What is Catechesis?
"Christ commissioned his apostles to "go into the whole world and proclaim the gospel to every creature." Christ taught his apostles everything he received from the Father: "What I heard from him I tell the world." They in turn were to echo this divine word faithfully and completely. This echo of the Word of God is catechesis. "
Catechesis is sharing the teachings of Jesus Christ in such a way that a person comes to know about God, to believe in him and his teachings, to enter into a relationship with God, and to be transformed by him. Catechesis involves teaching about doctrine as well as about the living practice of the faith. Catechizing and being catechized are lifelong responsibilities for every Catholic." (Catechist Formation Handbook, Diocese of Saginaw)
The ministry of catechesis in the Church makes and forms disciples of Christ. It is intimately bound up with the whole of the Church's life. To lead men to 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, is accomplished through this ministry.
General Directory for Catechesis states:
Our desire at Ave Maria Parish is to provide effective programs of catechesis from the cradle to the grave, touching the lives of all our people to help them become intentional disciples of Jesus Christ thereby contributing to the new evangelization envisioned by the Second Vatican Council, the works of the recent Popes, and the Catechism of the Catholic Church.
Significant documents for catechesis:
- Go and Make Disciples – United States Conference of Catholic Bishops (USCCB), 1992 & 2002 (GMD).
- Catechism of the Catholic Church – Rome, 1994 (CCC). General Directory for Catechesis – Rome, 1997 (GDC).
- Our Hearts Were Burning Within Us – A Pastoral Plan for Adult Faith Formation in the United States – USCCB, 1999 (OHWB).
- National Directory for Catechesis – USCCB, 2005 (NDC).
- United States Catholic Catechism for Adults – USCCB, 2006 (CCA)