Far from being just a communication of factual data – “informative” – the loving truth of the Gospel is creative and life-changing – “performative” (cf. Spe Salvi, 2). Through Baptism, Catholics are called to reflect on the Church’s 2000-year heritage and integrate the Faith into contemporary society. Our certificates provide systematic study of a number of subjects.
Given our increasingly secular society and the atheistic worldview often promoted by the mainstream media and academic/scientific establishment, the need to strengthen the faith of Catholics and equip the faithful to better explain and share the Faith has never been greater.
This need is especially evident in the large number of young people who are leaving the Catholic Faith, especially during and after college.
By participating in the seminars for this certificate program, you can strengthen your faith and equip yourself to better explain and share with family and friends why Catholics believe what we do about God, Jesus, Salvation, Church, Suffering and Evil.
Benedict XVI reminds Catholics that the Catechism of the Catholic Church is “a precious and indispensable tool” for the task of evangelization. Those who study the Catechism will be able to give reasons for what they believe, and in this way, assist the numerous people who are experiencing a crisis of Faith in our contemporary society. Most dioceses of the United States require catechists to have a basic course on the Catechism of the Catholic Church. Those who achieve the CDU Certificate in the Catechism of the Catholic Church will have the confidence and ability to assist others in using the Catechism of the Catholic Church to find answers to questions about Church doctrine, liturgical life, Christian morality, and prayer.
This catechetical certificate demonstrates that a catechist has taken courses designed to impart the essential knowledge and skills needed to hand on the Faith. Ideally, this initial formation should precede the beginning of one’s catechetical ministry. Catechists who complete these basic courses and seminars should have the confidence and skills to be a parish catechist.
Those who teach with authority change lives. Children, young people, and adults eagerly respond to knowledgeable and trained catechists. This training takes commitment, dedication, confidence, and zeal. With the courses and seminars required by the Advanced Certificate in Catechetics, lay volunteers, religion teachers, and parents become true catechists – those trained to teach the Faith with wisdom and knowledge.
Pope Francis reminds us that prayer is a way of life—a spiritual way of living day to day:
“Pray always, without ever losing heart” (Lk 18:1). This is the Christian way of life: remaining steadfast in prayer, in order to remain steadfast in faith and testimony. Here once again we may hear a voice within us, saying: “But Lord, how can we not grow weary? We are human… even Moses grew weary…!” True, each of us grows weary. Yet we are not alone; we are part of a Body! We are members of the Body of Christ, the Church, whose arms are raised day and night to heaven, thanks to the presence of the Risen Christ and his Holy Spirit. Only in the Church, and thanks to the Church’s prayer, are we able to remain steadfast in faith and witness. (Pope Francis Homily_Oct16, 2016.)
Each of the following courses address ways of praying that are meant to bear fruit in daily living.
This certificate provides a strong foundation grounded in the documents of Vatican II and is designed for dioceses to use for certification of catechists and lay leaders.
Speaking to Catholic Educators in America, Benedict XVI remarked:
In every aspect of their education, students need to be encouraged to articulate a vision of the harmony of faith and reason capable of guiding a life-long pursuit of knowledge and virtue. As ever, an essential role in this process is played by teachers who inspire others by their evident love of Christ, their witness of sound devotion and their commitment to that sapientia Christiana which integrates faith and life, intellectual passion and reverence for the splendor of truth both human and divine, steadfast in faith and witness. (Benedict XVI, May 5, 2012.)
Each of the following courses addresses ways that Catholic Educators can fulfill their essential roles of teaching, inspiring, and witnessing the Church’s patrimony of integrating life with the harmony of faith and reason.
St. John Paul II clearly defined Christian Morality in the encyclical: Veritatis Splendor. In that magnificent document, he describes morality as “not so much about rules to be followed, but about the full meaning of life. This is in fact the aspiration at the heart of every human decision and action, the quiet searching and interior prompting which sets freedom in motion.” …Today more than ever we need to have clarity about how the gift of freedom can lead us to the absolute Good, God Himself Who has revealed Himself fully in Jesus Christ” (VS 7)
St. John Paul II further points out that “ the Second Vatican Council called for a renewal of moral theology, so that its teaching would display the lofty vocation which the faithful have received in Christ…”(VS 7). This vocation not only requires finding Christ in order to follow Him, but inviting Christ to walk the path of life with each person. (VS 7)
“Besides the four Gospels, the canon of the New Testament also contains the epistles of St. Paul and other apostolic writings, composed under the inspiration of the Holy Spirit, by which, according to the wise plan of God, those matters which concern Christ the Lord are confirmed, His true teaching is more and more fully stated, the saving power of the divine work of Christ is preached, the story is told of the beginnings of the Church and its marvelous growth, and its glorious fulfillment is foretold.” (DV 20)
“Now the books of the Old Testament, in accordance with the state of mankind before the time of salvation established by Christ, reveal to all men the knowledge of God and of man and the ways in which God, just and merciful, deals with men. These books, though they also contain some things which are incomplete and temporary, nevertheless show us true divine pedagogy. (1) These same books, then, give expression to a lively sense of God, contain a store of sublime teachings about God, sound wisdom about human life, and a wonderful treasury of prayers, and in them the mystery of our salvation is present in a hidden way. Christians should receive them with reverence” (DV 15)
The Second Vatican Council, according to Benedict XVI, “is a powerful appeal to us to make a daily rediscovery of the beauty of our faith, to understand it deeply through a more intense relationship with the Lord, and to live out our Christian vocation to the full.” This Basic Certificate in Vatican II will equip a person with knowledge of the most significant documents that were developed by the Council Fathers, and with an increased appreciation for the universal vocation to holiness that the baptized are called to embrace.
The Catholic Church has been an integral part in the development of civilizations since the time of the Apostles. In today’s society, Catholics need to know the history of the Church to intelligently respond to questions and inaccurate facts so frequently repeated by the media. Those who complete the courses and seminars required for receiving this certificate will be able to describe the history of the Church in America and portray correctly the role and activities of the Church during several historical periods in the last 2000 years.