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Introduction to Catholicism: a Complete Course.

Canada now is offered a marvelous high school religion textbook series published by the Midwest Theological Forum, of Chicago. The books, four in the series, have hard covers and well over three hundred large pages each, and are artistically beautiful, multicoloured, with lots of pictures, advanced concepts, related statements from the Catechism of the Catholic Church, and an index. On the editorial board are Dr. Scott Hahn and his wife Kimberly.

The Didache was a book written about the year 100 A.D. by followers of the Apostles; it gave sound teaching of the Faith. The series named after it, copyrighted in 2003, has been judged to be in conformity with the Catechism of the Catholic Church by the Ad Hoc Committee to Oversee the Use of the Catechism, United States Conference of Catholic Bishops. The titles of the four books in the series are: (1) Introduction to Catholicism: A Complete Course," (2) Understanding the Scriptures: A Complete Course on Bible Study; (3) The History of the Church." A Complete Course," and (4) Our Moral Life in Christ." A Complete Course. Books (1) and (4) are reviewed here.

Francis Cardinal George, O.M.I., Archbishop of Chicago, has written in praise of these two books (the other two will be out soon), saying that these two offer "teaching substantial enough to win the respect and interest of students. Scripture, the liturgy, the writings of the Church Fathers, the teaching of Vatican II, of the Popes, and the Catechism of the Catholic Church make up their rich content. Traditional words unique to the Catholic Church, those 'belief words' that are an essential vocabulary for Catholic literacy and for insight into revealed truth, are used and explained. I warmly commend these two books to high school teachers and students, to those responsible for the RCIA, and to all who serve in positions of lay ecclesial ministry."

The two books being reviewed focus entirely on the central beliefs of Catholics. That makes them perfectly acceptable to Canadians, who receive a Catholic, not an American presentation.

The Introduction to Catholicism book begins with the call to holiness and from there moves to prayer, the Trinity, the Virgin Mary, revelation, the Old and the New Testament, and the Sacraments, and concludes with the Ten Commandments.

The book on the Church's moral teaching presents the principles of moral theology; moral acts; and conscience and its application to all of today's hot-button issues; all with the biblical and theological perspective found in the 1992 Catechism. The social teaching of the Church and all ten Commandments are covered in depth, once again in the perspective and context of modern life.

The series is available in Canada through The Canadian Theological Forum, 191 Wade Gate, Thornhill, ON, L4J 5Y4, e-mail In the United States the books are selling like a raging forest fire, and rightly so. The Canadian price is $53 for each book, plus shipping and handling and the GST. A teacher's manual is available at $10 in a CD ROM, or $25 in a large binder, plus a shipping cost and the GST.
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Publication:Catholic Insight
Date:Mar 1, 2005
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