noneAdult Catechism Class in CATHOLICISM!?  “You gotta be kidding! Dogma, dogma and more dogma! Yada, Yada, Yada! Thou shalt not! Thou shalt not! Thou shalt not! …..BORING!”

Boring? Well, may be in some places, but not at St. Mary Star of the Sea Church in Sausalito, California! How do I know……because I am the teacher!

“Yeah, yeah, I’ve heard it before. Don’t pat yourself on the back so hard, Father, your fingers might fall off!”

So ….. don’t take my word for it, ask the 15-25 attendees (from at least 3 parishes) about the class.

In the last few weeks we have thoroughly covered the importance of the Blessed Virgin Mary’s place in salvation history; and why she is so venerated by Catholic and Orthodox Christians.

We spent several classes regarding the resurgence of the Islamic Faith and how we should interact with Moslem people. We also spent an entire class reading and analyzing the topics of relativism and secularism which are threatening the foundations of all religions – not just our own!


How would you answer any of the following questions?

1. A Mormon friend asks you why you worship statues and light candles to them?

2. A Baptist co-worker says to you: “If God existed before all that He created, including us, how is

    it that you Catholics say that God has a human mother – isn’t that blasphemy?”

3. An agnostic acquaintance corners you at a cocktail party and says, “If your Christian God is all    good, all loving and all merciful as you say He is: why do we have Cancer, AIDS and Alzheimer’s    disease? Why do plagues, famines, earthquakes, storms and floods, kill so many innocent people?”


4. What do you say to your 3rd grade child, when he or she comes home crying because Omar, a     Moslem classmate told your child that because we neither accept the Koran nor Mohammed as     Allah’s final prophet – we are all going to hell!?

5. A Christian of another Church asks you: “Why are you Catholics so hung up on sex and abortion?       What about war, poverty and world hunger?”

6. An irate relative says to you: “Purgatory is not mentioned in the Bible, neither is the Papacy, and     neither is confessing your sins to a man …..where did your Church get such nutty ideas?”

7. “Infallible – you say the Pope is INFALLIBLE! Show me where it says that in the Bible! You      Catholics are so weird!”

We cover such questions and many more in our wonderful class. So how about joining us?

You know folks, so many of us stopped learning about our faith in the 8th or 12th grade. Common sense says we can’t share with others what we ourselves do not possess – and in addition to that, we cannot defend against attacks on our beliefs without the knowledge necessary to do so. Jesus said that the truth would set you free – and He is the Truth …..He is the Truth we teach.

I invite you to come, study, question, discuss, learn – and enjoy it all.

Let me end this little invitation with something I saw written on a souvenir plate in a shop window in Nazareth while I was in the Holy Land: “Shalom, y’all.”



Fr. Robert P. Cipriano
St. Mary Star of the Sea Church