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Catholic Gateway Course


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Title: Catholic Gateway Course

Catholic Gateway Course
  • Ss. Mary Joseph Church Thursday, October 15,
    2009 Week 1

Welcome to the Gateway Course
  • This is an 8-week introductory series for
  • those who are not Catholic, but interested in the
  • those who have been away from the Church
  • Catholics who want to learn more about their
  • The format will be seminar-lecture with
    opportunities for table discussion and questions
  • feel free to ask questions at any time
  • there will be a strict 1-hour time limit on the
  • those who are not Catholic will meet for
    approximately 30 minutes afterwards for continued
  • loosely based on text Catholicism for Dummies

Special Pricing! Catholics 10 Non-Catholics
Why the Gateway Course?
Discipleship enlightenment, preparation
Emmaus relationship, discovery
Gateway inquiry, entry
Why the Gateway Course?
  • The Rite of Christian Initiation of Adults (RCIA)
  • Prepares adults to become full members of the
    Catholic Church through Baptism, Confirmation,
    and Eucharist
  • A holistic process of immersion in the faith,
    worship, and mission of the local parish
  • No quick answers, just good questions
    discernment the only obligations are those
    placed on you by God
  • Ideally, an on-going, year-round process
  • Class-oriented, yet self-paced
  • If you know anyone who is interested in becoming
    Catholic or who needs one or more of the
    Sacraments of Initiation, please invite them to
    join us!

Welcome to the Gateway Course
Fr. Tom Donovan
Erin Hodgson
Rebecca Marchiori
Diane Ahrens
Ss. Mary Joseph Parish Staff
Week 1 - Introduction
  • Why do we believe in God?
  • Is the belief in God reasonable?
  • What role does the Church play in faith or
  • What do Catholics believe about God?

Why do we believe in God?
God himself in creating man in his own image, has
written upon his heart the desire to see him.
Even if this desire is often ignored, God never
ceases to draw man to himself because only in God
will he find and live the fullness of truth and
happiness for which he never stops searching. By
nature and vocation, therefore, man is a
religious being, capable of entering into
communion with God. This intimate and vital bond
with God confers on man his fundamental
dignity. Compendium of the Catechism of the
Catholic Church 2
Why do we believe in God?
  • Relationship to the Creator, image and likeness
  • Search and desire for the good, the true, the
  • God draws us to himself out of love
  • Our dignity and worth are illuminated by Gods

Why do we believe in God?
  • St. Augustine of Hippo (354 - 430)
  • "Belatedly I loved you, O Beauty so ancient and
    so new, belatedly I loved you. For see, you were
    within and I was without, and I sought you out
    there. Unlovely, I rushed heedlessly among the
    lovely things you have made. You were with me,
    but I was not with you. These things kept me far
    from you even though they were not at all unless
    they were in you. You called and cried aloud, and
    forced open my deafness. You gleamed and shined,
    and chase away my blindness. You breathed
    fragrant odors and I drew in my breath and now I
    pant for you. I tasted, and now I hunger and
    thirst. You touched me, and I burned for your
  • Confessions Book X

Why do we believe in God?
  • to praise you is the desire of man, a little
    piece of your creation. You stir man to take
    pleasure in praising you, because you have made
    us for yourself, and our heart is restless until
    it rests in you.
  • Confessions, Book I

Is belief reasonable?
  • Argument between faith and reason a modern
  • Study of God (theology) as faith seeking
    understanding St. Anselm
  • Truth does not contradict truth
  • Classic proofs of God pp. 60-63
  • Through motion
  • Through causality
  • Through necessity
  • Through gradation
  • Through governance/order

Is belief reasonable?
  • John Henry Newman (1801-1890)
  • Grammar of Assent (1870)
  • Faith and belief are modes of knowing
  • Can I believe what I dont understand?
  • Can I believe what I cant prove?
  • Faith involves things that are intelligible but
    not graspable
  • Certainty of anything in this world is
    impossible even in science. Full assent comes
    as one discerns the converging probabilities on a
    solution and makes a leap of faith.

What is the role of the Church?
  • Adam and Eve did not need faith, they saw God
    face-to-face, until that fateful day
  • With minds and hearts darkened by sin, God needed
    to reach them in another way.

What is the role of the Church?
  • God revealed himself in the person of Jesus,
    called the Christ or Messiah.
  • He selected and taught a band of disciples over
    the period of about three years before leaving
  • These disciples received the authority to teach
    what their master had taught. The disciples, now
    apostles, worked together to preserve the
    integrity of the teaching.
  • In time, an oral tradition of these teachings was
    compiled into a collection of books and letters
    we know as the Bible.
  • The descendants of this band of teachers assumed
    the role of authoritatively interpreting the

What is the role of the Church?
  • The Church is the School of God, flowing from
    the encounter with Jesus Christ.
  • The Church restores the relationship humanity has
    with God.
  • The Church restores the relationship humanity has
    with each other.
  • All ministry of the Church is relational and
    expresses the restored unity of the human family
    in God.

What do Catholics believe about God?
  • Unity of the Church is expressed in worship.
  • The height of unity is found in Communion
  • Sacramental Communion
  • Spiritual Communion
  • Participation in the Life of the Trinity
  • We Believe the Creed

What do Catholics Believe about God?
  • The Creed is a prayer expressing unity within the
    Trinity God is One, God is Three Persons
  • God is an uncreated reality from all time
  • Jesus Christ is God from God, Light from Light,
    True God from True God
  • The Holy Spirit proceeds from the unity and
    love of God the Father and God the Son.
  • In the Spirit we have belief in the Church.

Next Week
  • Revelation Sacred Scriptures and Sacred
  • Catholic Bible Basics
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