CatechismClass.com

An Online Catholic School, Teaching the Modern World   

Frequently Asked Questions

  

 

Docere Veritatem

General

What is CatechismClass.com?

CatechismClass.com was founded by Fr. James Zatalva in March 2004 as a means to make some of the best Catholic Faith Formation resources and programs available to those who could benefit from studying the Catholic Faith online.

Who founded CatechismClass.com?

CatechismClass.com is founded and led by our Editor, Fr. James D. Zatalava.

Is CatechismClass.com Faithful to the Magesterium of the Church?

CatechismClass.com is unwaveringly faithful to the Catholic Faith. Our programs are produced in complete accordance with the Catholic Faith. All of our staff (writers, editors, programmers, etc) sign an Oath of Fidelity pledging their allegiance to the Catholic Church.

Why is e-learning important for the Church?

The trend in online education is quickly growing and our programs have already led to conversions and more Catholics receiving the Sacraments. With our RCIA program, parishes are using it for their members who lead busy travel schedules for work or who suffer from a disability that makes weekly classroom time difficult. Our children's courses have helped dozens of families teach their children the Faith without having to go to in-person classes. This has eliminated the common excuse that children can't be expected to miss sports or extracurricular activities for religious education. And it also makes it possible for children with disabilities (mental or physical) to learn at their own pace (we have received many testimonies thanking us for making this possible).

Can CatechismClass.com be used by both individuals as well as by parishes?

Yes! We have many parishes that use our programs and we have many homeschoolers, individuals, and families. CatechismClass.com has programs for everyone.

Are the CatechismClass.com programs meant to replace in-person learning?

No, they do not necessarily have to replace in-person learning. We believe that we produce the best and first online textbook for its kind for faith formation. Our products are not necessarily meant to replace community learning - they are meant to provide the best textbook out there, which happens to also be online. Our students are still expected to regularly attend Mass, participate in the devotional and apostolic life of their parishes, and serve the Faith through their prayers and actions.

How does the programs' materials reflect the six tasks of catechesis stated in the general directory for catechesis & the national directory for catechesis?

All of the six tasks are directly addressed by our lessons:

  • Promoting knowledge of the faith - through the Catechism section in all lessons
  • Liturgical education - Throughout our lessons in the Integration & Catechism sections
  • Moral formation - In the Catechism and activity sections
  • Teaching to pray - In our opening and closing prayer sections
  • Education for community life - In the Catechism and activity sections
  • Missionary initiation - In our activity sections

Do CatechismClass.com Programs come with an Imprimatur?

An Imprimatur is a distinction issued by the Catholic Church that literally means "it may be printed." Imprimaturs were highly important during the Counter Reformation so that the Faithful could determine which books were printed in accordance with Church teaching and which were not. Imprimaturs apply only to printed books and not to online courses. The Catholic Church does not offer imprimaturs for online courses since such courses are not printed. No online Catholic program in the world is permitted to claim that their online programs bear an imprimatur. Nevertheless, CatechismClass.com does have the highest support than an online program can have, in that we have the support of several US bishops and have Bishop Robert Vasa as our Episcopal Advisor alongside Fr. Zatalava, the Founder & Editor of our program.

Is CatechismClass.com Recommended by the USCCB?

The United States Conference of Catholic Bishops (USCCB) does not provide a list of any recommended online curricula for any Catholic publishing organizations. The USCCB does not review, recommend, or comment in any way on any online program as they have officially stated that online programs outside of the scope of their review.

As stated in their published document The Conformity of Catechetical Materials with the Catechism of the Catholic Church - Criteria and Applicability (January 2010): "It is important to note, however, that not all catechetical texts and materials are subject to a conformity review. The fact that a given item does not appear on the Subcommittee's Conformity List does not necessarily mean that it has been reviewed and found to be deficient, or that the publisher has failed to submit it. A conformity review is not applicable to...audio tapes, video tapes, websites, and DVDs."

CatechismClass.com does have the highest support than an online program can have, in that we have the support of several US bishops and have Bishop Robert Vasa as our Episcopal Advisor alongside Fr. Zatalava, the Founder & Editor of our program.

Endorsements and Supporters

Who supports CatechismClass.com?

Our courses have the endorsement of many US Bishops, theologians including Dr. Scott Hahn, and other Catholics. CatechismClass.com has received the support and prayers of Pope Emeritus Benedict XVI who wrote to us and encouraged our efforts. For a full listing of our endorsements, please see the page 'Who is CatechismClass.com'.

Is CatechismClass.com Approved for Use?

CatechismClass.com is widely used but that being said, as stated in our terms and conditions, ultimate acceptance of our online program in lieu of an in-person class is ultimately up to the discretion of each individual priest. If you wish to take CatechismClass.com in lieu of a parish Sacramental Prep program, acceptance of our program in lieu of a parish program is up to the discretion of the parish.

But as a self study program for individuals or as a program for parents to use with children, all Catholics may use our program in virtue of the Pope John Paul II's decree decree in Gravissium Educationis.

Who Has Reviewed CatechismClass.com?

Many organizations and individuals have reviewed or studied the programs of CatechismClass.com including Dr. Scott Hahn, Karl Keating (the President of Catholic Answers), and Cathy Duffy of Cathy Duffy Homeschool Curriculum Reviews. All have positively reviewed our work in terms of its content and approach.

For example, Karl Keating said: "I attended public schools, which meant we were packed off to CCD classes one evening a week. The acronym stands for Confraternity of Christian Doctrine, but it could have stood for Catholic Children Daydreaming. That's how boring it seemed, and the result was that that was the last religious instruction many of my peers had. So what to do for your kids? You might want to take a look at an online program called CatechismClass.com. It is for kids through twelfth grade, though I suspect not a few adults would find it a good refresher. The entire program is given over the computer at the student's own pace. I've taken a look at the site, and it certainly looks to be a step up (a very big step up) from the CCD classes I took. -- Karl Keating, Founder of Catholic Answers, E-Letter (8/31/04)

Are there Customer Testimonials?

We have received positive testimonials from many customers. Here is just a small sample from the thousands of customers we serve each year:

  • Consider it is great resource. It really flexible for those who not have a regular schedule. You gave us a great material, really interesting, and organized. I recommend this program. -- Irma V.
  • I really enjoyed working through these religion classes with my daughter, they are very traditional and similar to what I went through as a child. I think your company did a great job with everything! Thank you so much again for everything! -- Steve L.
  • I have signed up my 3 boys (ages 16, 14, and 9). They come from divorced parents and getting them to complete CCD classes has been impossible. They have yet to complete confirmation and communion. I found this online and wanted to tell you THANK YOU! This is so awesome. -- Bernardita T.
  • Your site's course was so thorough and impressive. My wife and I will recommend to all our friends!! -- Matt H.
  • Programs

    What Programs does CatechismClass.com produce?

    We produce a number of Adult Faith Enrichment, RCIA, children's catechism, Sacramental Preparation, a Godparent/Parent Baptism Preparation Course, and several other programs. To see a complete listing of our courses, please see our courses page by clicking here.

    What is the price of materials from CatechismClass.com?

    All of our programs are offered for a different price. If you are just buying individual or family copies, please check out our courses page by clicking here. Click on the course that you'd like more information on and the price will be readily available.

    If you are from a parish and are looking to buy for a school, we offer discounted pricing. Please contact us for this information by filling out a support ticket.

    Are discounts available to parishes who use the program?

    Yes, we offer a number of options for parishes that wish to use our program. The prices of our programs decrease as a parish buys more programs. Contact us via our support ticketing system to determine the best discounted pricing we could offer you.

    We guarantee to our parishes that we will provide our materials to you for less than you are paying for your current printed materials.

    What is the format for the CatechismClass.com lessons?

    All of our lessons follow our seven step format: 1. Introduction, 2. Opening Prayer, 3. Scripture Passages, 4. Catechism Passages, 5. Integration, 6. Activity, and 7. Closing Prayer. And, all lessons end with a short quiz.

    Are CatechismClass.com Lessons Shipped to my home?

    No. Unless you purchase our flashdrive and request that your purchased materials be mailed in PDF form to your home, our coursework is entirely done online. We do have a number of paperback that can be purchased through the Lulu.com website by clicking here. However, all purchases of materials on the CatechismClass.com website are online programs and they are not shipped.

    What adult-level programs are available through CatechismClass.com?

    For our adult programs, we produce two main product lines. Firstly, we produce our best-selling Adult Faith Formation course. It is used both by catechumens going through RCIA as well as Catholics who want an in-depth Catechism study course. We also produce as a second main product a Catholic Liturgical Year course, designed to help Catholics study the major feast and fast days in the Church and thus connect them with the Scriptures, Catechism, and Church teachings as they relate to the Liturgical Year. In addition to these, we offer a number of adult level elective courses meant for those wishing to learn the Faith or those who are already Catholic and wish to learn more.

    The Adult Faith Formation course has several applications. In one use, it is used by catechumens who need to go through RCIA without in person weekly classes (e.g. someone who travels consistently and for prolong stays for work, someone who is a caregiver for their spouse, someone who is mentally or physically challenged, etc). It is also used a self-study course by parishes and individuals to help adults study through the teachings of the Church. And, it is also used as a textbook for RCIA courses.

    The course teaches the doctrines of the Faith using 78 total lessons, covering six key bodies of Knowledge (Old Testament, New Testament, Creed, Ten Commandments, Mass and the Sacraments). Through the equivalent of 1,500 pages of material, adults will study the Scriptures and Catechism in an engaging, interactive, and complete manner. Lessons include the Baltimore Catechism, Catechism of the Catholic Church (2nd Edition), Compendium, and Catechism of the Council of Trent for a comprehensive learning experience.

    All lessons include beautiful paintings, all together totaling over a thousand priceless images highlighting the beauty of the Catholic Faith - since adults learn not only by reading or listening but by hearing or "contemplating art". Students also learn basic and advanced prayers in English and Latin while also learning from the authoritative teachings of the Church including the teachings of the Popes, the writings of the Saints, and Canon Law. We are very proud of the content from our programs and to hear that many people have come to a deeper understanding of what the Church teaches because of the depth of our program. Having it online really makes this possible - an in person class once a week typically leaves adults "wanting more"

    We also produce several other smaller selling adult products: pro-life lessons for adults to understand the teachings on abortion and contraception as well as a set of almost 50 book summaries of Catholic classics and contemporary novels. We also have a series of lessons on prayer to help Catholic learn and practice prayer and thus develop through a self-directed retreat a more enriching spiritual life.

    Our Catholic Liturgical Year Course, and our Adult Faith Formation course, are usually used by adults who meet once a week to go over materials. A teacher (lay or ordained) teaches from printed copies of the materials and students talk about them and learn. They can then go home and have access to the exact same materials to read through again. And they can then do their activity and quiz. We have found through our surveys and marketing, that students are learning more this way than using paper textbooks or meeting without any textbooks at all. Many programs are lacking in outside the classroom learning and in outside the classroom activities. Our program is really meant to eliminate that.

    On the flip side, our programs do allow for students to work independently of the classroom when teachers are not available, when schedules do not allow for in-person learning, and when personal circumstances make it necessary. Our programs are flexible and are meant to solve each unique parish and family situation.

    What children-level programs are available through CatechismClass.com?

    We produce grade-based programs for children ranging in age from our first grade program through our high school programs that are based on the USCCB's framework. These programs are used by children who are homeschooled as well as by parishes for their CCD/PREP programs. Many parishes are facing a lack of teachers and our programs are allowing those parishes to provide education to students without needing as many teachers. In most instances, fewer teachers can be used. The teachers are responsible for meeting occasionally with the students and also monitoring their quiz results online. Many students do great on their own but this built in accountability allows parishes to know that students are doing the work at a routine pace and learning the materials by passing their quizzes.

    Additionally, some parishes are using our programs to provide for children that are physically or mentally challenged who have trouble in attending in person classes. When the divorced parents share custody, one parent may be opposed to the child's religious education and that child as a result can only go every other week to CCD. Our programs allow them to work from home any night of the week, thus eliminating this issue.

    And with many children having extracurriculars and other activities that may have time constraints, our programs help solve those programs as well.

    But then again, our programs don't have to replace in person learning. Our programs are used by some parishes for all students. Teachers teach from either a projector or printed copies of the lesson. Children are then expected to go home and do the materials (i.e. the activity and quiz). We are finding that our method of double reinforcement helps children learn - because they are reading the same materials they are learning in the classroom. Many parishes are switching because of the great content in our lessons, the ease of use, the design and functionality of our programs, and the lower costs.

    Is there a time limit to complete the materials?

    There are no time limits on our courses. You can take as much time as you need - your subscription will never expire.

    What scripture translation is used in the program?

    The Adult Programs use the Douay Rheims and the children use the RSV-CE. These are both approved Catholic Bible translations. From a convert's perspective, many adults find greater benefit from the Douay Rheims because its style more closely mirrors that of the King James Version.

    Do I need to purchase outside books to complete any CatechismClass.com courses?

    Some of our programs do require the purchase of outside books to use in conjunction with our materials. Only a few of our courses do this and they include: The Life of Christ & the New Testament Adult Level Course, the First Holy Communion Preparation Lesson, & the Confirmation Preparation Lesson. The outside books required are readily available on Amazon.com and through other retailers for a nominal price.

    First Communion, Confirmation, and Baptism Programs

    Can I receive my Sacraments online?

    CatechismClass.com is a leading provider in preparing our students for their Sacraments. Our programs will generally allow you to study at home and not have to study in person at weekly set class times.

    After passing our Sacramental Preparation Coursework (whether you are studying for Confirmation, First Holy Communion, Godparent preparation, your own entry into the Catholic Church, etc), you will receive a CatechismClass.com Certificate. This certificate can be presented to your priest/parish when you ask them to receive the Sacraments.

    All of our The programs are designed for you to complete them at your own pace

    CatechismClass.com is here to help you prepare for the Sacraments. We do NOT administer the Sacraments. The Sacraments are about a personal encounter with Jesus Christ and His living giving Sacraments.

    Only a validly ordained priest can administer the Sacraments. We provide comprehensive and complete Sacramental preparation — the learning that must occur before a priest will allow someone to receive the Sacraments.

    You can use our Course Calculator to find what programs fit your current situation.

    What Program do I need if I'm studying for my Baptism?

    You can use our Course Calculator to find what programs fit your current situation.

    What Program do I need if I'm studying to serve as a godparent? I'm already confirmed.

    You will need our Baptism Preparation Program. Click here to preview the course and enroll.

    What Program do I need if I'm studying for my Confirmation?

    You can use our Course Calculator to find what programs fit your current situation.

    What Program do I need if I'm studying for my First Holy Communion?

    You can use our Course Calculator to find what programs fit your current situation.

    I'm an adult studying for Confirmation. What Course(s) do I need?

    If you complete your studying online you can fulfill what is required to receive the Sacraments. Many parishes will require you to go through a series of classes that can take a year or more. CatechismClass.com instead offers you a program that is available online 24/7 and can be completed at your own pace. Most students can complete the course in a month or two - saving you significant time in the long run.

    You can complete Confirmation study either online (we are one of the only providers of this) or in person at a Church. However the in-person classes usually only start in September and go for a year from then. Our program allows flexibility for your schedule.

    In this case as an adult needing Confirmation, you will need our Adult Education Program.

    Do you produce a list of parishes that accept the CatechismClass.com Certificates for Sacramental Preparation?

    We do not produce lists of parishes that use our program and only know about such parishes after people write us and express their gratitude. As individuals and families ordinarily do the ordering themselves, we have no way of producing lists of the parishes that use our program in any specific city. We have users in all 50 states and are aware of several dozen parishes using this program on a wide scale, but we do not produce lists. We always suggest contacting your parish and telling them that you would like to use CatechismClass.com. If your parish has any questions, they may always reach out to us for further clarification and information.

    Certificates

    Are certificates of completion available for courses through CatechismClass.com?

    We offer a number of courses available for those studying for Baptism Preparation (Catechumens in RCIA, Godparents, and Parents of children who are to be baptized), Confirmation Preparation, First Holy Communion Preparation, and First Confession Preparation. To earn any of these certificates, please ensure you follow the Course Calculator page to determine if you have taken the right courses for your situation.

    CatechismClass.com is entirely committed to understanding our students are 100% fully prepared for the reception of their Sacraments and CatechismClass.com staff thorough review all user tests before certificates are issued.

    Adults completing individual elective offerings are also able to request certificates of completion for their courses of study. Children are also able to request certificates of completion for their course work each year.

    What score do I need to pass my programs?

    How do I request a Certificate?

    Upon completion of our courses, you are entitled to a certificate of completion. The certificate for the Baptism Prep Course is built into the Quiz Process-- just follow the steps at the end of the Quiz. For all others, simply contact CatechismClass.com by filling out a support ticket through our support ticketing system to request your certificate.

    In your support ticket email to us, be sure to indicate your name, the course(s) you took, why you took the course(s), your priest's name, your address, your priest's mailing address, and if you would like the certificate sent to you or to your priest. All certificates are transmitted electronically to you or to your parish.

    These award certificates are suitable for framing and bear the name of our institution, your name, the course you have completed, and the signature of our organization's president as well as our Founder, Fr. Zatalava.

    Can two names be on the same certificate?

    We can include two names on the same certificate only if both individuals separately register for the course of study and take their tests separately. Each user whose name is on a Certificate of Completion must have taken the test individually and be individually registered on the website.

    Are Certificates Offered Free of Charge?

    To keep our courses at their low prices, we are unable to produce and send award certificates free of charge. There will be a nominal processing charge for a certificate, except for certificates issued as part of the Baptism Preparation Program since that course fee includes the price of the certificate.

    You may pay for a certificate by clicking here. This is a processing fee and not a mailing fee. After purchasing a certificate fee, you additionally still need to contact CatechismClass.com via our Support Ticket system to request your certificate. Purchasing and requesting the certificate are two separate steps.

    Do you offer mailed Certificates?

    All of our certificates are issued electronically via email and the processing charges cover the review, preparation, and transmittal of the electronic certificate. We are able to offer printed copies for those who explicitly need those. However, there is an additional shipping charge to offset the expenses of mailing the physical form. Please click here to order the Mailing Add-On. Also, please do not wait until the last minute to request a mailed certificate; they should be requested a minimum of 7 business days before they are needed in order to ensure that they reach your destination in time.

    Do all parishes around the country know of and accept CatechismClass.com's Certificates?

    Our courses have the endorsement of many US Bishops, theologians including Dr. Scott Hahn, and other Catholics. CatechismClass.com has received the support and prayers of Pope Emeritus Benedict XVI who wrote to us and encouraged our efforts. For a full listing of our endorsements, please click here.

    Our programs are used on a parish by parish basis - acceptance is at the discretion of the diocese and the pastor of your parish if you want to use this curriculum to receive the Sacraments. See our terms of use for more disclosures.

    That being said, all individuals can use the program as a self-study without concern. And similarly, parents have the right to educate their children outside of the parish's programs. Our programs can be used in confidence by all parents in fulfillment of Pope John Paul II's decree in Gravissium Educationis.

    Re-takes on Quizzes

    What score do I need to pass my programs?

    Are Re-take Options available if I do not pass a lesson?

    Yes, retake options are available. Please read the Policy on the Requirements.

    How do I Request a Retake?

    If you are studying as a student of a parish, you should contact your parish DRE or administrator who oversees your program. That person can reset your quiz for you.

    If you are a parent and you properly set up your child as a student of your account, as detailed in the New Customer User Manual, you may reset your student's quizzes. Please refer to page 23 of the manual.

    If you are not set up as a student of a parish or as a child user on the site, you may contact CatechismClass.com Staff to request a retake. However, please carefully note that you should only contact us after you finish all lessons in your program of study. At the very end of your lessons, when all lessons have been completed, you may ask for the Administrative Evaluation. This includes quizzes from elective courses. At that point, any quiz meriting a re-take will be granted. All re-takes are granted at the same time.

    Technical / Website

    What is my username?

    To determine your username, please click here and fill out the form.

    I forgot my password. How do I login?

    To get a new password and login, please click here and fill out the form.

    How do I reset my password?

    If you would like to reset your password after you have already logged in, you may do so by using the "My Password" tab on the Menu Bar.

    May a student reset their own password?

    No, only a parent or parish director may reset a student password; please ask the parent or parish director for this.

    Are usernames or passwords case sensitive?

    Yes both are case sensitive.

    How do I change any of my account information?

    Modifying your profile happens under the "My Profile" tab. On the next screen, there are several textbox fields that you may edit including: username, first name, last name, email address, and zip code. At the bottom, there is a pull down choice for the Newsletter, here you can edit the selection 'Yes/No' and then click the "Update My Information" button. There are standard error messages built in just in case you pick a username that is already in use, for example.

    Certain "Browser Brands" may not show the error messages. If you submit the form, and it appears non-responsive, be sure that all fields, including the pull-downs, have a valid entry.

    How do I set unique logins for each of my children?

    Creating a student happens under "My Students" on the "Create a New Student" link. In this screen, all text fields are required. The system will 'Error' if you have choses a 'non-unique' username. It is easy to add extra numbers after a preferred name (such as JackDempsy2017) to ensure that the user name is unique. Note: Numbers may not be the first character.

    Unfortunately, sometimes users Register their children as normal users using the Register Tab. In this case, the child's account is now a totally separate account from the parent's account. Correcting this requires contacting us via our support ticketing system.

    I just purchased Lessons, but I can't find them. Where are they?

    When you log in to your account, you are immediately placed on your "My Lessons" screen.

    You may have to answer the 'Terms" question YES to continue if you are in a parish program and it's your first visit. Then you will see your Lesson(s). They are the RED Title links and each will be the start of the lesson.

    If you have just purchased lesson materials and do not see them, sometimes there is a short delay due to PayPal processing time. Your materials will appear as soon as the processing is completed. Refreshing your page will often list any newly processed material.

    If you still have difficulty after doing this, please use our support ticketing system.

    Phone Support

    Does CatechismClass.com have a phone number?

    As an online-based organization with a small team, CatechismClass.com does not have the resources to staff a call center and cannot accept telephone support. We do offer a highly attentive online support system with extremely prompt response times. Please contact us via our support system for answers to your questions.

    We apologize for any inconvenience this may cause but know that we are here to help with any questions you have through our email support system.