Evangelium is a resource which enables all parishes to run courses for adults on the Catholic Faith. It offers an excellent grounding in the full panorama of Catholic beliefs. A modular resource, it follows the same division as the Catechism of the Catholic Church into Creed, Sacraments, Morals and Prayer.
Evangelium not only teaches about the Faith. It also gives a rich visual experience of the Faith by means of contemporary multimedia technology and over one hundred of the greatest works of art in Christian history.
Flexible and adaptable to the needs of your parish
■ evening courses or study days
■ short or long courses
■ refresher courses for adults
■ confirmation preparation
■ marriage preparation
■ youth catechesis
■ sixth-form students
Communicates Catholic teaching
■ content rigorously reviewed by leading theologians
■ cross-referenced fully to Scripture, the Catechism and the new Compendium of the Catechism
■ a sure and faithful presentation of the riches of the Catholic faith
■ beautiful religious art is the focus for each lesson
■ attractive, strongly visual slides
■ concise, precise wording
■ enlightening quotations from Scripture and saints
■ suggested further reading and activities for each module
■ Participant’s Book summarises the presentations, provides references and reinforces learning
Excellent support for the group leader
■ easy-to-use materials
■ clear and structured programme
■ tried and tested lessons
■ written by experienced catechists
■ references to additional resources and activities
■ easy-to-use software on CD-ROM
■ no additional software required
What started as a seminary assignment to teach the faith to Italian youth has turned into a multi-media course now used by adults entering the Catholic Church in England.
Fathers Andrew Pinsent and Marcus Holden hope their book and CD-ROM, "Evangelium," become more widely accepted in America.
Father Pinsent, is in residence at St. Ambrose Parish in the Hill neighborhood of South St. Louis while studying at St. Louis University. He and Father Holden, assigned to a London parish, recently spoke about "Evangelium" during the latter’s visit to America.
"We picked 25 key topics, with two sides (pages) per topic. It’s short, but with as much content as possible," said Father Pinsent. Both priests were ordained in their home dioceses in England in 2005.
The four major categories in the book — creed, sacraments, morals and prayer — follow the sections of the Catechism of the Catholic Church, Father Pinsent said.
The two priests didn’t think anything more would come of their efforts at educating the Italian youth until Father Holden mentioned the project to the pastor of his parish in London. That pastor was a member of the editorial board of the eventual publisher, the Catholic Truth Society.
Fathers Holden and Pinsent worked on the book and CD-ROM for two years, and it was published in England last fall. There it is being used by 500 parishes in preparing people for entrance into the Church.
Already it’s been accepted for use for the Rite of Christian Initiation of Adults program in the Archdiocese of St. Paul and Minneapolis. About 100 people in St. Ambrose Parish have purchased it through the parish for private use, Father Pinsent said. He added that the book and CD were now available through Catholic Supply of St. Louis Inc.
Among the topics covered are the meaning of life, salvation history, the Incarnation and life of Christ, the Trinity, Scripture and Tradition, the Blessed Mother, the Eucharist, marriage, the priesthood, prayer and the Mass and devotions, among others.
The use in a class setting incorporates the PowerPoint presentation found on the CD, which allows the students to view a dazzling assortment of Catholic artwork, mostly from the Renaissance, that the two priests chose to illustrate each faith concept.
"This way you get the full visual experience of it," Father Holden said.
They both said they strove for a balance in offering enough depth on each subject without overwhelming a newcomer to the Church with information. The priests also strove for a certain level of objectivity, to merely present the truth of the Catholic Church’s teaching without adding any commentary of their own.
That approach has earned them praise from both liberal and conservative Catholic media in their home country, they said.
"All we tried to do was present the material as clearly as possible," Father Pinsent said.
While the two agreed on the concepts, Father Holden said with a smile that "We fought a lot — but it was healthy fight" in choosing the manner in which their instructional effort would present those truths. He later described their collaboration as "intense discussions" on the way each subject could best be presented.
"We prayed before every (planning) session," Father Pinsent said. "It was a good lesson in teaching us objectivity. We had to sacrifice our own opinions."
Both are encouraged by their experience with youthful reception to their efforts after decades of seeing the parents of the current youth leave the faith.
"Unlike older generations, who were rebelling, this youngest one just hasn’t had someone explain to the faith to them," Father Holden said.
"It’s reliable in that it’s based only on Church teaching, and it’s concise for busy people," said Father Pinsent.
Father Joseph Johnson, rector of the Cathedral of St. Paul in the St. Paul and Minneapolis Archdiocese, was impressed with its content. He said it has been used already by the Asian community and that the Hispanic community was looking to translate the book for its needs. His own parish will use it starting in the fall for adult faith formation classes, Father Johnson said.
"Its beauty is it’s very thorough but very concise and understandable. It uses the power of images, which people of all languages can connect to. Plus it uses masterpieces of art."
He noted the different sections can be used independently. "One of our parishes used the five sections on prayer for a course during Lent," he said.