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The Light of the World

THIS TEXT covers the matter set out in the 1954 Syllabus of Religious Knowledge for Primary 4 Classes.

Only the catechism answers marked with a cross need be memorised. The number in brackets after each Catechism answer indicates the number of that question and answer in The Scottish Catechism of Christian Doctrine. A lesson represents a unit of work. It does not indicate that the amount of matter contained in it should be covered in one class period.

Book 1 Chapter 3 God Gave me Life

Book 1 Chapter 4 My Soul is a Spirit

Book 1 Chapter 5 My Soul has a Two-fold Life

Book 1 Chapter 6 God’s Life in my Soul

Book 1 Chapter 7 How Adam and Eve Lost the Great Gift

Book 1 Chapter 8 Mortal Sin

Book 1 Chapter 9 Venial Sin

Book 1 Chapter 15 Sanctifying Grace

Book 1 Chapter 16 Actual Grace

Book 1 Chapter 23 The Power of the Sacraments to Give Grace

Book 1 Chapter 24 Sacraments which give a Character

Book 1 Chapter 25 Baptism gives Supernatural Life

Book 1 Chapter 26 The Effects of the Life of Sanctifying Grace

Book 1 Chapter 27 The Ceremony of Baptism

Book 1 Chapter 29 Confirmation Strengthens out Supernatural Life

Book 1 Chapter 31 The Real Presence

Book 1 Chapter 32 The Meaning of Sacrifice

Book 1 Chapter 33 The Holy Sacrifice of the Mass

Book 1 Chapter 35 Holy Communion Nourishes

Book 1 Chapter 36 The Forgiveness of Sins

Book 1 Chapter 37 The Sacrament of Penance Increases or Restores Supernatural Life

Book 1 Chapter 38 Contrition

Book 1 Chapter 39 The Confession of Mortal Sins

Book 1 Chapter 40 How to Prepare for Confession

Book 1 Chapter 41 How to Make a Good Confession

Book 1 Chapter 42 The Debt of Punishment Due to Sin

Book 1 Chapter 43 Extreme Unction. Holy Order. Matrimony

Book 1 Chapter 44 The Love of God

Book 1 Chapter 45 The Commandments




Focus on Prayer and Sacs (MCF book 4); or Light of the World 2: 50 lessons/2/week


8-9    Catechism study: Hope (Prayer and Sacraments)

Loving Christ through prayer and the sacraments


Part 1 Prayer

1 Outline general need for daily prayer to stay close to Christ

2 Study of Our Father

3 Study of the Hail Mary

4 Study and learn other well known prayers (e.g. Rosary, Memorare; Angelus, Marian antiphons; prayers for dead etc.)


Part 2 The sacraments

1 Revise: what is a sacrament?

2 Revise baptism

3 Study matrimony, Holy Orders, confirmation and extreme unction briefly, including their institution

4 Living a sacramental life –  grace, meeting God and keeping faith alive.


Part 3 Penance and the Holy Eucharist

1 The Sacrament of Penance in our spiritual lives

2 Study/revise Holy Mass in more detail

3 Study devotions for Holy Communion

4 Study Benediction and Holy Hour devotion


Post First Holy Communion

Ages 7 – 10 Many parents use the American Baltimore catechetical series. There are several books which cover the whole catechism in increasing degrees of complexity with questions at the end of each chapter (you can buy them quite cheaply from Cenacle Books, here). Personally, I prefer to use the old Penny Catechism, which is a very handy, neat concise summary of the Church’s teaching. Many excellent British books for the primary years are sadly out of print and, as far as I can see, unobtainable at present unless you know someone willing to part with theirs (one such is the ‘Light of the World’ series, based on the Scottish catechism, from the 1950s). One book which is available as it has been reprinted is  ‘My Path to Heaven’ by Geoffrey Bliss. You can view pages on Amazon, but you might prefer to buy it from Cenacle books, here. This is quite a short book but you can make a lot of it if you read it carefully, study the pictures and have plenty of discussions.



Saints and culture of the Middle Ages (900 – 1500 AD)

It may seem odd to treat Christian Culture as a subject in itself, but it seems to me that at this point in time, as our culture is rapidly becoming predominantly secular, this is something we need to do: to pass onto our children in a more formal way all that is good and noble in the Christian civilisation of the past 2,000 years. As I’ve noted elsewhere, Catholic historian Christopher Dawson insists in his enlightening book, The Crisis of Western Education, that ‘the study of Christian culture is the missing link which it is essential to supply if the tradition of Western education and Western culture is to survive, for it is only through this study that we can understand how Western culture came to exist and what are the essential values for which it stands….if modern education fails to communicate some understanding of this great tradition, it has failed in one of its most essential tasks.’ With this in mind, it seems a good idea to treat more formally (and make liberal use of as subject matter) all those elements of our own culture which we would normally pass onto our children in a more general way. I’m thinking here of things like lives of the saints, art, architecture, literature etc. There is a lot of scope for imaginative planning here! In the primary years, this might be taught by tying in the lives of the saints to our historical studies (and if you don’t study history formally, here is a roundabout way of fitting it in). So, for example, while a child is looking at the era from 0 – 1,000 AD, he might study the Saints of the Apostolic age (1 –300), the Patristic Age (300 –650) and the Carolingian Age (650–900), and so on up until the present day.




Age appropriate SSPX catechism course (USA) Our Lady of Fatima Correspondence Catechism with the SSPX Sisters

1 Work through ’La Michede pain’ and discuss.

2 Bible – tea time read aloud, one chapter Catholic Children’s Bible, discuss.

3 Know your Mass by Fr. Demetrious Manousos, 2-3 pages twice a week, discuss and review.

St. Thomas Aquinas for everyone by Dave Palmer

The liturgical year

Acts of the Apostles and the Early Christians – read Acts of the Apostles for Children by Marigold Hunt

An Atlas of the Bible, Lives of the Saints from Roman times