Not in the least. This initiative is not proposing any change to the rubrics of the Mass. This initiative proposes that the Scripture readings be determined by the sections from the Compendium and the Catechism. As we know, there are plenty of references to Scripture passages in each of the sections in the Catechism, we are merely proposing that the three Scripture readings on the current 26 Ordinary Sundays be replaced with three Scripture readings which correspond to the Compendium/Catechism topics to be discussed on those Ordinary Sundays. Mass attendees will not notice any change to the rubrics of the Mass at all. We are not required to memorize any new changes such as the changes introduced during the new translation during Mass. The only difference is that this initiative will make it a lot more enjoyable for priests and deacons to preach the Catechetical Homilies, and it will also make it much more fulfilling and enriching for the laity to learn about our Catholic faith!
Frequently Asked Questions (FAQ)
Your questions are probably answered on this page. We have found that most inquiries are related to the following handful of questions. If you have other questions which are not addressed on this page, feel free to contact us. Click on the question to view the answer. Click here for a printable version of this page.
Is this initiative trying to change the rubrics of the Mass?
Why is it so urgent that we propose catechetical homilies?
Look around, it is not hard to realize that the culture of death is threatening to envelope our world. A dark shadow already clouds the hearts and minds of many leaders and citizens of the world. People of faith are called to proclaim Christ's truth. Given the fierce attack on humanity and the Church in recent years, (the lies about artificial contraception, abortion, direct attacks on family values, the HHS Mandate, human trafficking, drug and alcohol abuse, etc) our Church needs to stand more firmly on her feet and continue to proclaim her Faith. We believe that catechizing the Body of Christ infuses spiritual love, wisdom and power into the Body and allows her to grow in love, truth, fortitude and holiness. This is the Year of Faith and it coincides with the 50th anniversary of the start of the Second Vatican Council. It also is the 20th anniversary of the presentation of the Catechism of the Catholic Church. The Year of Faith is the perfect time for us to express our thirst for the knowledge of our Faith, so we may grow stronger in truth and virtue so that our joy may be full.
What did Pope Emeritus Benedict XVI say about the catechetical homily?
Pope Emeritus Benedict XVI wrote in SACRAMENTUM CARITATIS:
"The catechetical and paraenetic aim of the homily should not be forgotten. During the course of the liturgical year it is appropriate to offer the faithful, prudently and on the basis of the three-year lectionary, "thematic" homilies treating the great themes of the Christian faith, on the basis of what has been authoritatively proposed by the Magisterium in the four "pillars" of the Catechism of the Catholic Church and the recent Compendium, namely: the profession of faith, the celebration of the Christian mystery, life in Christ and Christian prayer (143)."
On the back cover of the Compendium of the Catechism, Pope Emeritus Benedict XVI wrote: “The Compendium, which I now present to the Universal Church, is a faithful and sure synthesis of the Catechism of the Catholic Church. It contains, in concise form, all the essential and fundamental elements of the Church’s faith… I entrust this Compendium above all to the entire Church and, in particular, to every Christian, in order that it may awaken in the Church of the third millennium renewed zeal for evangelization and education in the faith, which ought to characterize every community in the Church and every Christian believer, regardless of age or nationality.”
Are catechetical homilies neglecting the Word of God through Scripture?
No. The Catechism of the Catholic Church is rooted in Scripture which supports each section. We are proposing utilizing only 26 Ordinary Sundays (excluding major Feast days) for catechetical homilies/teachings. This composes just half of the Sundays in a year. Ordinary time is the perfect liturgical season for us, the Body of Christ, to study and learn more about our beautiful Catholic Faith.
The Catechism is so dry, teaching from it would drive more people away from Church!
Quite the contrary! Our Catechism of the Catholic Church is a collection of essential, uplifting teachings which contain the gems of our Faith. Many of its passages/chapters are simply poetic, unveiling a glimpse of the treasure our Faith that our Church has to offer. Every baptized Catholic should study the Catechism to explore our beautiful Faith. It is our firm belief that the catechetical homilies will bring our Faith more to life, thus attract people to stay, better yet, come back to Sunday Masses.
Why can’t we encourage Catholics to study the Catechism on their own? Why do we have to change Mass, again?
We can and we have but let’s face it, how often do Catholics really read/study the Catechism. Although self-study is an excellent way to enrich one's faith we are calling for a systematic way for this to be accomplished. We need a classroom, and a teacher to hold us accountable. Well, we actually do have the perfect “classroom” and the greatest teachers – your local parish on Sunday mornings and our priests! By utilizing half of the Sunday Masses per year for catechetical homilies, after a cycle of 3 years, we will be able to study the entire Catechism from cover to cover together as a Universal Church. We will gain a systematic, uniform, and thorough knowledge and understanding of our Faith. On the other hand, our priests will be held accountable for what they teach or don't teach to the congregation. Haven’t there been enough complains about priests not speaking/teaching the Faith, such as on the issue of contraception, from the pulpit? Well, with the implementation of catechetical homilies, priests are mandated to teach the truth of our Faith at the pulpit. If the priest refuses or intentionally skips teaching certain issues we, as the Body of Christ, are responsible for reporting such incidents to the Bishop. In doing so, both priests and the Catholic people are being held accountable in teaching and learning our Faith. This change can be implemented quite simply and the only thing congregations will see differently is that they are actually learning the Church's teachings!
What is "wrong" with the current homiletic structure?
Considering that around 23% of Catholics actually attend Sunday Mass these days we need a strong, informed, and unified voice to lead the flock. We need a truly universal voice. This simple change is needed as leaven to boost the flock. Adding teachings from the Catechism can only help! In addition, today's homiletic structure is Scripturally based (not bad in itself) but priests are forced to sort through the Catechism to match up the Scriptures with the Church's teachings. What ends up happening is that one priest will preach on one topic, another priest will preach on another topic and there is no guarantee that those topics are from the Catechism. More often than not, Catholics are not being taught the Church's teachings systematically and this one simple factor contributes heavily to the mess the world is in. A catechetical homily will solve this problem. Let's face it, Christ gave us the Sacraments and our Church has given us the Catechism through Christ's wisdom. Let's put them together and set the world on fire!
I understand the “How” but why is my voice so important?
Because, “we want to be taught”, we need to be taught. The state of affairs in our world today demands we know our Church's teachings so we can better live them and have a holy influence on the people in our lives. We are the voice of the Body of Christ and Jesus is relying on us. We are striving to get this implemented by 2014 and therefore we need a groundswell, a large push to let the decision-makers know this is very important to us and ultimately crucial to the world. Simply add your thoughts/comments in the “Our Voices” page. Simple comment such as “I want to be taught”, or “I support this initiative” is totally acceptable. Be sure to put down your name, parish, city, country for statistical analytic purposes.
How did this proposal of catechetical homily come about?
This proposal was first initiated by Msgr. Philip Reilly in his letter to Pope Emeritus Benedict XVI in June 2005. Msgr. Reilly is the Founder and Executive Director of the Helpers of God's Precious Infants, an international pro-life organization.