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What Makes Us Catholic, Part 2:
Leap of Faith, Justice, Loving Beyond Borders, and Growing Spiritually


Featuring videos with Dr. Thomas H. Groome

This course is a guided discussion of the second half of Boston College Professor Thomas H. Groome's critically acclaimed book, What Makes Us Catholic.  In each of the four chapters considered, Groome poses a question on which to reflect and suggests a gift for life that can be found in our Catholic identity.  For example, "In what will we invest?" discusses taking a leap of faith; and "What are our politics?" examines working for justice for all.  Join in a discussion of how to integrate Catholic Christian faith into "real life," weaving together a spirituality to sustain us in the everyday.  Besides the written text, video segments produced by Silver Burdett Ginn featuring Dr. Thomas H. Groome will be provided on the site to stimulate discussion.  It is not necessary to take Part 1 to benefit from the material in this course.

This course has a companion text, though it is not required (the videos cover the same material): Thomas H. Groome. What Makes Us Catholic: Eight Gifts for Life. Harper San Francisco, 2003. ISBN: 0060633999 (paperback) ISBN 0060633980 (hardback – 2002 imprint) 

Check the course schedule for future offerings of this course.


Introductory Week
Week 1: "In What Will We Invest?" -- Risking The Leap Of Faith
Week 2: "What Are Our Politics?" -- Working For Justice For All
Week 3: "Who Is Our Neighbor?" -- Loving Beyond Borders
Week 4: "What Is Our Heart's Desire?"-- Growing Spiritually For Life

Special Features

This course includes:

  • Weekly introductions to each new topic;
  • "What Makes Us Catholic" video series featuring Dr. Thomas H. Groome, produced by Silver Burdett Ginn;
  • Text transcripts of each featured video;
  • Weekly questions for reflection and discussion;
  • Bonus video segment featuring Dr. Thomas H. Groome (video 1 of the series); and
  • A regularly updated Resources page for further study.

All STM Online: Crossroads courses include these features:

  • Participants have access 24 hours/ 7 days a week to the course's password-protected web site. 
  • Each participant belongs to a small Community for Conversation and faith sharing guided by a facilitator.
  • The course site is usually available to participants at least three months after the course has ended.
  • An orientation in how to navigate the web site is always available.
  • Technical assistance is easy to contact and prompt in returning a message.
  • A Certificate of Active Participation is awarded to those who post at least three messages of substance for each week of content.

Additional Materials Needed:

For this course, participants may wish to purchase the following book (the videos cover the same material):

Thomas H. Groome. What Makes Us Catholic: Eight Gifts for Life. HarperSanFrancisco, 2003. ISBN: 0060633999 (paperback) ISBN 0060633980 (hardcover – 2002 imprint)

Time Commitment:

A participant can expect to spend an average of 3- 4 hours each week. This commitment includes both the assigned reading and interaction online.


Content Scholar:

Videos and text by Dr. Thomas H. Groome, professor of theology and religious education, Boston College School of Theology and Ministry.