The duty of each and every Catholic is to conform themselves to timeless truth. That truth is the truth revealed in Jesus Christ, our Lord and Saviour, and entrusted to the holy Catholic Church to be made known through Scripture and Tradition. Only through the revelation of Christ do we find what is good and true. It is not to be found in the world; it is found in the deposit of faith.
As St. James wrote in his epistle: “Do you not know that friendship with the world is enmity with God? Therefore whoever wishes to be a friend of the world becomes an enemy of God” (4:4).
Our Lord prayed to His heavenly Father and said of His disciples: “They do not belong to the world, just as I do not belong to the world… [but] as you have sent me into the world, so I have sent them into the world” (Jn 17:16,18).
The fathers of the Second Vatican Council wrote that the Church is “Divinely sent to the nations of the world to be unto them ‘a universal sacrament of salvation,’… driven by the inner necessity of her own catholicity, and obeying the mandate of her Founder… ever to proclaim the Gospel to all men” (Ad gentes, n. 1). They went on to say that the role of the laity, of those who “have been incorporated into Christ and live in the world… [is] to be a leaven working on the temporal order from within, to dispose it always in accordance with Christ” (n. 15).
It is inspired by the mission of Our Lord and given to the Church as made known in Scripture and Tradition, that we launch, again, this pastoral work of the parish, which we call “The Catechism Project”.
We encourage all those of the parish to begin to read the Catechism of the Catholic Church and to become imbued with the unchanging truth of Our Lord as taught by the Church through the ages. In this way, we will participate in the hopes of the Second Vatican Council, “that the laity should be prepared, in more immediate cooperation with the hierarchy, to fulfill a special mission of proclaiming the Gospel and communicating Christian teachings, so that they may add vigour to the nascent Church (Ad gentes, n. 21). It was Pope St. John Paul II who, in 1992, decreed that a catechism of the Catholic Church should be prepared and promulgated throughout the Church. Of this he said: “Guarding the deposit of the faith is the mission which the Lord entrusted to His Church, and which she fulfils in every age” (Fidei depositum).
He was encouraged in this task by the call of Bishops from around the world who said of the laity: “Very many have expressed the desire that a catechism or compendium of all catholic doctrine regarding both faith and morals be composed… biblical and liturgical… suited to the present life of Christians” (Fidei depositum). Pope St. John Paul II offered the Catechism of the Catholic Church to “every individual who asks us to give an account of the hope that is in us (cf. I Pet 3:15) and who wants to know what the Catholic Church believes
“Fidei depositum). Because of this, the parish offers to all parishioners who will dedicate themselves to participating in the work and the life of the parish and who will commit to reading a paragraph of the Catechism of the Catholic Church every day and praying for our holy mother, the Church, and our parish dedicated to the Holy Cross, a copy of the Catechism of the Catholic Church.
Fr. Andrew has personally donated copies of the Catechism of the Catholic Church and copies of YouCat (the Catechism written for teenagers) and offers them to those who will join in “The Catechism Project”.
To be a part of this pastoral work of the parish, speak with Fr. Andrew and commit yourself to this project so that by the intercession of the Most Blessed Virgin Mary, Mother of the Church and the Seat of Wisdom, the deposit of faith entrusted for all time to the holy Catholic Church may be known and made known ever more widely, so that “the light of true faith [may] free humanity from the ignorance and slavery of sin in order to lead it to the only freedom worthy of the name (cf. Jn. 8:32): that of life in Jesus Christ under the guidance of the Holy Spirit” (John Paul II, Fidei depositum).
As we face times of great difficulty and of confusion amidst ever-changing claims, we must remember, as Our Lord said, “My teaching is not mine but His who sent me (Jn 7:16). The Church has been entrusted with the deposit of faith handed on since the time of the Apostles by way of sacred Tradition and sacred Scripture, “both of them, flowing from the same divine wellspring, in a certain way merge into a unity and tend toward the same end… [to] form one sacred deposit of the word of God, committed to the Church” (Dei verbum, n. 9,10). As St. Paul wrote to St. Timothy, we must, each of us: “avoid the profane chatter and contradictions of what is falsely called knowledge” (I Tim. 6:20) and “guard the good treasure entrusted to you, with the help of the Holy Spirit living in us” (II Tim. 1:14).
Pope St. John XXIII said that the major interest of the Second Vatican Council was “that the sacred heritage of Christian truth be safeguarded and expounded with greater efficacy… What is needed, and what everyone imbued with a truly Christian, Catholic and apostolic spirit craves today, is that this doctrine shall be more widely known, more deeply understood, and more penetrating in its effects on men’s moral lives”.
With this, the Holy Cross Parish “Catechism Project”, we hope to make known the beauty of the unchanging truths of God made known through His Church for the salvation of all. It is our hope that all parishioners will join the parish in this work of the Holy Spirit to know and to make known the faith so that we may be drawn ever deeper into the wisdom of God and to understand how He seeks to raise us to the fulfillment of our humanity and to make known He who is the light of truth to all the world.