”

(CCC, 437)

9. What are the four pillars of the Catechism of the Catholic Church?

A: Creed, Sacraments, Commandments, Our Father

I used to be clueless about the organization of the Catechism. My extent of knowledge about where to find things was confined to the index.

Then one day I realized the entire Our Father was broken down, line by line, with rich explanations of each statement.

It was a lightbulb moment.

In the Prologue to the Catechism, the structure is laid out:

“The plan of this catechism is inspired by the great tradition of catechism which build catechesis on four pillars: the baptismal profession of faith (the Creed), the sacraments of faith, the life of faith (the Commandments), and the prayer of the believer (the Lord’s Prayer).”

(CCC, 13)

Part 1: The Creed, presents the basic articles of our faith as revealed to us by God, and our response to God.

Part 2: The sacraments, explains how God’s salvation is accomplished through Christ and made present in the sacred liturgy and the seven sacraments.

Part 3: The Commandments, helps us understand that we are made in the image of God, and gives us the plan to act as images of God, through the help of grace, and by following God’s commandments.

Part 4: The Our Father, explains the importance of prayer, and unlocks the meaning behind the prayer Jesus gave us (the Our Father) to teach us how to pray.

If you’ve never read through a complete section of the Catechism, I strongly recommend it! There’s so much depth to these topics.

If you want to help your kids become familiar with the four pillars of the Catechism, check out Katie Warner’s board book Kiddie Cat, which is designed to introduce young children to the Catechism through the four pillars.

10. What prayer serves as a mini Catechesis, presenting the fundamental articles of the Christian Faith?

A: Creed (Apostles Creed + Nicene Creed)

Christians have a duty to believe and confess the truths revealed by Jesus.

“…If you confess with your lips that Jesus is Lord and believe in your heart that God raised him from the dead, you will be saved.”

(Rom 10:9)

So the task comes to be: What are the basic truths revealed by Christ that we must confess?

The Church, from its earliest days, has compiled the faith into summaries to help Christians learn about her teachings.

St. Cyril of Jerusalem (quoted in the Catechism) explains this:

“This synthesis of faith was not made to accord with human opinions, but rather what was of the greatest importance was gathered from all the Scriptures, to present the one teaching of the faith in its entirety. And just as the mustard seed contains a great number of branches in a tiny grain, so too this summary of faith encompassed in a few words the whole knowledge of the true religion contained in the Old and New Testaments.”

(CCC 186)

The Creeds of the Church are exactly this.

They are summaries of the faith, mini-catechisms, intended especially to help catechumens familiarize themselves with the most important articles of Catholic belief.

Creed comes from the word “credo,” meaning “I believe.”

The Creeds help us to profess with our lips, the faith that we agree to believe with all our hearts.

The Apostle’s Creed (the older of the two) is a summary of the faith of the apostles. It’s known as “the oldest Roman catechism” (CCC, 196).

The Nicene Creed is drawn from the first two ecumenical councils, and “remains common to all the great Churches of both East and West to this day” (CCC, 195).

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One thought on “What Do You Know About Education In The Catholic Faith

  1. I didn’t know the answers were here! LOL I was straining on IG because the questions were pretty good! This is a great game, thanks for sharing!

    Like

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