Monday, April 11, 2011

The only Youth Ministry resource you will ever need

Take all of your current Youth Ministry books and recycle them. YOUCAT is now available.

Alright, I admit I am being a tad hyperbolic, but not by much.

YOUCAT (which is short for YOUth CATechism) has been created by the very same people who brought us the Catechism of the Catholic Church (CCC). In other words, it is not just another Youth Ministry book.

Published in the U.S. by Ignatius Press, this softcover book is uniquely, and sturdily bound in such a way that it impresses upon the recipient both its importance and usability. It is organized around the same four pillars as the CCC, and it utilizes the same Q & A format as the Compendium of the CCC.

This offering definitely fills a need, though. It is geared towards youth, which comes across in the attractive layout and readable language. Ignatius Press has posted sample pages of YOUCAT to give you an idea of what it looks like.

If you are looking for a Confirmation gift or graduation gift to get the Catholic teen (or tween) in your life, this is the one to get.

Tuesday, September 14, 2010

New home for Catechesis of the Popes website

Today, I launched a new site for Catechesis of the Popes. Here is an excerpt from the Welcome post:

I have decided to utilize the capabilities of WordPress to create a more visually pleasing site, in addition to making the content even more accessible. The content from the old site is still here, but the tabs above make it easier to navigate between

I have divided the site into two principle categories: Major Catechetical Themes and Other Themes. The “Major Catechetical Themes” are the 13 major series of catecheses given by Popes John Paul II and Benedict XVI from 1979 to the present. The “Other Themes” are more informal arrangements of various audiences around a particular theme of interest. These other themes are the result of my own organization and should not be construed as any sort of official Church listing. They are given solely for the benefit of those who seek to delve more deeply into a given topic of study.

As this site is also fully blog-ready, I can post the latest updates on the General Audiences as they are given. I hope this will be a beneficial addition.

(read more)

Monday, January 11, 2010

Average Joe Catholic Search Engine

I recently put together a handy customized Google-powered search engine. I added several of the websites from my links column (and hope to keep adding more).

I have already found it quite useful in searching for answers to Catholic questions. Certain words and phrases have much different meanings in a Catholic context, which can sometimes make it frustrating using the larger Google.

Here it is in all its glory!

And here is the link to its' own special Google page:

Thursday, February 26, 2009

Ignatius Critical Editions of the Classics of Literature

This is awesome news for Catholics who love literature!

Ignatius Press is working with Joseph Pearce to produce the Ignatius Critical Editions series. These are critical editions of the classics of literature that approach them from a traditional moral vantage point, rather than the modernist, feminist, deconstructionist view which dominates academia today. They even have corresponding study guides to help teach from these editions!

Here's what Ignatius Press says about the series:
The Ignatius Critical Editions represent a tradition-oriented alternative to popular textbook series such as the Norton Critical Editions or Oxford World Classics, and are designed to concentrate on traditional readings of the Classics of world literature. While many modern critical editions have succumbed to the fads of modernism and postmodernism, this series will concentrate on tradition-oriented criticism of these great works.

Edited by acclaimed literary biographer Joseph Pearce, the Ignatius Critical Editions will ensure that traditional moral readings of the works are given prominence, instead of the feminist or deconstructionist readings that often proliferate in other series of 'critical editions'. As such, they represent a genuine extension of consumer choice, enabling educators, students, and lovers of good literature to buy editions of classic literary works without having to 'buy into' the ideologies of secular fundamentalism.

The series is ideal for anyone wishing to understand the great works of Western civilization, enabling the modern reader to enjoy these classics in the company of some of the finest literature professors alive today.

There are half a dozen titles out already, with many more on the way. Here's what they have so far:

Here are the titles listed as "Coming Soon":

  • The Scarlet Letter - Nathaniel Hawthorne
  • Huckleberry Finn - Mark Twain
  • Merchant of Venice - William Shakespeare
  • Macbeth - William Shakespeare
  • The Canterbury Tales - Geoffrey Chaucer
  • Metaphysical Poets - Donne, Crashaw, Herbert, Marvell, etc.
  • Uncle Tom's Cabin - Harriet Beecher Stowe
  • Gulliver's Travels - Jonathan Swift
  • Romantic Poets - Wordsworth, Coleridge, Keats, Byron, Shelley, etc.

Thank you Ignatius Press! It's time to take the world of literary interpretation back from those who have led it down a dark, dismal path for so long.

Wednesday, February 25, 2009

The Beginning of Lent: A Call to Fast

On this Ash Wednesday, it is good to look over and reflect upon Pope Benedict's Message for Lent 2009.

In this message, Benedict reflects specifically on the practice of fasting: its place in Scripture, its place in the Church, and its place in our personal spiritual lives.

Pope Benedict brings up something profound that was new to me. He brings up the very first command of God to Adam in Genesis 2:16-17. God tells Adam that he can eat from any tree in the Garden of Eden except for the fruit of the tree of the knowledge of good and evil. God's first command, even before sin entered the world, was one of fasting. This spiritual practice has truly been part of human history from the very beginning. That is certainly something to ponder.

The rest of the message is also very good. I encourage you to read and reflect upon it. It's a good prayerful activity for Ash Wednesday!

Monday, December 22, 2008

Newly created website for "The Catechesis of the Popes"

The more I worked on this project, the more I thought that it deserved it's own space on the web which would, hopefully, make it even more accessible. So here it is:

(I know the "Google Ads" are somewhat annoying, but it will have to do for now. You have to pay to get rid of them, unfortunately. Feel free to ignore them!)

We have been truly blessed to have such great popes in John Paul II and Benedict XVI. These catecheses are so remarkable that I would like to see as many people as possible have access to them so that they might achieve their intended end: to increase the knowledge and faith of everyday Catholics.

If you like what you see, please let others know about the site. It's there to be used!

And if you have any comments or suggestions for that site (or this one), please email me and let me know!

Wednesday, December 17, 2008

The Theology of the Body: Human Love in the Divine Plan

Here is the series of catecheses on the Theology of the Body by Pope John Paul II. This series precedes his Catechesis on God, the Father. It began on September 5, 1979, and concluded on November 28, 1984, and it includes 129 general audiences.

These audiences were first published in book form by Pauline Books & Media under the title The Theology of the Body: Human Love in the Divine Plan (Boston: Pauline Books & Media, 1997). This version is now out of print and has been replaced by Man and Woman He Created Them: A Theology of the Body (Boston: Pauline Books & Media, 2006). This new edition is touted as the "Critical edition" as it is the work of one, educated translator, as opposed to the first edition, which is culled from the pages of the Vatican newspaper, L'Osservatore Romano. Thus, the first edition is the work of many different translators, which can lead to inconsistencies in the use of language, among other things.

The first part of the Theology of the Body (which consists in the first 23 audiences that are a catechesis on the Book of Genesis) is available on a special section of the Vatican website. All of the audiences are also available on EWTN's website.

*Note: The headings are taken from John Paul II's The Theology of the Body: Human Love in the Divine Plan (Boston: Pauline Books & Media, 1997). The chapter titles for the first 23 audiences are taken from the Vatican website. The remainder are taken from EWTN's website.


Original Unity of Man and Woman

Catechesis on the Book of Genesis

  1. The Unity and Indissolubility of Marriage (Sep. 5, 1979) [Vatican Link]
  2. Analysis of the Biblical Account of Creation (Sep. 12, 1979) [Vatican Link]
  3. The Second Account of Creation:The Subjective Definition of Man (Sep. 19, 1979) [Vatican Link]
  4. The Boundary between Original Innocence and Redemption (Sep. 26, 1979) [Vatican Link]
  5. The Meaning of Man's Original Solitude (Oct. 10, 1979) [Vatican Link]
  6. Man's Awareness of Being a Person (Oct. 24, 1979) [Vatican Link]
  7. The Alternative between Death and Immortality Enters the Definition of Man (Oct. 31, 1979) [Vatican Link]
  8. The Original Unity of Man and Woman (Nov. 7, 1979) [Vatican Link]
  9. By the Communion of Persons Man Becomes the Image of God (Nov. 14, 1979) [Vatican Link]
  10. In the First Chapters of Genesis, Marriage Is One and Indissoluble (Nov. 21, 1979) [Vatican Link]
  11. The Meaning of Original Human Experiences (Dec. 12, 1979) [Vatican Link]
  12. The Fullness of Interpersonal Communication (Dec. 19, 1979) [Vatican Link]
  13. Creation As a Fundamental and Original Gift (Jan. 2, 1980) [Vatican Link]
  14. The Nuptial Meaning of the Body (Jan. 9, 1980) [Vatican Link]
  15. The Human Person Becomes a Gift in the Freedom of Love (Jan. 16, 1980) [Vatican Link]
  16. The Mystery of Man's Original Innocence (Jan. 30, 1980) [Vatican Link]
  17. Man and Woman: A Gift for Each Other (Feb. 6, 1980) [Vatican Link]
  18. Original Innocence and Man's Historical State (Feb. 13, 1980) [Vatican Link]
  19. Man Enters the World As a Subject of Truth and Love (Feb. 20, 1980) [Vatican Link]
  20. Analysis of Knowledge and of Procreation (Mar. 5, 1980) [Vatican Link]
  21. The Mystery of Woman Is Revealed in Motherhood (Mar. 12, 1980) [Vatican Link]
  22. The Knowledge-Generation Cycle and the Perspective of Death (Mar. 26, 1980) [Vatican Link]
  23. Marriage in the Integral Vision of Man (Apr. 2, 1980) [Vatican Link]

Blessed Are the Pure of Heart

Catechesis on the Sermon on the Mount

  1. Christ Appeals to Man's Heart (Apr. 16, 1980)
  2. The Ethical and Anthropological Content of the Commandment: "You Shall Not Commit Adultery" (Apr. 23, 1980)
  3. Lust Is the Fruit of the Breach of the Covenant with God (Apr. 30, 1980)
  4. Real Significance of Original Nakedness (May 14, 1980)
  5. A Fundamental Disquiet in All Human Existence (May 28, 1980)
  6. Relationship of Lust to Communion of Persons (Jun. 4, 1980)
  7. Dominion over the Other in the Interpersonal Relation (Jun. 18, 1980)
  8. Lust Limits Nuptial Meaning of the Body (Jun. 25, 1980)
  9. The Heart—a Battlefield Between Love and Lust (Jul. 23, 1980)
  10. Opposition in the Human Heart between the Spirit and the Body (Jul. 30, 1980)
  11. Sermon on the Mount to the Men of Our Day (Aug. 6, 1980)
  12. The Content of the Commandment: "You Shall Not Commit Adultery" (Aug. 13, 1980)
  13. Adultery According to the Law and as Spoken by the Prophets (Aug. 20, 1980)
  14. Adultery: A Breakdown of the Personal Covenant (Aug. 27, 1980)
  15. Meaning of Adultery Transferred from the Body to the Heart (Sep. 3, 1980)
  16. Concupiscence as a Separation From Matrimonial Significance of the Body (Sep. 10, 1980)
  17. Mutual Attraction Differs from Lust (Sep. 17, 1980)
  18. Depersonalizing Effect of Concupiscence (Sep. 24, 1980)
  19. Establishing the Ethical Sense (Oct. 1, 1980)
  20. Interpreting the Concept of Concupiscence (Oct. 8, 1980)
  21. Gospel Values and Duties of the Human Heart (Oct. 15, 1980)
  22. Realization of the Value of the Body According to the Plan of the Creator (Oct. 22, 1980)
  23. Power of Redeeming Completes Power of Creating (Oct. 29, 1980)
  24. Eros and Ethos Meet and Bear Fruit in the Human Heart (Nov. 5, 1980)
  25. Spontaneity: The Mature Result of Conscience (Nov. 12, 1980)
  26. Christ Calls Us to Rediscover the Living Forms of the New Man (Dec. 3, 1980)
  27. Purity of Heart (Dec. 10, 1980)


Life according to the Spirit

St. Paul's Teaching on the Human Body

  1. Justification in Christ (Dec. 17, 1980)
  2. Opposition Between the Flesh and the Spirit (Jan. 7, 1981)
  3. Life in the Spirit Based on True Freedom (Jan. 14, 1981)
  4. St. Paul's Teaching on the Sanctity and Respect of the Human Body (Jan. 28, 1981)
  5. St. Paul's Description of the Body and Teaching on Purity (Feb. 4, 1981)
  6. The Virtue of Purity Is the Expression and Fruit of Life According to the Spirit (Feb. 11, 1981)
  7. The Pauline Doctrine of Purity as Life According to the Spirit (Mar. 18, 1981)
  8. Positive Function of Purity of Heart (Apr. 1, 1981)
  9. Pronouncements of Magisterium Apply Christ's Words Today (Apr. 8, 1981)
  10. The Human Body, Subject of Works of Art (Apr. 15, 1981)
  11. Reflections on the Ethos of the Human Body in Works of Artistic Culture (Apr. 22, 1981)
  12. Art Must Not Violate the Right to Privacy (Apr. 29, 1981)
  13. Ethical Responsibilities in Art (May 6, 1981)

The Resurrection of the Body

  1. Marriage and Celibacy in the Light of the Resurrection of the Body (Nov. 11, 1981)
  2. The Living God Continually Renews the Very Reality of Life (Nov. 18, 1981)
  3. The Resurrection and Theological Anthropology (Dec. 2, 1981)
  4. The Resurrection Perfects the Person (Dec. 9, 1981)
  5. Christ's Words on the Resurrection Complete the Revelation of the Body (Dec. 16, 1981)
  6. New Threshold of Complete Truth About Man (Jan. 13, 1982)
  7. Doctrine of the Resurrection according to St. Paul (Jan. 27, 1982)
  8. The Risen Body Will Be Incorruptible, Glorious, Full of Dynamism, and Spiritual (Feb. 3, 1982)
  9. Body's Spiritualization Will Be Source of Its Power and Incorruptibility (Feb. 10, 1982)

Virginity for the Sake of the Kingdom

  1. Virginity or Celibacy for the Sake of the Kingdom (Mar. 10, 1982)
  2. The Vocation to Continence in This Earthly Life (Mar. 17, 1982)
  3. Continence for the Sake of the Kingdom Meant to Have Spiritual Fulfillment (Mar. 24, 1982)
  4. The Effective and Privileged Way of Continence (Mar. 31, 1982)
  5. The Superiority of Continence Does Not Devalue Marriage (Apr. 7, 1982)
  6. Marriage and Continence Complement Each Other (Apr. 14, 1982)
  7. The Value of Continence Is Found in Love (Apr. 21, 1982)
  8. Celibacy Is a Particular Response to the Love of the Divine Spouse (Apr. 28, 1982)
  9. Celibacy for the Kingdom Affirms Marriage (May 5, 1982)
  10. Voluntary Continence Derives From a Counsel, Not From a Command (Jun. 23, 1982)
  11. The Unmarried Person Is Anxious to Please the Lord (Jun. 30, 1982)
  12. Everyone Has His Own Gift from God, Suited to His Vocation (Jul. 7, 1982)
  13. The Kingdom of God, Not the World, Is Man's Eternal Destiny (Jul. 14, 1982)
  14. Mystery of the Body's Redemption Basis of Teaching on Marriage and Voluntary Continence (Jul. 21, 1982)

The Sacramentality of Marriage

  1. Marital Love Reflects God's Love for His People (Jul. 28, 1982)
  2. The Call to Be Imitators of God and to Walk in Love (Aug. 4, 1982)
  3. Reverence for Christ the Basis of Relationship Between Spouses (Aug. 11, 1982)
  4. A Deeper Understanding of the Church and Marriage (Aug. 18, 1982)
  5. St Paul's Analogy of Union of Head and Body Does Not Destroy Individuality of the Person (Aug. 25, 1982)
  6. Sacredness of Human Body and Marriage (Sep. 1, 1982)
  7. Christ's Redemptive Love Has Spousal Nature (Sep. 8, 1982)
  8. Moral Aspects of the Christian's Vocation (Sep. 15, 1982)
  9. The Relationship of Christ to the Church Connected With the Tradition of the Prophets (Sep. 22, 1982)
  10. Analogy of Spousal Love Indicates the Radical Character of Grace (Sep. 29, 1982)
  11. Marriage Is the Central Point of the Sacrament of Creation (Oct. 6, 1982)
  12. Loss of Original Sacrament Restored with Redemption in Marriage-Sacrament (Oct. 13, 1982)
  13. Marriage an Integral Part of New Sacramental Economy (Oct. 20, 1982)
  14. Indissolubility of Sacrament of Marriage in Mystery of the Redemption of the Body (Oct. 7, 1982)
  15. Christ Opened Marriage to the Saving Action of God (Nov. 24, 1982)
  16. Marriage Sacrament an Effective Sign of God's Saving Power (Dec. 1, 1982)
  17. The Redemptive and Spousal Dimensions of Love (Dec. 15, 1982)
  18. Language of the Body, the Substratum and Content of the Sacramental Sign of Spousal Communion (Jan. 5, 1983)
  19. The Language of the Body in the Structure of Marriage (Jan. 12, 1983)
  20. The Sacramental Covenant in the Dimension of Sign (Jan. 19, 1983)
  21. Language of the Body Strengthens the Marriage Covenant (Jan. 26, 1983)
  22. Man Called to Overcome Concupiscence (Feb. 9, 1983)
  23. Return to the Subject of Human Love in the Divine Plan (May 23, 1984)
  24. Truth and Freedom the Foundation of True Love (May 30, 1984)
  25. Love Is Ever Seeking and Never Satisfied (Jun. 6, 1984)
  26. Love Is Victorious in the Struggle Between Good and Evil (Jun. 27, 1984)
  27. The Language of the Body: Actions and Duties Forming the Spirituality of Marriage (Jul. 4, 1984)

Reflections on "Humanae Vitae"

  1. Morality of Marriage Act Determined by Nature of the Act and of the Subjects (Jul. 11, 1984)
  2. The Norm of Humanae Vitae Arises from the Natural Law and the Revealed Order (Jul. 18, 1984)
  3. Importance of Harmonizing Human Love with Respect for Life (Jul. 25, 1984)
  4. Responsible Parenthood (Aug. 1, 1984)
  5. Faithfulness to the Divine Plan in the Transmission of Life (Aug. 8, 1984)
  6. Church's Position on Transmission of Life (Aug. 22, 1984)
  7. A Discipline That Ennobles Human Love (Aug. 28, 1984)
  8. Responsible Parenthood Linked to Moral Maturity (Sep. 5, 1984)
  9. Prayer, Penance and the Eucharist Are Principal Sources of Spirituality for Married Couples (Oct. 3, 1984)
  10. The Power of Love Is Given to Man and Woman as a Share in God's Love (Oct. 10, 1984)
  11. Continence Protects the Dignity of the Conjugal Act (Oct. 24, 1984)
  12. Continence Frees One from Inner Tension (Oct. 31, 1984)
  13. Continence Deepens Personal Communion (Nov. 7, 1984)
  14. Christian Spirituality of Marriage Possible Only by Living According to the Spirit (Nov. 14, 1984)
  15. Respect for the Work of God (Nov. 21, 1984)
  16. Conclusion to the Series on the Redemption of the Body and Sacramentality of Marriage (Nov. 28, 1984)

Back to The Catechesis of the Popes.