The "Catholic Imagination" is a way of perceiving or interpreting reality which shapes how Catholic Christians think, believe and act. This is a perception or understanding of reality which is encountered or experienced as much as it is learned. While it is not unique, it is clearly distinctive.
This six-week series examines the principle characteristics of the Catholic Imagination, and explores how they are embodied, experienced and expressed in Catholic worship, ritual and teaching.
This program is not designed for individuals who want to learn all of the details about what the Catholic Church believes and teaches. It is designed for those who want to appreciate the "big picture" and the deeper reality about what makes Catholics Catholic.
This opportunity is available at various times throughout the year on a day and time chosen by the participants.
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This six-week series will be offered in the Summer of 2011 on a day and time to be chosen by the participants.
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Part One – Introducing the Catholic Imagination
In this session we will explore the basic question, “What does it mean to be Catholic?” We will highlight the primary characteristics of the Catholic “imagination” or worldview and examine how these characteristics or convictions are represented in the Eucharist, expressed in the Creed, and experienced in everyday life.
Part Two – The Principle of Sacramentality
The principle of sacramentality expressed the Catholic conviction that material objects, rituals and experiences can embody and reveal God’s presence; it is at the heart of the Catholic belief in the real presence of Jesus in the Eucharist. In this session we will review the Catholic principle of sacramentality as it is expressed, experienced and celebrated in the seven Sacraments and sacramentals.
Part Three – The Principle of History
In this session we will examine the special way in which Catholics understand the meaning and purpose of history. An adjunct to sacramentality, Catholic Christians believe that God’s presence and love is revealed and experienced in time and human experience. Many aspects of Catholic faith and practice reveal this reverence for the sacred nature of time and history.
Part Four – The Principles of Hope and Mission
In this session we will explore how the Catholic principle of hope shapes our mission and our responsibility for others and the world around us. The Catholic faith is an especially hope-filled tradition; this hopefulness is embedded
in Catholic moral and social teaching as well as in the very structure or organization of the faith community.
Part Five – The Principle of Community
Catholic Christians believe that God is present and experienced in and through the individual’s relationship to the faith community, which is the Body of Christ. In this session we will explore the Catholic principle of community, particularly as it applies to the Church as a community of people -- the People of God.
Part Six – Life as a Catholic
The purpose of this session is to help participants appreciate how Catholic Christians experience and live their faith in everyday life. We will review the role of the Mass as the “source and summit” of Catholic life, the role of personal prayer and devotion, family life, spiritual development, and the special value of the Sacrament of Reconciliation.