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Is the Medium

All right, everyone, pop quiz:

1. Name the Jewish high priest who gave Saul permission to rid Damascus of all Christians.

2. Name the pope who miraculously stopped the fire in the Borgo in 847 with the Sign of the Cross.

3. Name the cardinal who delivered the document of excommunication to the Church of Constantinople in 1054.

4. Name the architect who conceived the plans for La Sagrada Familia Cathedral in Barcelona.

5. Name the last Muslim ruler in Spain.

Extra credit : Define “Laetare Sunday” and “Nestorianism.”

Think you know your Catholic Faith? Would you, or someone you know, like to learn more? We’ve found a fun, interactive way to get acquainted with — or to improve your knowledge of — not only the minutiae but the grand scope and meaning of the Catholic Faith. It’s called St. Joseph Messenger: A Monthly Reader for Catholic Children and Families.

Published monthly from September through May, St. Joseph Messenger is designed to coincide with the academic school year, and is a terrific tool for enhancing Catholic-school or homeschool curricula. Each issue of St. Joseph Messenger boasts a wide array of articles on topics relating to the Faith: Church history, traditions, and rites; icons and symbols; Catholic art, architecture, and literature; historical geography; science; Scripture; doctrine; the saints; Catholic culture; etc.

Although geared toward schoolchildren, we’ve found its content to be chockful of useful information (and we’re adults!) that is presented in a clear, concise format. One valuable section is titled “Catechism.” In it, a detailed explanation is given each month for a single paragraph from the Catechism of the Catholic Church.

If you’ve seen St. Joseph Messenger before, you’ll be happy to learn that it has recently added several great features, including being printed on a sturdier stock of paper, an increase from 15 to 20 pages, and crisp full-color graphics. Now, photographs of great architecture, illustrations of biblical scenes, icons, maps, and classics of Christian art in all their glory adorn each issue, enhancing the reader’s appreciation for Catholic culture and history.

The interactive part of the publication is found in the “Exercises and Activities” section, which includes crossword puzzles, fill-in-the-blank sentences, short-answer and essay questions, a “Who’s-Who This Month,” and suggestions for further projects and research — all pertinent to the topics covered in that month’s issue. Each issue also includes entries from the “Simple Dictionary Series,” that defines words “relating to Catholic Faith and Culture.” New vocabulary words, printed in bold throughout the text, are defined in each issue’s Glossary.

At a cost of $30 for a one-year subscription ($50 for two years; group discounts also apply), St. Joseph Messenger has been hailed as “the finest assortment of Catholic information for students that has come across my desk” by Fran Crotty, the Founder of the Kolbe Academy, a renowned provider of certified Catholic homeschool materials.

For more information on St. Joseph Messenger, phone 800-242-9954, or visit www.stjoseph messenger.com (where you can even browse, page by page, a complete issue of St. Joseph Messenger), or write to St. Joseph Messenger, P.O. Box 751143, Dayton OH 45475-1143.

Now then, we have the matter of a little pop quiz to settle. How did you do? Check your answers against the answer key below:

1. Caiaphas.

2. Pope Leo IV.

3. Cardinal Humbert.

4. Antoni Gaudi.

5. Boabdil.

Extra Credit : “Laetare Sunday” is a mid-Lent celebration that falls on the fourth Sunday of Lent, when rose vestments may be worn and flowers are permitted on the altar. “Nestorianism” is a fifth-century heresy purporting that Christ had two separate natures, one divine and one human, rather than two natures in one Person.*

*All quiz material taken from recent issues of St. Joseph Messenger.

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