Monday, September 26, 2011

Young Adult Catechist Society (YACS) & Some Points from the General Directory for Catechesis (GDC) on Catechist Formation

Here's the Facebook link to the Society:

Maris Stella, pray for us.

Also, here are some points to highlight from the General Directory for Catechesis (1997) regarding the formation of catechists.  They are taken from GDC 33, 232-233 and 235.  To full the GDC document in its entirety, click HERE.

Some challenges for catechesis
33. In order to express its vitality and to be efficacious, catechesis today…needs to consider as its primary task the preparation and formation of catechists in the deep riches of the faith. 

Various types of catechists particularly necessary today
232. The figure of the catechist in the Church, has different modes, just as, the needs of catechesis are varied. ... Every local Church, by analysing her own cultural and religious situation, will discover her own needs and will realistically foster those kinds of catechists which she needs. The organization and orientation of the formation of catechists is a fundamental responsibility.

Pastoral care of catechists in a Particular Church
233. To ensure the working of the catechetical ministry in a local Church, it is fundamental to have adequate pastoral care of catechists. Several elements must be kept in mind in this respect. Indeed efforts must be made…to organize adequately the formation of catechists, both in relation to basic training and continuing formation.

Nature and purpose of the formation of catechists
235. Formation seeks to enable catechists to transmit the Gospel to those who desire to entrust themselves to Jesus Christ. The purpose of formation, therefore, is to make the catechist capable of communicating: "The summit and centre of catechetical formation lies in an aptitude and ability to communicate the Gospel message". *(See GDC footnote below.)

The christocentric purpose of catechesis, which emphasizes the communion of the convert with Jesus Christ, permeates all aspects of the formation of catechists (CT 21).  This aim is nothing other than to lead the catechist to know how to animate a catechetical journey of which, the necessary stages are: the proclamation of Jesus Christ; making known his life by setting it in the context of salvation history; explanation of the mystery of the Son of God, made man for us; and finally to help the catechumen, or those being catechized, to identify with Jesus Christ through the sacraments of initiation. (Cf. CT 20; St Augustine, De catechizandis rudibus, I, chap. 4, n. 8; CCL 46, 128-129.)  With continuing catechesis, the catechist merely tries to deepen these basic elements. This christological perspective touches directly upon the identity of the catechist and his preparation. "The unity and harmony of the catechist must be read in this christocentric light and built around a profound familiarity with Christ and the Father, in the Spirit" (Cf. CT 21b).

*Footnote from GDC 235: Two things need to be underlined in this synodal contribution taken from Catechesi Tradendae: the preoccupation to take into account a pastoral problem ("I insist on the necessity of an organic and systematic Christian education because for diverse reasons there has been a tendency to minimize its importance"), and the fact of considering the organic nature of catechesis as the principal characteristic connoting it.

On a lighter note, enjoy this video and quote on Jedi training:

"Only a fully trained Jedi Knight, with the Force as his ally, will conquer Vader and his Emperor. If you end your training now - if you choose the quick and easy path as Vader did - you will become an agent of evil." - Master Yoda from Star Wars V: The Empire Strikes Back (1980)

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