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Welcome to the P aum Gospel Weeklies Faith Formation Program:What the Church Believes and Teaches e sacred duty and the joy of each succeeding generation of Christian believers has been to handon the deposit of faith that was  rst entrusted to the apostles by Christ himself. We have received this gift, the deposit of faith—we have not conceived it. It is the heritage of the whole Church. It is our privilege and our responsibility to preserve the memory of Christ’s words and the words themselves and to teach future generations of believers to carry out all that Christ commanded his apostles.National Directory for Catechesis, #26For over thirty- ve years, the P aum Gospel Weeklies have provided schools and parish religion programs with a basic catechesis on the Sunday Gospels.  ese widely acclaimed magazines o er the  nest in up-to-the-minute catechetical re ections, exercises, and activities based on the words of Jesus Christ and on his Gospel as celebrated weekly in the Sunday assembly.  e P aum Gospel Weeklies have formed several generations of young people and helped bring faith to their lives and bring their lives to the Catholic faith. e basic teachings of the Catholic faith are seeded generously throughout each level of the P aum Gospel Weeklies.  ese basic teachings are documented in an annual Scope and Sequence. Nonetheless, because of the very nature of a liturgically-based resource, the basic teachings do not occur in exactly the same way each year in the 32 issues of each level of the P aum Gospel Weeklies. erefore, P aum Publishing Group has undertaken to makepart of each year’s subscription to the P aum Gospel Weekliesa student’s handbook of those elements of the Catechism of the Catholic Church that have been judged necessary and appropriate for the age group served by each level. What the Church Believes and Teaches is a component for the P aum Gospel Weeklies.At the beginning of each year—with the  rst shipment of the P aum Gospel Weeklies—every child will receive his or her own book of basic Church teachings.  e content for this book is based on protocols established for the teachings to be learned and mastered at each level of elementary-age catechesis.  is handbook gathers under one cover the Church teachings presented in the 32 issues of the P aum Gospel Weeklies.  is Teaching Companion provides you with ways to help children master these teachings. In addition, the guide that accompanies each issue of the P aum Gospel Weeklies will point you to the handbook and to those teachings that are re ected in that issue. What the Church Believes and Teaches, together with the P aum Gospel Weeklies, can also be of great help to parents who want to take an active role in the faith formation of their children. e handbook provides, in one convenient publication, all the teachings that must be mastered.  e weekly issues provide the stories, exercises, activities, re ections, prayers, and challenges that show how a faithful Catholic can live out these teachings, celebrate them in the liturgy, and share them at home, at school, and with friends.Learning by HeartMuch of what you  nd in What the Church Believes and Teaches can be learned by heart. From earliest times, catechesis has used the formulations of the Creed, the sacraments, the Commandments, and prayers (especially the Lord’s Prayer) to transmit the faith.  e handbook a ords you the opportunity to help your students learn by heart the principal expressions of the faith, basic prayers, key biblical themes, personalities, and language. Such learning is not mere rote. Memorization is an e ective form of catechesis that nourishes the human heart and helps form the human spirit in Christ.ConclusionIt is our hope that this exciting addition to the wondrous experience of the P aum Gospel Weeklies will assist you in your ministry. It is our prayer that What the Church Believes and Teaches will give you the added assurance that you are indeed cultivating in your students the good soil in which the seed of the Catholic faith can take root and bring forth a lifetime of good fruit.Tips forTeaching Very Young CatholicsPreschool children might be the most receptive learners of all— if they could just sit still! Here are some suggestions to keep in mind as you prepare very young Catholics to learn the basics of their faith.• Children develop at di erent rates. Some of the young Catholics in your group may have a large vocabulary. Others will not. It may be necessary to rephrase directions and questions in order to make yourself understood by the entire group. A few in your group may be starting to read a few words. Most will not. You will need to read the few words on the pages of What the Church Believes and Teaches to your group. Ask them to follow along as you read.•  e muscles of three- and four-year-old children cry out for use.  e wiggles, twitches, and jiggles you see before you are not signs of disrespect.  ey are signs of muscles trying to grow, and the only way they grow is through movement. Try to incorporate as much physical activity as possible in your lessons to help satisfy this need of growing bodies. When you talk about creation, let your young people be plants growing toward the sun. At Christmas, they can be shepherds carrying young lambs to visit Baby Jesus. In your classes, change postures and places often. At the beginning of class, stand for prayers in a prayer corner you have established, then move4

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