youcat cover

I have been wanting to check out the Youth Catechism for a while and Ignatius Press graciously sent me a YOUCAT for review! You can get your copy of the YOUCAT at Ignatius Press.

I really like this paperback book and I think it will be an integral part of the University Care Pack I put together for my daughter as she leaves this week for University, 4.5 hours away! (We’re Canadian…and we use the word University the way Americans use College. We do have Colleges too…but there are generally some distinctions between the two.)

So back to the YOUCAT! I really like the question and answer format, the easy and  appealing language for youth, frankly…for me too!

I have actually read and referred to the Catechism of the Catholic Church: Second Edition quite a bit through the creation of our Catechism Craft Kits…and while I accept that it’s the primary Catechetical resource, and really a pretty inspiring, comprehensive text, I think the YOUCAT does what it was aimed to do: translate key questions and answers of our Faith for the youth.

I have read about some of the controversy about the YOUCAT. Some folks believe it compromises too much with its’ simplified…or maybe popularized language. Some people are concerned about the Imprimatur, originally given for the German version, but my copy has the Imprimatur from the Archbishop of San Francisco, dated August 8. 2011.

I agree that the topics under criticism are very important ones and need to be presented carefully, in complete union with the teachings of the Catholic Church. I am obviously no theologian and most of the criticism is a little over my head. On balance, I think that the fact that some super-Catholics found objections with only 4 of the 527 questions/answers in the book, actually impresses me and can only bump up my recommendation of the YOUCAT.

youcat format

So, in practical terms, what I like about this Catechism for Youth is the straight-forward question and answer format, packed with references to the Catechism of the Catholic Church, Scripture and Saint quotes. I realize that not all of the quotes in the margins originate from Catholic Saints…I found some quotes from famous philosophers… a >gasp< British actor, an anonymous student and a Jewish-American physician…and quite a few others I couldn’t recognize. I do like the extra Scripture quotes, definitions and references to documents of the Second Vatican Council and other important papal documents and Catholic sources.

I like how the layers of text and related quotes work together and the combination of the simple illustrations and photos punctuate the text.

youcat illustrations and quotes

I like the stick people illustrations for their simplicity and appeal…including the continuous flipbook in the bottom right hand corner! He sure looks happy on his journey, literally jumping head first into all the rich teachings our Catholic Faith has to offer.

youcat table of contents
I like how the book has the same structure as the Catechism of the Catholic Church: Second Edition with

  • Part One: The Profession of Faith
  • Part Two: The Sacraments of Faith
  • Part Three: The Life of Faith and
  • Part Four: Prayer in the Life of Faith.

This makes my cross-referencing-between-texts much easier!

youcat index

The index at the back offers easy reference for subjects and definitions.

youcat button
I think that this is an excellent resource for young people, helping them delve into the rich teaching of the Catholic Church! The language is appealing and easy to grasp and at a minimum jumpstarts young people in their study of what we believe as Catholics.

I think the wealth of information is presented in such a way that young people will be enthused about their Faith, realizing the depth and breadth of the Wisdom of the Catholic Church.

If any of the YOUCAT answers fail to satisfy…I hope the book will give my daughter the confidence to dig deeper…preferably asking one of the Companions of the Cross priests in Ottawajust like I did 20 years ago!

While I’m excited to send this book off with my daughter as part of her University Care Pack (more about that later!)…I’ll miss having it on my shelf for easy reference during my Catechism craft projects…and I’ll miss those happy stick people, celebrating our awesome Catholic Faith.



The kind people at Ignatius Press gave me my copy of the YOUCAT in exchange for my honest review.

You can get your copy of the YOUCAT at Ignatius Press…and if your kids have already moved into their dorm for the school year that has already started in the States, I know that they’ll always appreciate MAIL. It’s never too late to send a University Care Package!

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