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Catechesis Formation I

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1 Catechesis Formation I
Saint Andrew the Apostle Roman Catholic Church Sierra Vista, Arizona

2 Christ the Teacher

3 Opening Prayer In the name of the Father, and of the Son, and of the Holy Spirit. Come Holy Spirit, fill the hearts of your faithful and kindle in us the fire of your love. Send forth your Spirit and we shall be created and you will renew the face of the earth. O God, who by the light of the Holy Spirit instructs the hearts of the faithful, grant that by that same Spirit we may be ever wise and rejoice in His consolations. Through Jesus Christ Our Lord, Amen. A reflection on Isaiah 41:10 …

4 Catechesis Formation I
What is Catechesis? Who is the Catechist? How do we do Catechesis?

5 Other Types of “Education”
Catechesis Other Types of “Education” Thought Word Unlike Math, Catechesis passes on more than just isolated “knowledge”, or how to think. Some education aims at development of language. Words for this or that… Again, there is education that trains to perform a skill. Somewhat more akin to Catechesis is training for the military. Deed

6 An education of children, young people and adults …
The Whole Truth, and nothing but the Truth Handing on the Deposit of Faith Age Appropriate 204 in NDC

7 Christ the Teacher


9 Four Fundamental Tasks of Catechesis
To PROCLAIM Christ's message... To participate in efforts to BUILD community ... To INSPIRE persons to worship, prayer, celebration... To MOTIVATE persons to serve others...

10 What is Catechesis? Session 1
We begin with the task of catechesis for a simple reason: to be an effective teacher of faith depends on the catechists’ understanding of the task of catechesis itself. What am I called to do when I instruct others in the faith of the Church? What is the vocation of a catechist? What are the qualities and roles of an effective catechist? So we begin with the question: WHAT IS CATECHESIS? The Catechism of the Catholic Church (# 4) describes the mission of catechesis in this way: “Quite early on, the name catechesis was given to the totality of the Church’s efforts to make disciples, to help men and woman believe that Jesus is the Son of God so that believing they might have life in his name, and to educate and instruct them in this life, thus building up the body of Christ.” (CCC, 4)

11 Echo, Invite, Witness The root meaning of the word “Catechesis” comes from the Greek word “katecheo” which means to “re-echo.” A catechist provides a “road map of faith” as he/she echoes the faith of the Church as it is proclaimed through the ages. Catechesis is invitational, not indoctrinational. The catechist invites a response of faith from children, youth, and adults to a life of Christian discipleship in a “living, conscious and active faith.” In today’s world people need living witnesses to faith. Your catechesis is most effective when it integrates faith and life, when the link between the faith you profess and teach and the faith you live is shared in witness.

12 Specific Aim of Catechesis
“The specific aim of catechesis is to develop, with God’s help, an as yet initial faith, and to advance in fullness and to nourish day by day the Christian life of the faithful, young and old. It is, in fact, a matter of giving growth, at the level of knowledge and in life, to the seed of faith sown by the Holy Spirit.” (Pope John Paul II, On Catechesis in our Time, 20)

13 The Church’s catechetical mission in the ministry of every catechist can be summarized in this way:
A catechist extends the Church’s efforts to make disciples of Jesus Christ by giving growth to the seed of faith begun at baptism. A catechist invites men and women, young and old, to believe that Jesus is the Son of God so that believing they might have new life in His name A catechist educates and instructs the faithful in the Christian way of life and beliefs in a systematic way and thus builds up the Church - the Body of Christ.

14 The Basic Elements Involved In Catechesis
“The initial proclamation of the Gospel or preaching to arouse faith; examination of the reasons for belief, experience of Christian living, celebration of the sacraments, integration into the ecclesial community, and apostolic and missionary witness. (CCC, 6)

15 The Heart of Catechesis Described
“At the heart of catechesis we find in essence a person, the person of Jesus of Nazareth … it is Jesus who is “the Way, the Truth and the Life … the primary and essential object of catechesis is the “mystery of Christ.” Catechizing is to lead a person to study this mystery in all its dimensions … accordingly the definitive aim of catechesis is to put people not only in touch, but in communion, in intimacy, with Jesus Christ; only He can lead us to the love of the Father in the Spirit and make us share in the life of the Holy Trinity.” (Pope John Paul II, On Catechesis In Our Time, 5)

16 The Objectives of Catechesis
Catechesis aims at helping others to know, to celebrate and to live in the mystery of Christ. Authentic catechesis is always Christ-centered in that the catechist invites others to understand and to live the “mystery of Christ,” into which every Christian is baptized. Catechesis is an invitation to grow and deepen in one’s relationship with Jesus Christ who leads us to the love of God and to love of one another. Catechesis calls children, youth, men and women to daily conversion as they translate God’s word into their daily actions in lives of faith, hope and love.

17 Catechesis An education of children, young people, and adults in the faith of the Church through the teaching of Christian doctrine. Catechesis is organic and systematic It’s goal is to make disciples of Jesus Christ From the Catechism of the Catholic Church… Understanding and Conversion Why are we here? Because we have responded to God’s call for workers. The field is Catechesis.

18 To Make Disciples of Jesus Christ
Catechesis initiates members into the fullness of Christian Life “At the heart of catechesis we find, in essence, a Person, the Person of Jesus of Nazareth” CATECHESI TRADENDAE John Paul II Jesus Christ is at once the message, the purpose of the message, and the consummation of the message.” NDC Life in Christ! It’s all about Jesus: Christocentric Because Jesus points to the Father. NDC pg 4 “The ultimate purpose…” So, who are you in all of this? Meet them where they’re at Road to Emmaus

19 Christ Teaches the Disciples

A Catechist answers a unique call to serve the Christian community and support the Priest. “Making Disciples of Christ” Catechist Formation Training is designed for catechetical leaders in the parish who have dedicated themselves to the building up of the Christian community through the Church’s catechetical ministry. Through your participation in “Making Disciples of Christ” Formation Training you are invited to imitate the example of Jesus, the Teacher so that your faith and witness will lead those you serve to a more “living, conscious and active” faith.

The overall goal of this Catechist Formation Training is to better prepare you to “make disciples of Christ” through your instruction and your witness to holiness. To begin this preparation, you are invited to a deeper reflection on your vocation as catechist, and to better understand the goals and qualities of effective catechists. The training is also designed to assist you in your catechetical ministry to become a more effective catechist/teacher and witness to the faith of the Church. By studying the fundamentals of the Catholic tradition you will be prepared to effectively communicate to children, youth and adults the richness of the Catholic tradition as believed, celebrated, lived and prayed in the Church

22 Catechists The catechist is essentially: A mediator.
One who facilitates communication between the people and the mystery of God. One who does not forget that belief is the fruit of grace and liberty. GDC 150

23 Spirituality of the Catechist
Love of God, Christ’s Church, our Holy Father, and God’s holy people A coherence and authenticity of life… Personal prayer Missionary Zeal Active participation in the parish community, especially during Sunday Mass Devotion to Mary and the Holy Eucharist NDC 229


25 The Vocation of a Catechist Session 2
A Vocation is a response to the call to serve Christ in and through our service of one another. As a catechist your ministry of teaching and building up the Christian community is not simply a parish job, a profession or a task assigned by the pastor. Rather in becoming a catechist you respond generously to the Lord’s call to serve the Christian community. Your ministry as a catechist is above all a VOCATION.

26 The Vocation of a Catechist Described
1. A catechists’ vocation is a personal response to Christ’s call to bring His presence into the Christian community in a unique way. As a catechist you imitate Christ the Teacher who taught with conviction, with encouragement and with compassion. 2. A catechists’ vocation is also a personal response to Christ’s call to holiness. Put simply, holiness is becoming the “living reflection of Christ” in our daily lives, in our families, and among friends, neighbors, co-workers, and members of the Christian community. 3. Every ministry in the Church, including that of a catechist, requires and fosters daily striving for holiness and conversion of life.

27 The Vocation of a Catechist
4. A catechists’ vocation is an ECCLESIAL vocation, which is to say that you teach in the name of the Church to build up the Church embodied in each local Christian community. Through your teaching ministry you become part of a long line of catechists in the Church’s two thousand year tradition. The ecclesial character of your vocation as a catechist is described in this way: “In Catechesis it is Christ, the Incarnate Word and Son of God, who is taught … anyone teaches to the extent that he/she is Christ’s spokesperson, enabling Christ to teach with his/her lips … Every catechist should apply to himself or herself the words of Jesus: “My teaching is not mine, but of Him who sent me.” (On Catechesis In Our Time, 6) 5. Finally, your vocation as a catechist is a call to live out your baptismal vocation in SERVICE and WITNESS to your faith in and love for Christ in and through sacramental preparation and ongoing faith formation.

Each catechist brings his/her own unique gifts and talents, motivations and energies to their vocation. Effective catechists strive to grow in the following qualities that are common to all those who teach and build up the Christian community. An effective catechist prays for and relies on the Holy Spirit, the Teacher within who guides us to understand what and how we are to teach. The Holy Spirit is the gift promised by Jesus when he says, “When the Spirit of truth comes, he will guide you into all truth.” (John 16:13) Catechesis is the work of the Holy Spirit in the Church in and through your ministry as catechist.

An effective catechist is shaped by personal prayer, and by frequent participation in the sacraments, particularly the Eucharist. Spending time each day, however briefly, in personal prayer deepens and sustains your catechetical work. An effective catechist is rooted in and guided by the Word of God that is “living and effective” in his/her daily life through the daily reading of scripture. An effective catechist ensures that his/her teaching reflects the entirety of the Church’s faith as it is expressed in the Creed, the sacraments, the Christian moral life, and prayer. Your fidelity to the Gospel message calls forth fidelity in those you teach.

An effective catechist is a good listener, always willing to openly and patiently journey with those who are seeking greater understanding of and growth in faith. Those you teach are sent to you by God and to the extent that you listen to their doubts, fears, and questions you invite them to deeper faith in Christ, greater hope and love. An effective catechist gives personal witness to daily conversion and a life of Christian virtue in the community knowing that his/her words, actions and example are a “living catechesis”.

The Catechism of the Catholic Church and other Church documents on catechesis identify the following roles of a catechist: Teacher of faith – every catechist is involved in one way or another with handing on the full content of the faith of the Catholic Church as that faith is believed in the Creed, celebrated in the sacraments, lived out in a Christian way of life, and deepened through prayer. As a catechist you draw on the two sources of the Catholic faith: Scripture and Tradition. By fostering basic religious literacy you are a vital bridge between faith and life, between God’s word and human experience.

32 ROLES OF A CATECHIST Proclaimer of God’s word and evangelist – in proclaiming and offering God’s word to the faithful a catechist is engaged in a unique “ministry of the Word.” As a minister of God’s word you evangelize the community by sharing the Good News of faith in Jesus Christ and by calling forth a response of faith and discipleship in the Word of God made flesh. Leader of Prayer – A catechist’s spiritual life is formed by full and active participation in the sacraments of the Church, particularly the Eucharist. In turn you lead the community in a variety of prayer forms - thanksgiving, repentance, petition, intercession and praise of God.

33 ROLES OF A CATECHIST Witness to holiness of life – the most effective catechist is one whose words and deeds, witness and life reflect his/her striving to be more Christ-like. As you grow in Christian discipleship yourself you are in turn able to “make disciples of Christ.”

34 ROLES OF A CATECHIST Builder of a community of love – as you instruct adults, children and youth in the faith of the Church you build the bonds of Christian community. Your catechetical ministry builds stronger individuals and families and ultimately stronger communities of faith, hope and love. In this way, you build up the Body of Christ, the Church and invite those you teach to understand and live in the mystery of the Church as the People of God, the Body of Christ and the Temple of the Holy Spirit. “The whole concern of doctrine and its teaching must be directed to the love that never ends. Whether something is proposed for belief, for hope or for action, the love of our Lord must always be made accessible, so that everyone can see that all the works of Christian virtue spring from love and have no other objective than to arrive at love.” (Catechism of the Catholic Church, 25)

35 On-going Formation of a Catechist Session 4
Given the multiple tasks involved in the catechetical ministry, it is all too easy to overlook your own ongoing spiritual support and formation. Catechists and religious educators are easily prone to being “burnt out” and need spiritual refreshment and ongoing formation to persevere in their ministry. The following areas of ongoing formation and support are critical to effective catechists in every parish community:

36 On-going Formation of a Catechist
Commitment to daily prayer - Prayer sustains and renews the daily and weekly ministry of catechists. The Catechism notes that “whether we realize it or not, prayer is the encounter of God’s thirst with ours. God thirsts that we may thirst for Him” (CCC, 2560) Without prayer our ministry as catechists quickly becomes burdensome and overwhelming. In prayer you find the wisdom and the strength to continue to serve the community in the face of apathy and other challenges Set aside time each day, as your schedule permits, to pray a psalm, the Liturgy of the Hours, or other devotional prayers, and if your schedule permits to attend daily Mass. Even if you are only able to give a few minutes to daily prayer focus on the “quality” rather than the “quantity” of your time in prayer. Pray daily and expect the indwelling Holy Spirit to help you persevere in prayer and to assist you in the challenges of your catechetical ministry.

37 On-going Formation of a Catechist
Commitment to daily scripture reading: “Let the word of Christ dwell in you richly, as in all wisdom you teach and admonish one another, singing psalms, hymns, and spiritual songs with gratitude in your hearts to God” (Colossians 3: 16). An early Church Father Saint Jerome once wrote, “Ignorance of scripture is ignorance of Christ.” As a catechist your commitment to daily reading of Scripture will deepen your understanding of the Bible as the “living speech of God” so that you will in turn effectively proclaim God’s word.

38 On-going Formation of a Catechist
Commitment to ongoing study of the Catholic faith – The Catholic tradition provides us with a rich heritage of spiritual reading in the form of the “Lives of the Saints,” and other Catholic literature, periodicals and newspapers. Your sustained study of the Catholic faith as it is presented in the Catechism of the Catholic Church and other catechetical resources provides ongoing spiritual and pastoral formation. Share insights, successes and challenges in your catechetical ministry with other catechists, in our parish . In formal or informal gatherings learn from the experience, insights and wisdom of other catechists and teachers in your parish community.

39 The Man Behind the Curtain
It is Christ alone who teaches - anyone else teaches to the extant that he is Christ’s spokesman, enabling Christ to teach with his lips…

40 How’d they do that? Do we need a break? Are there any questions?
Getting into methodology …

41 Elements of WOW Catechesis
Catechist Holiness Preparedness Method The communication of the faith in catechesis is an event of grace. It is realized in the encounter of the word of God with the experience of the person.

42 How do many kids get to school?
The school bus goes nowhere without the driver

43 You’re the Driver No methodology, no matter how well tested can dispense with the person of the catechist in every phase of the catechetical process. The charism given to [the Catechist] by the Spirit, a solid spirituality and transparent witness, constitutes the soul of every method.

44 The Ecclesial Method The method of the Church
Preparation Proclamation Explanation Application Celebration The “ation” method (asian) Shown in the way Jesus Taught Even evident in the way God reveals Himself

45 Preparation Calculated disengagement. Setting or “Sacred Space” Prayer
Table or altar area Prayer is connected to what you are going to proclaim Light Candle If Mary, maybe Angelus and Marian Hymn

46 Preparation Setting the stage for Mary Space is Marian
Prayer is Marian Hail Mary Angelus Marian Hymn

47 Proclamation Proclaim the doctrine, the message
One or Two Sentences, to the point What does this have to do with Jesus Christ? The one thing that everything centers around. Keep in mind that everything is Christocentric. What did God want reveal about Himself re: this

48 Proclamation Mary, Mother of God
From all eternity God intended to enlist the free cooperation of a creature to accomplish the Incarnation. He chose a daughter of Israel and she agreed (CCC 488).

49 Explanation The essentials of the teaching Integrity of the Message

50 Explanation Essentials for teaching Mary: Mother of God (CCC 466, 495)
Immaculate Conception (CCC ). Perpetual Virginity (CCC ). Assumption (CCC 966). Mother in the Order of Grace (CCC ). Mother of the Church/Spiritual Mother Mary participates in the mediation of grace (without this she is a mere historical figure). Mary is a type and model—as Jesus is our brother in the order of grace, Mary is our mother in the order of grace—she is the New Eve. Marian Devotion. (CCC 971) Also common errors

51 The Ecclesial Method Preparation Proclamation Explanation Application

52 Integrating the Proclamation
Represent the main point throughout From all eternity God intended to enlist the free cooperation of a creature to accomplish the Incarnation. He chose a daughter of Israel and she agreed (CCC 488).

53 Four Fundamental Tasks of Catechesis
To PROCLAIM Christ's message... To participate in efforts to BUILD community ... To INSPIRE persons to worship, prayer, celebration... To MOTIVATE persons to serve others...

54 Invitation to Conversion
Application Invitation to Conversion Come, Follow Me 2 goals of catechesis are understanding and conversion Read Lk 5:1 Mt 4:19 What is conversion? Conversion is most often gradual.

55 Mary, confronted with the awesome light of God!
Application We hear God when we are in a position to hear Him. In prayer, silence, meditation, holy coversation. It is He who calls us. Mary, confronted with the awesome light of God!

56 Celebration What do we usually do when we hear some great news?
Still use sacred space Closing the Liturgical Envelope Prayer Liturgy of the Word Music Intended to be beautiful

57 Celebration Mary, Mother of God
From all eternity God intended to enlist the free cooperation of a creature to accomplish the Incarnation. He chose a daughter of Israel and she agreed (CCC 488). Maybe restate the proclamation

58 V. And the Word was made Flesh. R. And dwelt among us. Hail Mary, etc.
The Angelus V. The Angel of the Lord declared unto Mary. R. And she conceived of the Holy Spirit. Hail Mary, etc. V. Behold the handmaid of the Lord. R. Be it done unto me according to thy word. Hail Mary, etc. V. And the Word was made Flesh. R. And dwelt among us. Hail Mary, etc. V. Pray for us, O holy Mother of God. R. That we may be made worthy of the promises of Christ. LET US PRAY Pour forth, we beseech Thee, O Lord, Thy grace into our hearts, that we to whom the Incarnation of Christ Thy Son was made known by the message of an angel, may by His Passion and Cross be brought to the glory of His Resurrection. Through the same Christ Our Lord. Amen.

59 What does this have to do with me as a catechist?

60 You Are Being Commissioned As A Catechist
Therefore, … Go forth, and echo the faith that has been passed on to you! There are souls dying to hear the message of the LORD - that you have been spiritually blessed with. Maybe restate the proclamation

61 Jesu, Ufam Tobie

62 Christ the Teacher

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