Evangelization and Catechesis
Welcome to the website of the Committee on Evangelization and Catechesis. mission of Evangelization and Catechesis is to grow in our relationship with. We're celebrating with a look back on this moment in evangelization. Thus the primary Bible translation was the Latin Vulgate done by St. Liturgical catechesis recognizes the profound relationship between liturgy and catechesis. .. The folding chairs for a keynote in the elementary or high school gym. Religious educators once thought of the relationship between evangelization and catechesis as What Does this Mean for Catechists? Dr. Horan chairs the Advisory Board for the Office of Pastoral Associates for the Archdiocese of Los.
As you study these chapters with the parish or school staff, you will find detailed sections that apply directly to the ministry you share. In Chapter 8, for example, you will find a list that delineates the characteristics of the spiritual life of a catechist or school religion teacher NDC 54B8, page Chapter 10 reminds us of the primary role Sacred Scripture and the Catechism hold as both the norm and the inspiration for all catechesis.
This chapter also discusses the criteria that should be found in our textbooks and how to evaluate the resources we use in religious education. Take time to read and study the National Directory for Catechesis and make it a priority to acquaint your staff with it. In order to implement the guidelines found in the NDC, we must first know and understand what it asks of us.
What can you do to put renewed emphasis on evangelization in your parish or school program? How will you focus on this goal during the coming year? Including Children and Parents of Other Faiths Catholic schools in most places increasingly serve children from various faith traditions.
This creates challenges in the religion curriculum—challenges that can be addressed either as problems or as enriching opportunities. Discussing your local situation at the outset of each school year can help your school to establish an approach that respects all students while still upholding your primary mission of faith formation for the Catholic students in your school. Years ago the religious educator Thomas Groome spoke to the faculty of a large Catholic school in Karachi, Pakistan.
He described his experience in his book Educating for Life The situation he encountered there was far different from what you experience. Christian symbols could not be in evidence, a Catholic religion class could not be taught, yet one on Islam was required! What then, wondered Dr. Groome, made this school Catholic? The answer, he discovered, was a rich one, and it led him to write a book as a response.
While the situation he encountered is different, his reflection reminds us of many necessary aspects of your own mission. He spoke of a basic respect for human life and dignity that he found in the Pakistani school, of a hopeful approach toward life, a commitment to peace and justice, respect for diversity, and the development of a personal spirituality. Surely all these values are at the core of every Catholic school.
Yet the situation and policies of American Catholic schools are quite different. While certain inner-city Catholic schools may have a high percentage of non-Catholic students, in most schools the Catholic student population is the majority. Non-Catholic parents may be attracted to the Catholic school for its high academic standards, as well as for all the humanizing features cited by Dr.
But they still understand that their children will participate in the religion curriculum and other activities related to the faith-based character formation of all the students. Your challenge is to offer this curriculum while remaining sensitive to the presence of other faith traditions in your midst.
Here are some tips that may assist you. Your principal will have made your school policies clear to parents from other traditions, but establish your own line of communication as well. Make sure that you teach the curriculum content in its entirety. This is your first obligation to your Catholic students.
Share your own faith experience where appropriate just as you would if the entire class were Catholic. Use the same teaching process with all. Its goal is to help students build meaning and to make connections between the content and life. This process can be interesting and helpful for the non-Catholic student as well, for many of our Catholic values cross religious boundaries. In teaching the curriculum, it is only the outcomes that will be different between your two groups of students.
Your goal with the non-Catholic students is never to proselytize, but to inform and give them an exposure to Catholic teaching and practice. You will want to make the Catholic students aware of the diversity that is present in the classroom.
The Relationship Between Evangelization & Catechesis | Synonym
Do this on the very first day of school. There is one caution when presenting the Catholic faith in the presence of children from other traditions. While respect for the diversity in our classrooms is important, be careful not to communicate to Catholic children that all traditions are of equal value and that religious truth is somehow relative. You are serving as a Catholic catechist, and it is important to convey clearly that Catholics believe firmly that their tradition is the one true faith revealed through Jesus Christ.
We can know this to be true, and still be respectful of others who have come to a different conclusion from within their own traditions. One place where you may need to make adjustments will be in the areas of prayer and worship. This is where good dialogue with parents will assist you. Non-Catholic children who do not wish to participate in Catholic prayer experiences should not be required to do so, and naturally they would not participate actively in sacramental celebrations.
They may attend if they wish, or you may need to provide for alternative activities or reflection time for them. Be careful, however, not to use this as a reason to neglect the prayer experiences that are so important for the faith formation of the Catholic students. Primary grade children are concrete thinkers and may be having their first exposure to the teachings of the Catholic tradition, so too much dialogue with or information about other traditions may be confusing.
Since they will be aware that children from other religions are present, they will have questions from time to time. Answer them simply, and make it clear by your manner that you are comfortable and welcoming of this diversity in your classroom. Older students who have more of a grasp of their own tradition and are more literate in it will be able to engage in classroom dialogue about differing religious attitudes.
You will simply want to monitor these conversations and make sure that at the end of the conversation the Catholic students still clearly understand the parameters of Catholic belief. You do not need to fear this dialogue or questions that may result from it. The Catholic faith has a strong foundation and it will stand up to scrutiny. Children today live in an increasingly diverse world in their schools and communities.
An increasing number of them come to you from interfaith families.
Your attitude toward this reality holds the key to your success in dealing with it. Why is the Church against these new discoveries? The truths of our faith, drawn from sacred Tradition and sacred Scripture, are called the deposit of faith. The Holy Spirit guides the Church in interpreting the word of God through the Magisterium, the living, teaching office of the Church. Catechists need to understand that it is their responsibility to teach the authentic truths of the Church fully to their students.
The Catechism provides a comprehensive presentation on the faith; textbooks offer incremental, age-appropriate language and techniques for presenting the truths from the Catechism to students. There are three positive actions catechetical leaders can implement to ensure that catechists understand their responsibility to teach the authentic truths of our faith.
You may want to share two quotations from the National Directory for Catechists with the staff: Encourage catechists to teach from their Catechist Guides, which have been carefully reviewed by the bishops for accuracy and fidelity to the Catechism of the Catholic Church.
This will help them stay on track and ensure that children are learning the truths of our faith systematically and completely. Secondly, urge catechists to surface issues they face with their students and areas where they, too, are confused or unsure about Church teachings. Having these excellent reference tools at hand will not only assist catechists in their ministry; it will also help them in their ongoing personal faith development. Finally, work with the staff to brainstorm appropriate responses to questions the students may pose regarding issues that they are concerned about addressing in class.
The Heart of the Ministry of Catechesis | BeMyDisciples
In the Footsteps of Jesus: We are called to help our students grow in their love and knowledge of the Person and message of Jesus and to make a firm commitment to follow him in their daily lives. Three important documents direct us in our mission: These documents provide the foundation and norms for catechesis.
They guide catechists in sharing the truths of our Catholic faith authentically and help us to understand the nature and purpose of our ministry. Life in Christ Morality Part 4: It is not intended to serve as a textbook for our students. Instead, it is a reference tool for all those involved in the catechetical ministry to use to understand the beliefs and practices of the Catholic faith thoroughly. All catechists will find the CCC invaluable for their own formation and information.
In addition to the Catholic teachings, the Catechism includes an excellent general index, a glossary, an index of Scripture and Church documents cited in the document, and many cross-references that help us to understand the unity of our faith.
Through this process, bishops, pastors, catechists and parents are assured that children are learning the essential truths of the Catholic faith. In addition, almost all religious education catechist and teacher guides include references to the Catechism in every chapter. These references encourage catechists and Catholic school teachers to a deeper exploration of our faith and help them to fully appreciate what they are teaching.
The General Directory for Catechesis GDC The General Directory provides an overall vision of catechetical ministry for the worldwide Church, setting the tone, culture and context for our ministry. It has five parts: The Gospel Message—Outlines the norms and criteria for presenting the truths of our faith. Those to Be Catechized—Details the different needs of various age groups and those with special circumstances.
Catechesis in the Particular Church—Looks at the role of the local Church, emphasizes the importance of catechist training and offers guidelines for organizing catechetical programs.
The Relationship Between Evangelization & Catechesis
It provides helpful guidelines for inculturating and applying the principles from the General Directory to the cultural, religious, and regional diversity found in our country. In addition, the Directory illuminates the goals, methods and issues of catechesis for all those who participate in this ministry. It does not shy away from outlining the challenges to catechesis in our nation and it offers a descriptive profile of Catholics in the United States.
The National Directory explains the differing roles of those who catechize and focuses on the specific roles of pastors, parish catechetical leaders, principles, youth ministers, parish catechists, school religion teachers, and all Catholic school personnel and the importance of their initial and ongoing formation in faith. Different models for religious education are highlighted and special attention is given to resources for catechesis Chapter 10including the role of media and technology.
All those who catechize will benefit greatly from reading and applying the insights from the NDC to their own ministry. For the last twenty years, she has also served as a contributing editor and feature writer for Catechist magazine. Kate has written Catechist and Teacher Guides and Student Text materials for every elementary grade level and has worked in religious formation for over thirty years as a classroom teacher, catechist, and an administrator. She is married and the mother of three adult sons and five grandchildren.
Cameli, STD For me the ministry of adult formation has always seemed truly formidable, if not intimidating. How could I foster faith in others who were just like me and, sometimes, gifted with experiences that exceeded mine? I knew it was more than a matter of programs, structures, and information—as important as these might be in their own way. There seemed to be some missing element that I just could not name. In two passages, one in chapter 11 concerning the Eucharist v.
At the same time, he knows that he can only share because he has already received what he is to share and the One whom he is to proclaim.
Paul does not use our language or turns-of-phrase. He is fully conscious that he is not merely sharing knowledge about Jesus Christ or information about faith. He is sharing himself as one who has been touched, formed, and reformed by Jesus Christ. Paul is aware that his faith is the critical and necessary instrument to foster faith in the people he serves. This awareness becomes evident in the power of his conviction, in his passion, and in his creative eloquence in proclaiming and presenting Jesus Christ crucified and risen.
Over a thousand years later, Saint Thomas Aquinas coined a phrase that has become the motto of the Dominicans and a well-accepted definition of preaching: This thought follows a straight line from Paul.
Our best proclamation, our best preaching, our best faith formation has its foundation in the Word that has taken root in our hearts.
What you have received as a gift, give as a gift. When we want to serve or help people, of course we hope to succeed and do something good for them. That mindset can put the focus on our performance. In matters of adult faith formation that would be a mistake. If Paul is correct and if Saint Thomas correctly echoes him, then our first and guiding focus must be on our own faith. We hand on what we have received.
Indeed, the whole of our lives in faith are marked by this rhythm of reception and donation, acceptance and gift. Echoing the emphases found in the writings of Pope John Paul II, the writers of the NDC name some of those persons who are in need of evangelizing experiences that will heal them; among others the writers name those who have lost a sense of faith, those who have been formed by the values of a secularized culture, those who feel alienated from their faith and from the Church Ibid.
- Evangelization and Catechesis
Most important to remember is this: The work of catechesis is much more than informing people about doctrine with data. The core of the relationship with Christ is the reason for the Church to exist, in order to evangelize, and to invite others to a deeper relationship with Christ. But relating well and deeply is the task of a lifetime.
The writers of the NDC know that well, and they regard adult faith as the goal and the reference point for evangelizing catechesis. Some questions and issues to consider: The NDC challenges us to think broadly about the evangelizing experiences that form people in faith.
Here are some questions we might consider: How can I imagine the work of catechesis as an evangelizing work for others? In what sense am I gradually re evangelized by my ministry of catechesis? How can our parish or school reach out to those parents of the young people in our care who feel hurt by, or alienated from the Church? What sorts of interactions will evangelize these parents? In what sense am I in need of personal transformation toward deeper living of the Gospel practices of hospitality toward the stranger?
The Works of Mercy? About the Author Michael P. Horan, who holds a Ph. He holds a special interest in the preparation of lay ministers for leadership in the Catholic Church. For the past ten years Michael has taught Catholic lay ministers in two graduate programs at LMU, while teaching teachers and campus ministers at Boston College each summer.