The Apologetics semester looks at some of the primary attacks against Church teachings, giving the teens clear answers to difficult questions.
Units included in the semester:
a. Divine Revelation – Bible Alone?
Youth Group Meeting: This meeting is designed to help teens see exactly how God has and continues to communicate Himself to us (Divine Revelation) by showing why God desires to reveal Himself to us (because of His love for us). We will see how God has revealed Himself (through His family, the Church, as seen in Scripture, Tradition and the Magisterium). We will show that it is the Church alone that has the teaching authority to interpret the Scriptures and define for us God’s revelation.
Going Deeper Meeting: This meeting will focus on looking at the differences between the Catholic understanding of God’s Word (Scripture/Tradition/Magisterium) and the non-Catholic understanding of God’s Word as the Bible alone. It will allow the teens the opportunity to see what the Bible says about itself, and to practice defending this topic against someone who holds the anti-Catholic position.
b. Salvation – Faith Alone?
Youth Group Meeting: This meeting will examine the Catholic understanding of salvation, comparing it primarily with the non-Catholic Christian understanding of salvation. In particular, it will show that salvation is by God’s grace alone through Jesus Christ. We will see how God’s grace calls for our response of faith working in love. We will discuss how we are not assured of our salvation until death, but that we can fall out of grace at any time.
Going Deeper Meeting: In the ‘Youth Group’ meeting, we examined the basics of salvation, that it comes from Christ alone but we must respond to Him with faith, hope and love. This meeting will look at the anti-Catholic positions of salvation by ‘faith-alone’, helping the teens to see the Scriptural roots of the Church’s teaching on salvation. It will help the teens to practice defending this topic against someone who holds the anti-Catholic position.
c. The Church Hierarchy – A Human Institution?
Youth Group Meeting: Over the past five hundred years, and especially in our media today, there are many questions surrounding the purpose, nature and mission of the hierarchy (the apostles and their successors, the college of bishops) of the Church. This first session will clarify the Church as Christ’s Body, the universal call to holiness and the divisions of service in the Church (clergy, religious, laity).
Going Deeper Meeting: Building on the first meeting, the ‘Going Deeper’ material will address the reasons why the Church is a visible, earthly institution in addition to being a spiritual one. It will also tackle the question as to why only men are priests. We will briefly explain the nature of the gift of infallibility.
d. The Blessed Virgin Mary – Just Another Woman?
Youth Group Meeting: This meeting seeks to help introduce the teens to the person of Mary and her relationship to Christ. The ‘Going Deeper’ meeting will look more closely at the arguments against Mary that so many non-Catholics level against her. In particular, this first meeting will show Mary’s unique role in Christ’s plan of salvation. We will see how Mary was given to all of us to be our Spiritual Mother. We will explain the beginnings of how to have a relationship with Jesus – through Mary, His mother.
Going Deeper Meeting: In the previous meeting, we set up some important principles about the Blessed Mother that will underscore this meeting. We saw that Mary was a unique instrument in God’s plan of salvation, and that she has been given to all of us to be our spiritual mother to lead us to Christ. This meeting will deepen the first meeting by defining the four dogmas about her: Immaculate Conception; Mother of God; Perpetual/Ever Virgin; Assumption. We will discuss arguments against these dogmas, support them in Scripture, and show how the Church has always faithfully taught about Mary, her role in salvation and her relationship with Jesus.
e. Sacraments – Man-Made Rituals?
Youth Group Meeting: This meeting will take an apologetical look at the Sacraments, clarifying the primary misconceptions against the Sacraments. These misconceptions include that they are man-made rituals, that they are only symbolic, not containing a real encounter with God’s grace, and that they are optional in the life of the Church and the life of the individual Christian.
Going Deeper Meeting: The first meeting described the general purpose of Sacraments, that they are guaranteed encounters with Jesus Christ. Now, we want to examine more closely the anti-Catholic arguments against the Sacraments. In particular, we will look at the arguments saying Sacraments are man-made rituals; are only symbolic, not containing a real encounter with God’s grace; are optional in the life of the Church and the life of the individual Christian.
f. Basic Catholic Traditions – Traditions of Men?
Youth Group Meeting: This meeting attempt to clarify the difference between ‘traditions’ and ‘Tradition’, with an emphasis on showing that ‘traditions’ and customs help orient our lives to better live Jesus’ will on a daily basis. In particular, this meeting will show that Christ Himself established traditions and rituals, and that He followed traditions while on the earth. We will also show that, no matter what we say about the value of traditions, we are creatures of habit, with everyday rituals and traditions of our own. We will see how, if we had no traditions, we would be living in a society of spiritual anarchy.
Going Deeper Meeting: This ‘Going Deeper’ session is designed to give the teens a Scriptural understanding of how Christ established the traditions of the Church. We will clarify the anti-Catholic positions, and examine their arguments in the context of other Scripture passages and the teaching of the Church.
In the YMCentral Store, you can purchase each semester individually or you can purchase the Complete Package that includes all 12 semesters.