As catechists there are many joys and challenges in passing on the Catholic Faith to our students. I believe at the heart of why we have signed up to help teach the faith in our parish is because Jesus has made an impact in our lives and we desire to share it with others and make sure they know the “supreme good of knowing Christ Jesus my Lord” (Philippians 3:8).
The ministry of catechesis which we are entrusted as catechists has 6 distinct but interrelated tasks which the Church has articulated and called us to promote and communicate in our teaching. The General Directory for Catechesis says the following:
“The object of catechesis is realized by diverse, interrelated tasks. (246) To carry them out, catechesis is certainly inspired by the manner in which Jesus formed his disciples. He made known to them the different dimensions of the Kingdom of God: “to you it has been given to know the secrets of the Kingdom of heaven” (Mt 13,11). (247) He taught them to pray (“When you pray, say Father… Lk 11,2). (248) He impressed upon them evangelic attitudes (“learn from me for I am gentle and lowly in heart” Mt 11,29) He prepared them for mission (“He sent them on ahead of him two by two…” Lk 10,1) (249)
The duties of catechesis correspond to education of the different dimensions of faith, for catechesis is integral Christian formation, “open to all the other factors of Christian life”. (250) In virtue of its own internal dynamic, the faith demands to be known, celebrated, lived and translated into prayer. Catechesis must cultivate each of these dimensions. The faith, however, is lived out by the Christian community and proclaimed in mission: it is a shared and proclaimed faith. These dimensions must also be encouraged by catechesis (Paragraph 84).”
The Directory goes on to list 6 tasks of Catechesis:
1. Catechesis promotes knowledge of the faith
2. Catechesis promotes a knowledge of the meaning of the Liturgy and the sacraments.
3. Catechesis promotes moral formation in Jesus Christ.
4. Catechesis teaches the Christian how to pray with Christ.
5. Catechesis prepares the Christian to live in community and to participate actively in the life and mission of the Church.
6. Catechesis promotes a missionary spirit that prepares the faithful to be present as Christians in society.
These 6 tasks aim to help the believer come to know, celebrate and contemplate the mystery of Christ and be His disciple.
Over the next couple months I would like to break open each of these 6 tasks where I will explain each one and give examples of how they can be implemented and carried out in a parish catechetical program.
May the grace and peace of Christ Jesus be with you in abundance!!!
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