The Bible is the revealed word of God. It tells us of the relationship between God and man. In it we find every feeling and emotion experienced by our human-condition – suffering, love, hatred, humility, arrogance, lust, hunger, greed and betrayal.

The Catholic Catechism is the book that tells us how to understand the Bible and live and die by its word. For the Catechism is a ‘Handbook for life’, a summary of the teachings of the Bible and the teachings of the Church – and there is a great need of it, above all in countries facing major political crises and social upheavals.

Like Venezuela, for example, which today suffers one of the highest crime rates in the world, together with food shortages and violent unrest. Amid all the confrontation it is the Catholic Church that is appealing for peace, above all to the younger people. Her message is one of love and hope, and she is conveying this message through a prayer book, designed to complement the now widely-read youth catechism, YOUCAT.

Bishop Jaime José Villarroel of Carúpano in northeast Venezuela has asked our help. He already has the ACN Child’s Bible, and the Rosary booklet, but the current crisis is causing confusion to many young people and has now even led some people to a crisis of faith. The bishop’s aim is to tackle this, with the help of his catechists, through a major catechetical campaign. For this he needs the books of the YOUCAT series.

In the past they would have printed these themselves, but paper is now scarce in Venezuela and books in general have become prohibitively expensive on account of the galloping inflation. And so we are supplying him and his neighbouring diocese with over 10,000 copies of the YOUCAT, the YOUCAT Prayer Book and also the YOUCAT Confirmation Book. They will be distributed personally by the sisters and lay catechists in all 33 parishes to the participants in their prayer circles and faith-based learning centres.

The Catholic Church in Venezuela has already withstood many crises, thanks to the courageous women and men who have remained faithful to the Word of God and who knew and lived this Word. Today this Word – the Good News of the Gospel – is as urgently needed as ever by the people of Venezuela.


This article can be found in Mirror 0616.