Issue 13: Autumn 2019

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The word ‘CATECHIST’ comes from the Greek word meaning ‘to echo’. As Catechists or teachers of RE we do not proclaim our own word. We echo the message of Jesus Christ our Lord. This newsletter aims at providing parish catechists and teachers of RE in schools some support in terms of reflections, ideas, useful resources they can use and so on. Feel free to share with other colleagues and friends. There is also a pdf version which you can download by clicking on the thumbnail below.

the echo
In this issue
Catechesis and Adaptation
Those who teach
Inspiring Teachers and Catechists - John Henry Newman
Youcat Resources

Catechesis and Adaptation


Every good teacher knows that no two children are the same. Although teaching classes or groups of children the same curriculum, every teacher will soon realise how different children and young people learn in different ways. The same applies to grown ups too. Due to such uniqueness of every learner, adaptation and differentiation have become such an important factor in education. There is an ever increasing stress attached to inclusion - making sure that every individual in the group is included, learns to the best of their ability and makes progress. It is therefore vital, to pause and reflect if this is the case too in our work as catechists or RE teachers in parishes and schools. Bear in mind that Jesus himself was open to and spoke to everyone - every category of people. So did St Paul. “I am under obligation both to Greeks and to barbarians, both to the wise and to the foolish.” (Romans 1:14)So did many other great saintly teachers and educators of the faith.

If we truly believe that the gospel message is for everyone, it is our task to make sure it is presented to every person in our audience in the best way that can bear fruit. It means to adapt what is presented and planned on paper in a meaningful, lively and adapted way which ensures that every child, young person or adult find it relevant and is ready to act upon it.



Attention to the diverse life situations of people moves catechesis to employ many different approaches to meet them and to adapt the Christian message and the pedagogy of the faith to different needs.

From General Directory of Catechesis, para 165

Those who teach


My child, those who teach God’s word, by word and example are the ones who do most good to the world. Good instruction is the source of all well-being. The performance of great deeds is always the result of good instruction. Just imagine then the impressive treasure of merits gained by a person who gives good instruction which is meant to be passed on to others. This is everyone’s mission, for everyone is called to teach others to the best of their ability.

from The Year of the Lord by St George Preca, SDC Founder

Inspiring Teachers and Catechists


JOHN HENRY NEWMAN - Priest, Theologian, Writer, Poet

Born into a well off family in London, right at the dawn of the nineteenth century in 1801, John H Newman grew up to become such a well known theologian whose life and works continue to be studied now, 130 years after his death.

Following his time and work in the Anglican Church, Newman was received into the Catholic Faith in October 1845. This move or ‘conversion’ came after years of reflection and analysis by this great thinker who by then had gone through a whole series of phases involving research, prayer and apostolic work within the church as a priest, writing and giving sermons. The work of his entire life can be summoned in the short epitaph on his grave in Birmingham - ‘Ex umbris et imaginibus in veritatem’ - (Out of shadows and images into the truth).

Newman was declared Blessed in September 2010 and following a second approved miracle is now going to be canonized in Rome on Sunday 13th October 2019. His life journey of discovery is a truly inspiring model for those who seek to carry on searching for the truth no matter what life experiences take them through or how many hurdles they have to overcome.


I want a laity, not arrogant, not rash in speech, not disputatious, but men who know their religion,who enter into it, who know just where they stand, who know what they hold and what they do not, who know their creed so well that they can give an account of it, who know so much of history that they can defend it.


Youcat Resources

Nineteen years after the publication of the Catechism of the Catholic church, the first Youcat publication was launched in 2011 when the Youth Catechism of the Catholic Church, (Yellow YOUCAT) , was published as a more youth friendly version of the original Catechism. This YOUCAT consist of 527 questions and answers organised in four chapters. Since then it has been published in many different languages.

Following its huge success new sister publications came on the scene. These include:

  • the YouCat Bible - an extract Bible for young adults
  • the DoCat - the SOCIAL TEACHINGS of the Catholic church
  • the Youcat APP - an online version of resources.
  • the YouCat Confirmation Book and Handbook

For more details on the range of Youcat publications visit the Youcat Website at:

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