BY E. CLIFFORD HOWEI L, IN every language group and almost in every country a new type of catechetical literature is springing up as the fruit of the changed attitude towards religious instruction which is spreading throughout the Catholic world.
Our faith used to be presented as a list of doctrines to be believed and a set of laws to be observed; these were expressed in precise statements arranged in systematic order in catechisms of the Question-and-answer type; teachers were mainly concerned to see that children learned these answers by heart.
But now they aim much higher: they strive to gist: a unified and dynamic presentation of the faith, so as to arouse enthusiasm which finds expression in a good Christian life: their method and approach is based on that of the Apostles who proclaimed the " Good Tidings" that God so loved the world as to send his only-begotten Son to redeem mankind and to found His Church through which that redemption is applied to man throughout time.
New approach No one has done more to spread this new approach to religious teaching throughout the Englishspekking world than Fr. Hofinger. S.J., of the East Asian Pastoral Institute in Manila. It was he who organised the most important catechetical congress ever yet to assemble-that which took place in Eichstatt in 1960: he has given innumerable courses of lectures to teachers throughout the United States and Australia, and visited England last year. books: and he placed teachers. both clerical and lay, in his debt by starting up a small periodical called " Good Tidings" which deserves notice, for it has completed its first year of publication.
It has proved a tremendous success and has now a circulation so large that it begins its second year in two editions, one fur the United States and the other for the rest of the English-speaking world. It is amazingly cheap in price (6s. per year for six issues) and always filled with interesting material.
Fr. Hofinger himself always contributes at least one article; but others come from such leaders as Archbishop I I urley. O. M.L. Bishop Emmet Carter, Fr. Sheehan, Fr. Somerville. Sister Maria de la Cruz H.H.S., Sister Angela de Smidt O.P. and Mr. William Reedy.
Each number has a main theme of its own, such as "Teaching the Mass". "The Catechist as Spokesman of Christ". "The Bible". "The Council"; there are texts of "Sample Lessons", of biblical devotions, of little plays. news of congresses, lists of useful books.
This excellent little magazine deserves to be widely known; it will keep its readers in touch with developments in modern catechetics and also with the more popular aspects of the advancing liturgical and biblical movements which nowadays are so important to all charged with the responsible task of instructing children in their faith. The English edition is obtainable from the Ursulinc Convent, Westgate-on-Sea. Kent.