Common Sense Catechesis

Innovative approach simplifies teaching the Catholic Faith

HUNTINGTON, Indiana – March 11, 2014 – Many Catholics have responded to Pope Francis’ call for the “new evangelization” with renewed hope. They now await a solid, enthusiastic catechetical method that will help them to accept his challenge to share Jesus’ Good News.

In his new book, Common Sense Catechesis: Lessons from the Past, Road Map for the Future (Our Sunday Visitor, 2014), Fr. Robert Hater provides this method. He has developed a new and creative approach for accurately handing on the Catholic faith. “As recent popes have called for a new evangelization,” wrote Fr. Hater, “this book calls for a new catechesis, a common-sense catechesis.”

As most catechetical leaders are volunteers, Fr. Hater’s approach does not call for a deep theological background or knowledge, but one, rooted in prayer and faith, focusing on the accurate presentation of the basic teachings of the Catholic faith and the use of “common sense” in doing so. This method requires two main things from the catechist: a solid knowledge of basic Church teachings and the ability to present these teachings clearly, accurately, and completely.

Fr. Hater develops his common sense approach within a historical perspective that follows the lines of his own journey of faith. He traces his catechetical story from the 1950’s to the present time. As he tells his story, he takes the best from the memorization approach of the early 20th century, the use of the Baltimore Catechism, the insights of Vatican II, the chaotic period of the late 60s and 70s, the experiential approach of the 80s and 90s, including the Rite of Christian Initiation of Adults, the systematic approach of the 90s until today, and finally, The Catechism of the Catholic Church.

For an interview with Fr. Hater, please contact Christine Valentine-Owsik at: (215) 230-8095 or

About the author

Fr. Robert J. Hater, Ph.D., a priest of the Archdiocese of Cincinnati, is widely respected for his extensive work in catechesis and religious education. He has written many books and is a well-known, internationally acclaimed lecturer in ministry, evangelization, catechesis, and spirituality. In his recent book, The Parish Guide to the New Evangelization (Our Sunday Visitor, 2013), Fr. Hater encourages all pastoral leaders to renew their commitment to the new evangelization, and to take pride in developing an evangelizing parish.

About Our Sunday Visitor

The world’s largest English-language Catholic publisher, Our Sunday Visitor serves millions of Catholics globally through its publishing, offertory, and communication services. Established in 1912, Our Sunday Visitor publishes a wide range of books including Bibles, biographies of the saints, books by Pope Francis, Pope Emeritus Benedict XVI, children’s books, devotionals, bible studies, inspirational works, and curriculum. Our Sunday Visitor is a not-for-profit organization, returning a portion of net earnings back to the Catholic community through the Our Sunday Visitor Institute. For more information, visit