JOHN 10, 11-18
11 Jesus said: “I am the good shepherd: the good shepherd lays down his life for his sheep. …
14 I am the good shepherd; I know my own and my own know me,
15 just as the Father knows me and I know the Father; and I lay down my life for my sheep. …
17 The Father loves me, because I lay down my life in order to take it up again. …
18 … and this is the command I have received from my Father.”
New Jerusalem Bible
FAITH KNOWN AND LIVED
PRINCIPAL SOURCE AND SUBSIDIARY SOURCES OF CATECHESIS
The General Directory for Catechesis [GDC, n 128] delineates Sacred Scripture and the Catechism of the Catholic Church as “two basic sources of inspiration for all catechetical activity in our time.”
The “word of God” contained in Sacred Scripture and Sacred Tradition — mediated in the sense of faith of all God’s people guided by the teaching Magisterium — constitute the “principal source” of catechesis [GDC nn 95-96].
This principal source is enriched, deepened, and made more fruitful by “subsidiary sources” comprising:
- celebrations of the liturgical year,
- the life of the Church as witnessed by Christ’s faithful especially the saints,
- faith reflection and theology, and
- genuine religious and moral values operating in human societies and diverse cultures.
CATECHESIS FOR ADULTS: CHIEF FORM OF CATECHESIS
The GDC states that “catechesis for adults … must be considered the chief form of catechesis” [GDC 59]. Adult catechesis should be the “point of reference” of catechesis for other age groups such as infants and children, young people, and the aged. All these other forms of catechesis are to orient themselves to adult catechesis.
BAPTISMAL CATECHUMENATE: MODEL FOR ALL CATECHESIS
Since its restoration after Vatican II [cf Sacred Liturgy—Sacrosanctum concilium–nn 64, 66] the baptismal catechumenate is identified by the GDC as “the model for all catechesis.” This model of “Christian initiation” is to inspire other forms of catechesis in their “objectives and dynamism” [GDC n 59].
CHRISTIAN INITIATION OF ADULTS
In the Order of Christian Initiation of Adults — promulgated by Pope Paul 6th in 1972 — inquirers are received into the “order of catechumens” in the “rite of acceptance” when they show evidence of initial faith in and conversion to Jesus Christ. The catechumenate is a formation period to foster the maturity of this initial faith and conversion.
Drawing upon missionary experiences from Africa and other quarters Vatican II emphasizes that this “formation period” is not to be “a mere exposition to dogmatic truths and norms of morality” but “an apprenticeship of sufficient duration” into the “whole Christian life” [Church’s Missionary Activity—Ad gentes–14]. Likewise the official document of the Order of Christian Initiation underscores [CIA 75] four areas and dimensions in this formation toward the maturity of faith through continuing conversion:
- catechesis: which is comprehensive, accommodated to the liturgical year, and supported by celebrations of the word;
- the Christian way of life: by being immersed into the life of Christians as the body of Christ, in spiritual practices of families and basic community, and their relationships;
- liturgical rites: which include celebrations of the word, blessings, exorcisms, and anointings; and
- apostolic witness: in service of those in need and the wider community.
CATECHESIS ACCOMMODATED TO LITURGICAL YEAR
Catechesis during the catechumenate which is accommodated to the liturgical year thus
- flows out of the celebration of seasons and feasts of the liturgical calendar,
- reflects on and breaks open further the sacramentary and lectionary texts, and
- draws on the primary symbols celebrated by the community in liturgy.
BLOG: TILL CHRIST IS FORMED [tCif]
In this blog themes derived from the Catechism of the Catholic Church are correlated with particular verses of the gospel passage proclaimed.
Austin Flannery gen ed, Vatican Council II: Conciliar and Post Conciliar Documents. St Pauls 2004 [Costello 1975].
Congregation for the Clergy, General Directory for Catechesis. Catholic Truth Society 1997.
Paul VI, The Rite of Christian Initiation of Adults [Ordo Initiationis Christianae Adultorum]. 1972.
Jesus in the gospel lays down his life for those he is responsible for.
Conversion involves laying down my life or dying to myself. What do I need to die to myself with regard to current emphases on the ecclesial ministry of catechesis.
ECCLESIAL MINISTRY OF CATECHESIS
AREA OF EMPHASIS
| Use of Scripture, Tradition, liturgy, witness, reflection, culture||As content to be taught and learnt||As sources to integrate for faith growth and continuing conversion|
| Age group||Infants and children||Adults and family|
| Model and pedagogy||Academic and classroom teaching||Initiation into whole life of Christian community|
| Linkages||Isolated activity||Flows out of liturgy to life in community for mission in society back to worship|
What conversion concretely is called for in the process
in the Church as