Teach It: Eucharist and the Mass

Book cover: 'Teach It: Eucharist and the Mass'
Joseph D. White, Ph.D.
Ana Arista White
1 931 709 874
Our Sunday Visitor
Number of pages: 
134 pages

Here is a book designed for religious education programs that is faithful to Church teaching, well-written, and easy to use. Children being taught from it, whether in a classroom or at home, will learn a great deal about their faith, as will their parents or catechists.

Teach It: Eucharist and Mass is based on the Catechism for the Catholic Church (1997) and the Holy Bible (Catholic Edition of the Revised Standard Version), as well as Canon Law and encyclicals from Pope John Paul II (Ecclesia de Eucharistia).

The Introduction sets out essential Church teaching on the Eucharist, including that children must make their First Reconciliation before their first Holy Communion. After that, the manual is divided into eight lessons: "The Church as God's Family", "The Gathering Rite", "The Liturgy of the Word", "The Prayers of the Faithful and Offertory", "The Liturgy of the Eucharist, Part One: The Real Presence of Jesus in the Eucharist", "The Liturgy of the Eucharist, Part Two: Our Family Meal", "We Are Sent: Living the Eucharist", and "Putting it all Together".

Each lesson has a "Know It" section for the catechist, which summarizes Church teaching on the topic. These sections are outstanding; rich with citations from the Old and New Testament as well as a myriad of other church sources, they solidly present Church teaching on the Real Presence of Christ in the Eucharist in a highly readable way.

The next section for each lesson is "Teach It", with practical teaching suggestions, games, crafts, and activities for the classroom. These activities are easily adapted to the homeschool, using the reproducible forms and readily available materials. There are more than enough activities for each lesson, so the catechist can pick and choose the ones that are most appropriate or the most effective in making the point.

At the end of each lesson is a "Share it" page, in both Spanish and English, which is a reproducible letter for the catechist to send home to the parents.

One of the most impressive features of this text is its emphasis on biblical teaching about the Eucharist. In effect, the children receive an introduction to Bible-based Catholic apologetics, as they learn about the sacrifice of Melchizedek, the Passover meal, the Miracle of the Loaves and Fishes, and the words of Jesus Himself - all presented at a level appropriate for children.

Other highlights: The lessons on the parts of the Mass are excellent; children are taught the correct way to receive (according to the new norms for reception of Communion established by the U.S. Bishops); the letters to parents are catechism lessons in miniature.

This is a wonderful textbook for religious education programs, whether in parishes or at home. The children, their parents, and the catechists, especially those adults who were not well-catechized themselves, will all learn so much.

Additional notes: 

Imprimatur: John M. D'Arcy, Bishop of Fort Wayne-South Bend, 2003

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