The Marian Catechist Apostolate
If you are interested in service to the Catholic Church through the teaching of the Faith, please consider joining the Marian Catechist Apostolate. The heart of the Marian Catechist Apostolate is to fulfill Christ’s directive to proclaim the Gospel to all nations, so that in knowing God, all might love Him; that in loving Him, all might serve Him; that in serving Him, all souls might be saved. To this end, the purpose of the Marian Catechist Apostolate is twofold:
- To cultivate love of the Holy Eucharist, devotion to the Blessed Virgin Mary, and unswerving loyalty to the Holy Father and the Magisterium (the teaching authority) of the Catholic Church.
- To prepare members to share the gift of Christ’s truth and love, as found in its fullness in the teachings and practice of the Catholic Church, through the Apostolate of Catechesis.
The mission of the Apostolate is to form and nurture catechists for the teaching and sharing of the Catholic Faith. Marian Catechists must be heroic souls whose spiritual and doctrinal formation equips them for active participation in the new evangelization of America. Understanding that the foundation of all true and effective catechesis is a vibrant spiritual life, the spiritual formation of each Marian Catechist is vitally important; our efforts to share the Faith will be futile unless our lives attest to its beauty and richness. We become authentic witnesses to Our Lord Jesus Christ through a holiness of life and a life of prayer that develops and is nurtured slowly over time.
Raymond Leo Cardinal Burke, D.D., J.C.D.
Marian Catechist Apostolate
In addition to growing in personal holiness, members of the Apostolate are formed doctrinally by learning the Faith in a manner that is both challenging and deeply rewarding. Each of the four courses in our doctrinal formation is designed for home-study, although assistance is available from the International Office upon request.
An Invitation from Cardinal Burke to become a Marian Catechist
I write to all those who have been associated with the Marian Catechist Apostolate since its foundation by the beloved Servant of God Father John A. Hardon, S.J., and to those who have come to know the Marian Catechist Apostolate since his death on December 30, 2000.
Over the years, as I met with Father Hardon we thoroughly discussed the essential elements of the Marian Catechist Apostolate, and I began to promote the use of his courses for the training of teachers in the Diocese of La Crosse, and to encourage catechists to become Consecrated Marian Catechists. When he became gravely ill, Father Hardon asked me to assume the direction of the Marian Catechists upon his death.
In the Marian Catechist Manual (available from the Marian Catechist Bookstore), Father Hardon sets forth plainly the origin, purposes and activities of Marian Catechists. The Marian Catechist Manual is the vademecum, the handbook, for all Marian Catechists. If you have any questions regarding the status and activities of the Apostolate, please consult this helpful guide.
In the future, God willing, the International Office of the Marian Catechist Apostolate will be located at the Father John Anthony Hardon Center at the Shrine of Our Lady of Guadalupe in La Crosse, Wisconsin. The Shrine will fittingly house this Center at which Marian Catechists can gather for private study and reflection, spiritual and doctrinal courses, and spiritual retreats. The Center will be dedicated to the memory of Father Hardon and will house the Archive and Guild of the Servant of God.
For now, however, the International Office is temporarily located in the basement of the Pilgrim Center at the Shrine of Our Lady of Guadalupe in La Crosse. Msgr. Roger J. Scheckel is the Spiritual Director of the Apostolate. Theresa Ann Knothe, the International Coordinator of the Apostolate, along with her assistants, works under my direction and with the spiritual counsel of Msgr. Scheckel. I meet with them regularly, in order that I may understand as fully as possible the actual status of the activities of the Apostolate and offer sound direction.
I invite you to give yourself to the service of Christ as either an Active or a Contemplative Consecrated Marian Catechist. Those who are unable to complete the doctrinal studies and/or the spiritual practices are invited to participate in the work of the Apostolate as Associate members.
If you have not already done so, I ask you to register officially through the International Office in order that you may receive the special graces which come from participation in the Apostolate. Registration also makes it possible to share important information and makes it easier to organize meetings and retreats. To register, simply fill out and mail an application form, or send us your name and address and we will mail you information along with an application. Anyone who wishes to identify him or herself as a Marian Catechist is required to register.
Finally, in accord with Father Hardon’s directives, the Marian Catechist Apostolate practices the evangelical counsel of poverty. Therefore, the Marian Catechist Apostolate welcomes donations. I ask for your generosity in helping to provide for the material needs of the Apostolate.
Please keep the Apostolate and me in your prayers. Be assured that I pray each day for all members of the Marian Catechist Apostolate. May Almighty God—Father, Son and Holy Spirit—bless you, your home and your apostolate of catechesis.
I confide you and your intentions to the all-loving intercession of the Mother of God, Our Lady of Guadalupe, Mother of America and Star of the New Evangelization.
Yours devotedly in the Sacred Heart of Jesus,
Raymond Leo Cardinal Burke
International Director of the Marian Catechist Apostolate
Take the First Steps
Most people considering becoming a Marian Catechist have many questions. If you are interested in pursuing membership, we suggest you begin by reading Cardinal Burke’s essay, Re-Christianize America, which explains Father Hardon’s vision for the Apostolate. Next, you may want to look at the following articles:
- Father John A. Hardon, Master Catechist
- Blessed Mother Teresa and Father Hardon’s Courses
- The Holy Rosary, School of the Marian Catechist Apostolate
At that point, if you sense that the Holy Spirit might be calling you to become a Marian Catechist, please read about the formation requirements for Marian Catechists, which are explained as part of a comprehensive look at the Apostolate and its goals under the Formation tab.
The Marian Catechist Apostolate is a membership organization. An annual fee of $25 for United States, $35 for Canada, $50 for International Members (US funds only) helps to meet the administrative costs of the International Office and must be renewed each year. Inquirers who are prepared to begin the Marian Catechist formation are invited to print the Annual Membership Application. Your completed Membership Application should be mailed to the International Office. At the same time, you may begin doctrinal formation by ordering and starting the Basic Catholic Catechism Course, Revised and Updated by Raymond Leo Cardinal Burke from our bookstore at 608-782-0011 or Bookstore@MarianCatechist.com.