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What Makes Us Catholic, Part 1:
Community, Common Good, Common Heritage, and Sacramental Life


Featuring videos with Dr. Thomas H. Groome

This course is a guided discussion of the first half of Boston College Professor Thomas H. Groome's critically acclaimed book, What Makes Us Catholic: Eight Gifts for Life.  In each of the four chapters considered, Groome poses a question for reflection and suggests a gift for life that can be found in our Catholic identity.  For example, "What's it all about?" discusses a sacramental view of life; and "Are we made for each other?" examines the meaning of the common good.  Join in a discussion of how to integrate Catholic Christian faith into "real life," weaving together a spirituality to sustain us in the everyday.  Video segments produced by Silver Burdett Ginn featuring Dr. Thomas H. Groome accompany the course.

Check the course schedule for future offerings of this course.

Special Features:

  • 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; and
  • Weekly questions for reflection and discussion.

All 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.
  • 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.


Week 1: "Who Do We Think We Are?" -- Living as Graceful People
Week 2: "What's It All About?" -- Living a Sacramental View
Week 3: "Are We Made for Each Other?" -- Getting Together for Good
Week 4: "What Time Do We Have?" -- Mining the Treasury of Scripture and Tradition

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. Harper San Francisco, 2003. ISBN: 0060633999 (paperback) ISBN 0060633980 (hardback – 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.

Fee: $50

Content Scholar: 

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