Free Online Course: Pillars of the Church

Posted by Clare Kilbane on May 6, 2020 8:20:38 AM
Clare Kilbane

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Although anytime is a good time to learn more about the Catholic faith, the present is a particularly opportune time for deepening one’s intellectual and spiritual appreciation of it. Some of us may find that the cancellation of graduations and other spring events provides extra time for learning. Others, troubled by the unfolding world events, may feel a need to consider how the Catholic faith sheds light on personal experience. And still others—for example, parents, students, and teachers who are involved in remote learning—will require access to high-quality theological content that “thinks with the mind of the Church.” One opportunity that will appeal in all of these instances is an educational offering made available by the McGrath Institute for Church Life called “The Pillars of the Church.” This web-based video series, available at no cost until July 1, presents the four sections (referred to as “pillars”) of the Catechism of the Catholic Church, adapting them for a general audience and featuring faculty members affiliated with the University of Notre Dame’s Department of Theology.

The course was designed to bring non-theologians (in other words, most of us), into contact with precise, yet rich, explanations of what is most beautiful and alluring about the faith. In its over sixty 30-minute recordings, Catholic doctrine is addressed in a way that strives to be simple, but not simplistic. The series begins with Professor John Cavadini’s presentation of the Creed or “Profession of Faith” in a way that allows the viewer to develop a rich, mature understanding of what Catholics believe. Then, Professor Anthony Pagliarini explains how participation in the celebration of the Christian mystery is made possible through the sacraments. Finally, Professors Leonard DeLorenzo and Catherine Cavadini describe how the Christian life and prayer contribute to a person’s deepening relationship with Christ and his Church.   

Learning from this resource is intended to enhance a believer’s experience of faith—helping him or her find, unfold, and unleash its joys. It should also equip believers to share the faith with others. Parents, older siblings, catechists, and others who mentor people in faith will find that this series promotes a more refined and nuanced understanding of the Church’s doctrines, along with the language required to express this in a compelling way.

This educational series is distinct from other, more commonly-encountered presentations of the faith. Rather than introducing it using arguments that remove obstacles to belief exclusively, The Pillars of the Church” invites the viewer to engage with Catholicism by revealing the beauty of the Person who is at the heart of the Catholic faith, Jesus Christ.

Visit our website to learn more about and register for The Pillars of the Church.

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Topics: Catechism, faith, online education, theological education, educational resources

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The McGrath Institute Blog helps Catholics live and hand on their faith in Jesus Christ, especially in the family, home and parish, and cultivates and inspires everyday leaders to live out the fullness and richness of their faith in the simple, little ways that make up Church life.

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