Why Catholic?

Catholics often face opportunities to share their faith with others, but lack the basic knowledge and confidence to do so. Why Catholic? has a rich scriptural and catechetical approach that gives a solid foundation for every Catholic to express their faith and be able to reach out to others in faith.

Why Catholic?

How 'Why Catholic?' Works

Why Catholic? includes a full range of elements designed to meet the needs of your parish and designed to help reach out to others in faith.


Strong Pastoral Support

Through an initial consultation, information sessions, and workshops, RENEW's staff works with pastoral leadership and parishioners to ensure a successful program with strong participation.

  • Initial Consultation — Meeting with diocesan staff to review the content of Why Catholic? and explain how to bring it to parishes.
  • Information Sessions — An overview of how Why Catholic? responds to an identified need of adults’ desire to connect with their beliefs and renew their identity as Catholics.
  • Launching Why Catholic? Workshop — Practical suggestions for inviting maximum participation in the parish.
  • Small Community Leader Formation — On-site workshops for leaders with catechetical content and methods for facilitating adult learning.
  • Ongoing Diocesan Support — In-person and phone consultation to guide the process from your RENEW International pastoring contact
  • Online Pastoral Services Wide array of special web-based tools and resources.


Quality Resources

Thoroughly reviewed materials including participant books, parish kit, and bulletin inserts offer participants a rich experience and sound teachings.

  • Participant Books — These solid, approachable materials have been tested within small groups, were reviewed by the U.S. Bishops’ Ad Hoc Committee to Oversee the Use of the Catechism, and have an Imprimatur.
  • Parish Kit — Includes the key resource materials to support successful parish implementation.
  • RENEWING FAMILY FAITH Bulletin Inserts — Make Why Catholic? a total parish experience and connect families to Catechism topics through short essays, blessings, activities, and stories for sharing.


Formation Workshops

Engage and form participants in leading and participating in small Christian communities.

  • Formation Workshops — For each year of Why Catholic? two formation workshops are offered—one focusing on the first six sessions and the second focusing on the second six sessions.
  • Optional Retreat — A retreat kit for each Why Catholic? book provides all the elements necessary for parish teams to offer an all-day retreat or a shorter prayer experience.

Online Pastoral Resources

RENEW International offers participating parishes and dioceses an array of online pastoral services to ensure success with Why Catholic? Journey Through the Catechism.

If you are registered with RENEW International as a parish or diocesan contact for Why Catholic?, please log in on this page to make use of the following web-based features:

Document Library
Read and download helpful documents, files and tools

Order Resources
Shop our online bookstore for Why Catholic? resource materials at member pricing



What People are Saying

"As the facilitator, I am in awe of what the Spirit is doing in and through those gathered. Our sessions are truly a spiritual experience and wonderful gift for me. Many of our participants are on walkers, canes, and in wheelchairs. Some are challenged visually as well as hearing impaired, but it is so evident that God is doing a mighty work in our midst!”
- Sister Mary Ellen Curl, RSM, Spiritual Care Coordinator Mercy Sacred Heart Village


"I cannot begin to tell you what an enriching experience my small group has been. I come home each Tuesday evening feeling truly blessed to have been able to share Why Catholic? with these special people. They have become like my family. Martha and Ed Wagner opened their beautiful home to us for our sharing sessions, and it is truly an inspirational setting. I pray that everyone's time together has been as warm and friendly as ours."
- Suzie R., Louisville, Kentucky


Why Catholic? is great! I may now actually read, and even study, the Catechism rather than occasionally just looking up a topic or two.”
- Louise A., Atlanta, Georgia


"We are following the topic each week and our group comes to each meeting with deeper insights as they think about. talk to others, and read further resources on each topic. Our group meetings are thought provoking and we are engaged in the work. The Why Catholic? experience has offered us a valuable guide on how to be a better Catholic."
- Jerry & Patty King, Small Community Group Leaders from St. James Parish


What Church Leaders are Saying

"When the Catechism of the Catholic Church first came out, I was delighted since it is a comprehensive, up-to-date formulation of our beliefs and joys as Catholics. But I wondered how we might unpack its content for Catholics in the pews. Why Catholic? is a fine answer to my question. The material is arranged for use by small faith-sharing groups, thus enabling participants to better understand their faith and share it. The questions are thought provoking and interesting. I heartily recommend Why Catholic?"
- Most. Rev. Michael Sheehan, Archbishop of Santa Fe (NM)


"Why Catholic? seeks to be an instrument for faith formation and a call to holiness. Saints in everyday life are the strength of the Church, which is always renewing itself in fidelity to the mission of Christ and in service to the needs of our society. I heartily commend this effort in making the Catechism of the Catholic Church more accessible to the faithful."
- Most Rev. John J. Myers, J.C.D., D.D., Retired Archbishop of Newark (NJ)


"I am very grateful for all that you have done to bring Why Catholic? alive in our Diocese. This program and process is really helping all of our people to understand better why they are Catholics and to live their faith in a more dynamic manner."
- Most Rev. Michael D. Pfeifer, OMI, Bishop of San Angelo (TX)


"The Why Catholic? program is well serving the needs of both Anglo and Hispanic people."
- Most Rev. Wilton D. Gregory, Archdiocese of Atlanta (GA)



Why Catholic? not only strengthens our Catholic faith, it also gives us the opportunity to learn the language of faith as we share faith with one another.”
- Mary Ann McLaughlin, Director, Office of Worship and Spiritual Life, Archdiocese of Boston (MA)


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