Latin Mass Society

Teaching the Faith

Taken from the Latin Mass Society's May 2003 Newsletter

The audio tapes referred to in this article are available to download as MP3's instead from Pro Ecclesia et Pontifice

Michael Davies applauds the efforts of one woman to bolster the Faith. Perhaps unsurprisingly, Catholic bookshops are refusing to stock her tapes.

What we Catholics Believe: the Timeless Objective Truths of the Catholic Church by Daphne McLeod (a set of 16 talks on 8 audio cassettes)

A few years ago I was asked by a university chaplain to give a talk to his students because, although intelligent and educated to a very high level, their knowledge of the Faith could not even be described as of primary school level. A survey conducted in the deanery in which I taught for thirty years revealed that only five per cent of those at any level in Catholic schools were able to answer a series of basic questions about the Faith. Most of the pupils could provide no answer at all to the question, “What are the Seven Sacraments?” One of the best answers was: “God gave them to Moses on top of Mount Everest.” The survey revealed that as the children grew older and progressed from primary school to high school their knowledge of the Faith did not increase. They left their Catholic primary school and entered their Catholic high school knowing nothing, and still knew nothing when they left their high school. They will continue to know nothing while the bishops impose such travesties of the Faith as Weaving the Web, Here I Am, and Icons.

Daphne Mcleod’s superb series of talks should really be entitled, “What Catholics should believe but will not be taught in Catholic schools”. As a result of the failure of modern catechetics, we now have two generations of Catholics who are almost totally ignorant of the Faith and consequently do not practise it. Many parents have realised that if they wish their children to know the Faith they will have to teach it themselves. Daphne McLeod, realising how important is this task, has put on tape exactly "What we Catholics believe" and how to teach it. To make these tapes she drew on her daily experience of teaching religion in Catholic schools for forty years.

After thirty-five years of incomplete and ambiguous religious text books which consistently turn their backs on the essential supernatural nature of our religion, Daphne has provided us with a series of tapes which explain the basic elements of our Faith clearly and explicitly. Those who have heard Daphne speak at the Faith of Our Fathers conferences in London will know that she holds her audience spellbound. She expounds Catholic truth in a calm and authoritative manner, and her own profound faith can be sensed in every word she speaks. Listening to her talks constitutes a spiritual experience.

Logically, they begin with what we believe about Almighty God and then ourselves made in His Image with spiritual immortal souls, going on to Church teaching on the Fall, the Incarnation and Redemption. The amazing spiritual benefits we receive from the Motherhood of Our Blessed Lady, the gifts of Sanctifying Grace and the Sacraments, as well as from attendance at the Holy Sacrifice of the Mass, are carefully explained, and our final eternal destiny in heaven or hell not avoided.

The subject of prayer has a tape to itself but it is also brought into every talk, and one Mystery of the Holy Rosary concludes each of the last fifteen talks. A leaflet explaining how to pray the Rosary is included with every pack, together with a blessed rosary to encourage parents to pray this sublime prayer with their children and teachers with their classes.

Every talk is excellent, but if I had to select one or two above the others I would choose those on Original Sin and the Blessed Trinity. The dogma of Original Sin, as defined infallibly by the Council of Trent, is conspicuous in episcopally approved texts only by its absence. If our First Parents did not fall then the rest of our religion is meaningless – not least the Immaculate Conception, as we would all have been born immaculate. In explaining the Blessed Trinity Daphne shows how much we lose if we fail to explore this Revelation as far as possible, making it the centre of our prayer life. Her explanation of the sublime mystery of the Trinity shows that this doctrine can be taught to youngsters in a way which is intellectually honest and has real meaning for them.

These tapes present the Faith as the truly glorious and wonderful Mystery it is. They will enable young people to love and appreciate the Church and inspire them, with God's help, to lead holy lives, growing ever closer to Christ. I cannot recommend them strongly enough to parents, teachers, catechists and even priests for, as I am pleased to learn, some priests are already using them to help instruct their converts. I feel certain that there is not a seminarian in the English-speaking world who would not benefit from listening to these tapes. I would go further and say that there is not a Catholic in this country whose faith would not be increased by listening to Daphne. We owe her a huge debt of gratitude for enabling us to share her insights into the Faith which she believes so profoundly and explains so clearly. These tapes should be on sale in every Catholic bookshop, and one is bound to ask just how Catholic are those which, unfortunately, have refused to stock it.

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