Bishop Schneider praises Voice of the Family’s new, free, online Catholic catechism course
October 20, 2020 (LifeSiteNews) – Bishop Athanasius Schneider, the auxiliary bishop of Astana, Kazakhstan, has praised the new Our Lady of the Rosary catechism course and encouraged families on the path to holiness.
Bishop Schneider urged families to develop a love for learning the catechism together, as “this is the most appropriate place which God has established, since the family … is a small church, a domestic church.”
He recalled that it was a great grace for himself that he was born into a deeply Catholic family, since it is within the family that the Faith is best able to be taught and handed on.
The bishop praised the traditional method of learning by memorization, a technique employed in the online course, and he urged families to revive this method of learning, which is so beneficial for committing the Faith to heart.
“God gave to the children this capacity, this ability to memorize quicker and easier, and so this remains in the memory; what you have learnt in your childhood remains very deep,” he said.
Bishop Schneider mentioned that it was the fundamental truths which he had learned in childhood catechism lessons, such as the Ten Commandments, which guided him through seminary studies and even through the current crisis of the Church.
The bishop continued by highlighting the value of traditional catechisms as a means of preserving the fullness of the Faith: “I call them, the good catechisms of old; they are really reflecting, even breathing, the Spirit, the Catholic faith of all ages, of all times.”
Bishop Schneider also urged the importance of child-like faith, which is fostered in the catechism: “Our Lord Jesus Christ, said in the Gospel ‘if you will not become a child and if you will not receive the kingdom of God as a child, you will not enter in the kingdom of heaven’. Evermore I consider these words of Our Lord, so important, so crucial.”
The bishop had advice for parents who are worried about their inadequacies in teaching their children the Faith. He counselled that “It is never too late to learn…please, even if you did not receive yourself an adequate Catholic catechism instruction, please read yourself before you teach your children, take time and read these passages, meditate and then transmit these to your children.”
Bishop Schneider drew the link between the message of Our Lady of Fatima and the current times: “The message of Fatima stresses the most fundamental truths of our faith, first beginning with the apparition of the angel…starting with the Eucharist and then the angel taught the children this prayer of the Holy Trinity…Then Our Lady gave us the synthesis of all the Gospel with the rosary.”
He also recommended consecrating one’s family to the Immaculate Heart of Mary and being faithful to the daily rosary, for “Our Lady will reward this fidelity of course with many graces.”
When asked to give advice for families attempting to live a holy life, Bishop Schneider replied: “the basic daily duties when you are fulfilling them faithfully, trying to do these ever more with love, for God and for your children… this is holiness.”
He further taught that families must “put Christ really in the centre of your family life” and to accept crosses as gifts from God.
The bishop prompted parents to teach their children to “embrace sacrifice” out of “love of Jesus” and to have “fidelity to prayer.” He also emphasised the importance of keeping Sunday as the Lord’s day and a family day, “because the culture of the time is so destroying the Sunday.”
He concluded: “Believe deeply in the power of prayer and trust, and when you have built up your family on the Lord, when you have put Him in the centre of your life and of your family and of your house, He will never abandon you. You will always have His assistance. And…consecrate your family to the Immaculate Heart of Mary.”