Study Aids

Program Details and Recommended Study Resources: fact sheets, books, and videos.

Truths of the Faith

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Truths of Faith Holy Scriptures Saints & Heroes Catholic Culture Worship & Tradition

Truths of the Faith—Overview

The Truths of the Faith study program covers the essential points of a traditional High School level catechism. Most questions are based on the Baltimore Catechism or Fr. John Laux's four volume Course in Religion. The essential areas of Catholic teaching covered are:

  • Creation and Salvation History
  • The Sacraments
  • Moral Teaching
  • Apologetics

Some of the material covered may be familiar to students who have studied their catechism, but the Truths of the Faith program is more comprehensive than elementary religious programs and may be of interest to adult converts as well as Catholic teens. Study materials cover many fundamental teachings of the Church but also discuss advanced topics such as natural law, Christology, moral theology, proofs of God, non-Christian worldviews, and other sophisticated subjects.

The Truths of the Faith program covers much of the same material as a college prep religion class, but students do best if they read the original sources as well as answer questions. The multiple choice format provides an excellent review and helps with retention, but cannot always communicate the full meaning or Catholic doctrines or princples. It can however, be helpful in introducing students to terms and concepts presented in upper level religion classes, and anyone using the Laux series or advanced catechism as a religion text will find it to be an excellent review.


Subdivisions and Study Aids

There are about 800 study questions associated with the Truths of the Faith program subdivided into eight units of about 100 questions. Links to study aids, homework assignments, and reading recommendations are provided for each subtopic.

Unit Topics Covered
1: Creation and Fall Attributes of God, Creation, Angels and Demons, Ends of Man, Fall of Man, Last Things, etc.
2: Grace and Redemption Immaculate Conception, Incarnation, Trinity, Grace, Sanctification, Redemption, Creed, etc.
3: Sacraments of Initiation Sacraments in General, Baptism, Confirmation, Eucharist, Gifts of the Holy Spirit, etc.
4: Other Sacraments Penance, Indulgences, Extreme Unction, Matrimony, Holy Orders , etc.
5: Moral Teaching - General Law, Conscience, Freewill, Moral Good, Moral Evil, Virtues, Perfections, etc.
6: Moral Teaching - Special Commandments, Cardinal Sins, Types of Sin, Duties to God, Self, and Neighbors, etc.
7: Introduction to Apologetics Logic, Apologetics, Proofs of God, Ends of Man, Revelation, Sources of Knowledge, etc.
8: Apologetics and Worldview Claims of Christ, Claims, Marks of the Church, Primacy of Rome, Alternate worldviews, etc.

Recommended Reading

Fr. Laux High School Religion Series

Fr. John Laux's, four volume Course in Religion series is the primary source for the Truth of the Faith program. It is an exceptionally good, widely used series appropriate for both classroom and individual study. However, all of the facts presented in the Truths of the Faith program are consistent with the current Catechism and any good high school religion program will cover similar material. Links to TAN Books, the publisher of the series, are provided below.

Chief Truths of the Faith
This concise overview of the major tenets of the Catholic faith is an excellent introduction for beginners as well as a stimulating read for educated Catholics. Fr. Laux provides in-depth explanations of topics including: Sources of Faith, Attributes of God, Human Nature, the Immaculate Conception, Sanctifying Grace, the General judgment, and many more.


Mass and the Sacraments
The doctrine and history of the 7 Sacraments. Also covers Indulgences and Sacramentals. Topics include the Scriptural background of the Sacraments, their institution by Christ, essential requirements for receiving them, their effects in the soul, etc. Will deepen understanding of these seven lifelines of grace and salvation.


Catholic Morality
A brief but complete book on traditional Catholic morality. Covers every basic aspect—the purpose of life, free will, the Natural Law, positive divine law, human positive laws, elements of a moral act, virtues, Christian perfections, Evangelical Counsels, nature of sin, kinds of sin, duties toward God, ourselves, our neighbor, the family, state, Church, etc.


Catholic Apologetics
In this compact book, Fr John Laux gives both the student and the adult reader dozens of excellent, well-reasoned answers to the classic objections against the Catholic Faith. He covers all the fundamental truths of the Faith, providing both facts and sound logical reasoning for every question he considers.


Truths of the Faith—Public Domain E-Books

Much of the material for the 'Truths of the Faith' program can be found in the Baltimore Catechism or the Compendium of the Catholic Catechism. Both are in the public doman. Click on the book title to read online.

Baltimore Catechism: No 3
This was the official national catechism for children in the United States for over 100 years. Volume 3 is suitable for high schoolers who have received their confirmation. It reviews material from elementary versions, but includes additional questions, definitions, examples, and applications.

Baltimore Catechism: No 4
This version of the Baltimore Catechism can be used as a reference work, or as a teacher's manual for the original Catechism. Its explanations of many little known questions pertaining to the Catholic Faith are designed to reward the questioning reader.

Compendium: Catechism
of the Catholic Church
   
This Compendium is a summary of the Catechism of the Catholic Church developed under Cardinal Joseph Ratzinger, then head of the CDF. The Compendium is organized into the same divisions as the 1992 Catechism but the Question/Answer format is more appropriate for high school level study.


Truths of the Faith — Youtube Channels and Videos

The following Youtube and video selections were selected because they are engaging, educational, pertain to topics covered in the Truths and Faiths program, and are appropriate for classroom use. Most are short and were chosen to appeal to students and compliment the topics discussed in class.

Sophia Press Sacraments

The Sophia Press Sacrament Video Series is visually engaging and covers many of the 'technical' aspects of the sacraments, such as form and matter, effects, valid ministers, that are necessary for answering the Sacraments Review Questions. Each video is approximately six minutes.

  • 1-2-3 Catholic: Seven Sacraments — This ten minute video from 1-2-3 Catholic features a talented group of school children and covers the most important facts about all seven sacraments.

Lutheran Satire Youtube Channel

The Youtube site Lutheran Satire is one of our student's favorite sources of short, humorous videos that cover important points of Christian theology. Most videos are less than five minutes and many are especially good at defending Biblical doctrines from modernist heresies and perversions. The site includes over fifty videos covering a great variety of topics, from the nature of the Trinity, to apologetical arguments opposing atheism, Mormonism, Pentacostal revivals, and all manner of modernist errors. There are a few points that Catholics may find to disagree with, the great majority of videos it the library are unobjectionable, and they are very appealing to students.

I have listed only few of the Lutheran Satire videos listed below, but there are dozens more.

Catholic Church - Builder of Civilization Videos

Two very worthwhile videos for the Moral Teaching division are from Thomas Wood's Catholic Church - Builder of Civilization series.

  • Catholic Church — Builder of Civilization: Western Morality (30 minutes)
    This discusses Catholic morality, not in terms of natural law, but rather in the positive effects it has had in civilizing Western Culture. It shows how concepts of natural rights, lifetime marriage, the sanctity of life, the inherent dignity of all human life, Christian charity and the commandments transformed pagan culture.
  • Catholic Church — Builder of Civilization: Charity (30 minutes)
    This video is from the same series, but focuses on the manner in which Christian Charity transformed Western Civilization. It covers many topics other than monks, but it does emphasize the role that monasteries played in offering services such as inns, schools, hospitals, libraries, alms, and spiritual care for people of the middle ages.