NEW BEDFORD, Mass. — Six women and three men, representing six parishes in the New Bedford Deanery, received Certificates of Completion at St. Anthony of Padua Church, New Bedford after attending 36 class hours of “Beginning Apologetics: How to Explain and defend the Catholic Faith.” The course was facilitated by Deacon Leo W. Racine.
It is a series of nine well-written, doctrinally-sound texts especially designed by the San Juan Catholic Seminars of Farmington, N.M.
Under the guidance of Jim Burnham and Father Frank Chacon, the course strengthens Catholics in the faith by helping to charitably defend the most commonly challenged beliefs and respectfully confront Protestant evangelism.
Sandra Domingos from Holy Name of the Sacred Heart of Jesus Parish in New Bedford, said, “‘Beginning Apologetics’ has helped me very much. I will be able to converse with non-Catholics and defend my faith.” Paula Briden from Our Lady of Guadalupe Parish at St. James Church in New Bedford added, “I appreciated the opportunity to learn more about the Bible and it has given me some courage to help defend my faith.”
The text’s forwarding remarks indicate an entire booklet is devoted to the understanding of Islam while taking a Catholic approach “to recognize its inherent weaknesses, and to evangelize Muslims.”
Other sources needed to complete the course are: “The Faith of the Early Fathers, Volume 1” by William Jurgens, “The Catechism of the Catholic Church” and the Holy Bible. The new American Bible, or the Revised Standard Version Catholic Edition are recommended.
Other attendees also had kudos for the “Beginning Apologetics” course. James Johnston a new member to the Catholic faith stated, “Becoming a member of the faith, set me on fire with the Holy Spirit. The knowledge of all the faiths strengthens my faith in the one, apostolic, Holy Catholic Church.” Johnston is a member of St. John Neumann Parish in East Freetown.
Aline Laferriere a parishioner of St. Anthony of Padua in New Bedford said, “I was given much information to defend our beliefs against misinformation and myths.”
Maria J. Simas from Immaculate Conception Parish in New Bedford added, “I learned how to defend my Church and faith. It will help me to be a better CCD teacher. I recommend this course to all Catholics.”
Maria Pimentel, also from St. John Neumann Parish said, “The more I learn about the Catholic faith, the more I fall in love with it and the God Who instituted it,” and Norris Shook from St. Francis of Xavier Parish in Acushnet said, “Thank you for teaching the apologetics class. I know far more now about my Catholic faith than I did before the course.”
Anyone interested to learn more about the course may call Deacon Leo W. Racine at 508-995-5753.