I am LOVING the new Youth Catechism (or YouCat) and think every Catholic should have a copy. I’ve had my copy for a few weeks now and have been reading it on buses and tubes at every available moment. I even succeeded in getting my 14-year-old brother to sit down and have a read and chat about any topic he chose… unheard of. He was the one who discovered the little somersaulting cartoon characters in the page corners if you flick through – OK, so probably this was the highlight of the YouCat for him but at least he was looking through.

It is wonderfully readable, clear, simple, expressing what we believe in a way that is attractive and luminous and exciting… for those who want to know. What I love about it (and the Catechism for that matter, but it is more obvious in the YouCat) is the subjective, personalist approach: its starting point is human experience – just looking at ourselves, our desires, what makes us happy, what gives us joy – shows how we are made for God.

In fact, this was proved with my typically, only-slightly-interested teenage brother. We read the part about how a human being’s deepest desire is for God. I asked him, “what is it that makes you REALLY happy? When is it that you’re most happy?” My Dad shifted cynically in the corner expecting him to say the Wii and completely disprove the confidence the Church has in human desires. But what did he say? FRIENDS! Being with his friends. Why? Because with friends you’re accepted, you belong, you enjoy the same things (OK so I’m putting words into his mouth). But what he said is revealing… it shows that we are made for love, for communion with others… and therefore, ultimately, for the life of God.

I am really delighted at how the YouCat has presented the Faith and I hope that it will help many young people to understand that they were not created for something joyless and boring, but rather for something that fulfils every desire for love, enjoyment and relationship that is in their heart.

About transformedinchrist

I live in Southsea and work for the Diocese of Portsmouth. My first love is for catechesis and evangelisation: until January 2013, I worked for a busy, thriving parish in south London coordinating the catechesis - sacramental programmes and adult formation. In November 2013, I completed my MA in catechetics at Maryvale Institute, Birmingham. View all posts by transformedinchrist

3 responses to “YouCat

  • Duga

    Great article about Youcat transformedinchrist, but think that it is also important so state this :

  • transformedinchrist

    Yes, thank you for your comment – you’re right, it’s not a magisterial document.

  • transformedinchrist

    Just to continue a bit about the YouCat: I was at an amazing seminar over the weekend on Pope Benedict, the New Evangelisation and the YouCat. When the Catechism was published, it was envisaged that local Catechisms would be published for local Churches around the world – for their own particular situations (see Fidei Depositum, the letter at the beginning of the Catechism). So, the US Bishops brought out their own local Catechism, as did the Church in the Philippines. So, YouCat falls under this category: but, while it’s been developed by the Austrian, German and Swiss Bishops’ Conferences, it is intended as a worldwide adaptation of the Catechism for young people.

    The more I read it, the more I think how fantastic it is: it appeals both to reason and to our human affectivity. It is pastoral as well as doctrinal.

    Would love to hear the views of other readers on the YouCat…

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