“The Catechist’s Magic Kit”

(available in English)

by Angelo Stagnaro

“Catechesis is an education of children, young people and adults in the faith, which includes especially the teaching of Christian doctrine imparted, generally speaking, in an organic and systematic way, with a view to initiating the hearers into the fullness of Christian life.” – Pope John Paul II

Catechism Magic is the first book on Catholic Gospel Magic in magic publishing history. It contains approximately eighty effects. It also comes with a large glossary of basic magician patter terms and a bibliography. The proper use of Catholic Gospel Magic is during catechetical classes (ie, missions, discussion groups, sacramental preparation for children and RCIA classes) or any non-liturgical situation including school assemblies and parish fellowship.

This text is the only Gospel Magic book dedicated for use by Catholic catechists and audiences. It is specifically intended for trained catechetical teachers who are presenting Catholic doctrine to children, adolescents and adults for sacramental preparation. It has a few standard Gospel Magic effects but mostly utilizes general magic classics that uses patter better directed towards Gospel Magic.

Catechesis is an essential ministry of the Church and is an important part of the ministries of evangelization and of the Word. We are all catechists even in our daily lives in the same sense that we are all a priesthood of believers. (Lumen Gentium, 10; Evangelii Nuntiandi, 6, 14, 15, 59, 60; Catechesi Tradendae, 16; NCD 30, 93.) It is not merely an intellectual pursuit. It is more appropriately a spiritual development whose end is a greater acceptance of Christ’s salvation and submission to His will. Though an academic understanding is essential to this development, the main goal of catechesis is growth in faith.

Among Catholics, many forms of art, including the performing arts, have been used throughout history to convey an understanding of the Gospel. It’s understandable that Christians would want to honor the Creator with their artistic expression. Music, writing, singing, dancing, painting, sculpture, architecture and poetry have all been used to glorify God throughout Christian history. Stage magic is simply yet another art by which we may glorify God. And, after the example of St John Don Bosco who used magic tricks he learned from professional magicians who worked in travelling circuses, Catholic stage magicians hope to emulate their patron saint and do the same.

This book is meant for the catechist who is interested in using magic as yet one more medium through which one may teach catechism (RCIA, Sacramental preparation (Eucharist, Reconciliation, Confirmation Classes, Cana Preparation.) It is also for the dedicated Gospel Magician, that is, the person who wishes to be of service to his faith community by performing demonstrations of magic with the aim to instruct in Catholic catechesis. The magic tricks contained herein are meant to be supplementary and ancillary to the catechism that you are teaching. They are not meant to supplant regular catechetical classes as it would be disrespectful to the subject at hand and confusing to one’s classes.

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