Two years ago, I had so many questions about the Church. I read all the books, went to all the bible studies and still had questions. A friend of mine from church suggested I try the Ladder of Ascent to understand the Catechism of the Catholic Church. Catechism? I had never read the Catechism – it is big and bulky and intimidating. Exactly why I should take the class, she said. Well, it has been the best two years of my faith journey. Not only do I understand the Catechism more fully, but I know where to go for the answers when people ask me what the church believes. I know where to go for reference when I have more questions. I can actually stand up for the Church in a way that I was never able to do before because I just wasn’t sure what I would say was actually what the Church taught. The second-year curriculum follows the Catechism through virtues, morals and prayer in a way that has deepened my relationship with Jesus and those around me. The instructors are incredibly knowledgeable, answer questions that I was always afraid to ask because I thought I should know, and they share a passion for their faith that is contagious. Let me pass on the suggestion to you that my friend had for me. In Jesus’s words, “Don’t be afraid,” go to the class and enrich your faith!
I thought Brian Wallisch had the smoothest delivery of any teacher I ever had in college or graduate school. The doctrines of the Church can be very extensive and profound, but Brian would spontaneously introduce amusing anecdotes about his challenges raising a bunch of boys, who because of their youth failed to grasp the significance of many charitable principles of behavior. He would have us all laughing at his predicament, lightening the mood. He was always responsive to questions and quick to offer clarifications when requested.
I took the 2 – year Ladders class first, instead of the 4 – year Biblical class because it was less commitment. The semesters flew by and gave me so much more understanding into the 4 Pillars of our Church (Creed, Sacraments, Moral Life, and Prayer). I was embarrassed when a Christian friend had asked me about the class before I attended and I couldn’t even tell her the correct 4 pillars – I thought (one, Holy, Catholic, and Apostolic!). Baptized as an Infant and raised in the faith I am amazed at how much more I learn now, as an adult, with every new class I take. The 2-year Ladders classes convinced me that I need to take the 4 – year Biblical school and I have now completed my first year of that already. Trust me, it goes by fast and is so worth it!! God Bless!
I don’t usually give testimonials, but my appreciation of the Catechism Ladder program has me replying to you. The…program not only teaches us what we believe as Catholics, but it nourishes and nurtures our relationship with God – the Source of Blessings. I am a religious sister who only made my temporary vows last year and I learnt so much. It was not only what was in the book but also what was shared by all the participants as Catholics thirsting to get to know God a little better and more intimately. It helped that our lecturer was passionate about his faith and gave great analogies, relatable examples, even personal life stories that made what we were learning more personal – inviting us to explore our relationship with God – to go deeper. I loved the class environment that allowed us to freely listen, ask questions and share on your faith. And lastly, the little small group tables give us friends on the journey.
Catechetical School was nothing short of amazing. I went in thinking it would be a two-year lesson on the “rule book” of the Catholic Church, but I was blown away with this course. I began studying the Creed and digging in deep to the true meaning of what it means to be Catholic. I learned the scriptural roots of all of the Sacraments. The second year started with an in depth look at moral life, then culminated with the most beautiful prize, a semester long lesson on prayer. The instructors were incredible and the way they put together this course was well thought out, organized and such an incredible blessing. Every Catholic needs to take this class to better understand the teachings and philosophy of our beautiful faith!
I graduated from the Denver Catholic Biblical School in 2011 right as I was entering Formation for the Diaconate. During Formation we did a lot of study of the Catechism and I also made a point of reading it through in a year. I wanted to deepen my understanding of the Catechism, so I enrolled in the Catechism class. The method in which it was presented, the study questioned asked, and the small group discussions helped to clarify the meaning and although me to become much more familiar with the teachings of the Church. I thoroughly enjoyed the Biblical and Catechetical Schools and would recommend them to anyone who would like to deepen their knowledge of the faith and grow in their relationship with God.