At over 800 pages long and two inches thick, the hardcover version of the Catechism of the Catholic Church might be one of the most intimidating tomes residing on a shelf. Many Catholics don’t even know that such a book exists.
Real + True, a worldwide catechetical effort, aims to change all of this by making the Catechism accessible, portable and free for all. Through podcasts, videos and social media content, the creators of Real + True hope to catch the attention of two generations who have increasingly abandoned the Church: the Millennials and Gen Z. in other words, people around 40 years of age or younger.
Parishes, dioceses, apostolates and ministries around the world can integrate videos and content into their catechetical and evangelistic programs and efforts.
From its launch on September 7, Unit 1, covering the first 25 paragraphs of the Catechism, has become available on realtrue.org and on Youtube. Unit 2 will be released on October 1 and Unit 3 will be available on November 1.
One thing that fascinates us is to help people realize that the Catechism is this beautiful resource that can help them meet Christ.
The content will be available in English, Spanish, Portuguese and French. Real + True plans to release new content in monthly units, each covering a section of the Catechism, with 12 units for each of its four pillars of belief, prayer, sacraments and morality. The project starts one year before the 30e anniversary of the publication of the Catechism of the Catholic Church in 1992.
Edmund Mitchell, co-founder of Real + True, said his team believes the Sunday School is not a manual or a set of rules.
âWe believe that the Catechism is the faithful echo of a God who wants to reveal himself to us and wants us to respond to it. We hope our content reveals the beauty and wisdom of the Catechism for modern women and men – and most importantly, helps people discover its beating heart: Jesus Christ.
Emily Mentock, another co-founder of Real + True, agreed. Catechism, she said, is âsomething to pray with, and something that is a living voice that has been transmittedâ.
âOne thing that fascinates us is to help people realize that the Catechism is this beautiful resource that can help them meet Christ.
Funded by a grant from the Catholic media giant Our Sunday Visitor, Menton said it will take the group about four years to complete the project.
Cande de Leon, Executive Director of the Mission Advancement Office for the Diocese of Phoenix, has close ties to Edmundo Reyes, one of the three co-founders of Real + True. De Leon was enthusiastic about the efforts to make Sunday school more accessible to young adults.
âEdmundo and his team have this vision of taking Sunday school and making it very real and practical for anyone who doesn’t know anything about the faith,â said de Leon.
“It takes this wonderful wisdom of the Church through the Catechism of the Catholic Church and presents it very effectively through visuals on videos that are not too long.”
The fact that Real + True is fully digital in its approach is crucial, said de Leon.
âWe live in a very fast paced world and you don’t see Millennials and Gen Z walking around with books. You see them carrying cellphones, iPads, MacBooks, and laptops, so if we are to reach them we have to be able to speak their language and use their tools.
What’s unique about Real + True, de Leon said, is that links to videos and podcasts can be shared via text messages.
“” So you want to know the man’s purpose? Oh, let me text you. Look at this real quick. ‘ And then boom, someone can literally watch this in bed, on the bus, on the train, and while a passenger in a car or while taking a lunch break. All over. It’s right in front of them.
Mentock said the Real + True team likes to use the term âevangelistic catechesisâ to describe the content they produce.
The world today is hungry for Jesus and his message of truth, hope and love.
Bishop Kevin C. Rhoades, Chairman of the OSV Board of Directors, praised the work of Real + True.
âThe world today is hungry for Jesus and his message of truth, hope and love. I am happy to see projects such as Real + True emerge, bringing innovation and excellence in the way our faith is presented to young women and men in our Church and the world.
Bill Marcotte, who has been involved in youth and young adult ministry in the Diocese of Phoenix for 30 years, called Real + True’s effort “great” because it will help young people discover the truth of the Catholic faith . He recalled his own conversion experience in college while in a Protestant Bible study. His friends there asked him why he was still a Catholic. âI couldn’t answer them and I didn’t know where to go to get the answers,â Marcotte said.
Before leaving the Church – which Marcotte intended to do – someone gave him a copy of a 1975 book by Fr. John Hardon called The Catholic Catechism.
âI read this text cover to cover and I closed it and I said, ‘Dude, if everyone understood what the Church taught, everyone would be Catholic.’ And I still believe that – that’s really the reason I’ve ministered all these years.
Real + True promises “to help a young person get answers to his questions about the why of our Catholic Church, the treasures of our Catholic Church, and help a young person to forge roots that will support him in his faith throughout his life. Â», Says Marcotte.
âAnd it’s not just for young people. It’s for everyone.