I mentioned Fr. McBride’s Teen Catechism in a previous installment of Catechist Chat. Here’s a review I wrote as part of the Tiber River Blogger Review program, through which I can earn cool Catholic stuff by writing reviews of other cool Catholic stuff.
I’ve used Fr. McBride’s Teen Catechism both when teaching at at Catholic high school and as part of a weekly religious education class for teenagers preparing for Confirmation. It provides a good overview of Church teaching, without being so detailed that you can’t get through it in the course of a year-long CCD class. As the author states in the introduction, the book “assumes that young people are only at the beginning of a lifelong faith journey, that they have many stages of faith growth ahead of them and that this is but one step in that enriching process.”
Each chapter begins with a faith story that can be a great starting point for a class discussion of the chapter. Thomists will get a kick out of the format that follows, which is broken down into “Some say…The Catechism Teaches…As Catholics We Believe.” Fr. McBride responds to objections that might be raised in objection to a particular teaching, and then offers a reflection from a saint or theologian. The “In My Life” questions that follow are great for journal entries, and then the chapter concludes with a prayer and a glossary.
This book is good for catechists to have on hand as a reference for the faith stories and reflection questions alone, even if it’s not being used as a textbook for the class. The 36 chapters could provide a framework for a year-long course that covered the Creed, Catholic morality, the Sacraments, and the liturgy.
I wouldn’t recommend that this book be used as the sole text for a homeschooler looking for more information about our faith, or that it be used over the course of multiple years. It is designed to be succinct and informative rather than “The Only Text You’ll Ever Need.”