Presentation on theme: "Conversion and Catechesis. The Church is calling us to a different sense of catechesis, one that is based on experience and encounter. We will need to."— Presentation transcript:
The Church is calling us to a different sense of catechesis, one that is based on experience and encounter. We will need to use relational language to get at this reality.
“I invite all Christians, everywhere, at this very moment, to a renewed personal encounter with Jesus Christ, or at least an openness to letting him encounter them; I ask all of you to do this unfailingly each day. No one should think that this invitation is not meant for him or her, since “no one is excluded from the joy brought by the Lord (3)”
Evangelization has to be understood in a broad and profound theological-doctrinal framework as an activity of word and sacrament which, especially through the Eucharist, admits us to participation in the life of the Trinity, and this then arouses through the grace of the Holy Spirit the power to evangelize and to give witness to the Word of God with enthusiasm and courage. (Prop. 4)
Heart of New Evangelization: renewed, or new, encounter with Jesus Christ bringing people into relationship with him Echoing themes from Synod on Catechesis which led to Catechesi Tradendae (#5) being issues by Bl. John Paul II
“Thanks solely to this encounter – or renewed encounter – with God’s love, which blossoms into an enriching friendship, we are liberated from our narrowness and self-absorption. We become fully human when we become more than human, when we let God bring us beyond ourselves in order to attain the fullest truth of our being. Here we find the source and inspiration of all our efforts at evangelization. For if we have received the love which restores meaning to our lives, how can we fail to share that love with others? (8)”
“The Christian faith is, above all, conversion to Jesus Christ.... Faith is a personal encounter with Jesus Christ, making of oneself a disciple of him. This demands a permanent commitment to think like him, judge like him, and to live as he lived.” Gen. Dir. for Catec. #53
“On the lips of the catechist the first proclamation must ring out over and over: “Jesus Christ loves you; he gave his life to save you; and now he is living at your side every day to enlighten, strengthen and free you.” This first proclamation is called “first” not because it exists at the beginning and can then be forgotten or replaced by other more important things. It is first in a qualitative sense because it is the principal proclamation, the one which we must hear again and again in different ways, the one which we must announce one way or another throughout the process of catechesis, at every level and moment. (164)”
The ‘first proclamation’ is where the kerygma, the message of salvation of the paschal mystery of Jesus Christ, is proclaimed with great spiritual power to the point of bringing about repentance of sin, conversion of hearts and a decision of faith. At the same time there has to be continuity between first proclamation and catechesis which instructs us in the deposit of the faith. (Prop. 9)
“Catechesis aims to bring about in the believer an ever more mature faith in Jesus Christ, a deeper knowledge and love of his person and message, and a firm commitment of follow him. In many situations, however, catechesis must also be concerned with arousing initial faith and sustaining the gradual conversion to complete adherence to Jesus Christ for those who are on the threshold of faith.” Gen. Dir. for Catec. pp. 54-55
What is conversion? Is it only an initial breakthrough? Ongoing conversion=growth in sanctification. Do Catholics think of themselves as converted? How do we start talking conversion language more openly?
Would Catholics generally think of themselves as converted? Why not? “Conversion is the change that comes about in our lives through the power of the Holy Spirit.” (GMD, 2)
Identification with Jesus Christ As adults through decision As children through the growth process, grow up into conversion
CONVERSION Spark, rumination, breakthrough Much of the process is inaccessible even to the person him/herself
-- Helping Catholics understand their own stories of faith and conversion -- Helping children and youngsters come to see their lives as stories of faith and conversion
FIDES QUAE The Content of the faith (creed, sacraments, morals, etc.) FIDES QUA The personal act of believing WHERE IS OUR EMPHASIS?
Giving information to absorb E-ducing in student the processes of knowing
Experience of the teacher Experience of the pupil (the disciple)
How did I come to believe? What were the steps in my own conversion? What/who motivated me toward conversion? What was the role of story, of encounter, of personality, of witness?
To make Jesus Christ the main dialogue partner of my life To live my life in ongoing exchange with Jesus To allow Christ to touch me at the developmental points in my life To allow Christ to lead me through death (letting go) and resurrection (unexpected gift)
Identity with Jesus Christ happens through the work of the Holy Spirit as the believer continues to open her or his heart.
Open-ended Unconditional Consoling and confronting Trusting and generous Constant Strongest relationship
As Catechists, we need to be in touch with our own processes of conversion, in order to help our students (disciples) see and accept their own processes of conversion.
CONVERSION Two modes in which conversion happens: Individual, personal Cultural, social
INDIVIDUAL: conversion happens through adult decision, in a word-based format, often with “counterculture” features CULTURAL: conversion happens through family life, education, gesture, ritual, song, art, society’s expectations, which lead people to lives of discipleship
Every Christian community (Catholic, Protestant and Orthodox) that baptizes children has to deal with the issue of how personal and cultural conversion interplay with each other. We cannot simply accept the model of adult conversion. There must also be cultural elements as well.
Families have “jobbed out” faith formation to the parish Parish has “jobbed out” faith formation to the religious education program Children experience “faith” on foreign territory, the parish plant Children do not experience faith in the home, or as an integral part of their everyday lives
Based on school room model School room model provides a helpful context for certain things School room model is destructive to discipleship in several key ways We will need to adapt the school room model in order to do catechesis today
We are giving out information Success is receiving and repeating the information Set curriculum which has a beginning and an end Confirmation signals the “end” of involvement with Church
Interactive Experience-based Peer sharing Scripture as starting point Ongoing formation Without sense of being graded Affirming the love of Christ in the loved shared by the group
Design ways to bring families into the evangelization and catechizing process Design ways for parents to renew their faith and (re)experience conversion Develop ways to help parents see that the principle onus of evangelization is on THEM
Every Catholic a disciple Every Catholic in ongoing formation Every Catholic experiencing conversion Every Catholic living faith openly Every Catholic family forming disciples Every Catholic involved in sharing faith Every Catholic an agent of invitation and welcome
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