Catechesis Vision and Practices. The Real Reasons We Do. Building Bridges Faith. and World

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1 Catechesis Vision and Practices The Real Reasons We Do Catechesis Building Bridges Faith Your context for faith formation Draw a heart in the middle of a sheet of paper and write in it what you think is at the heart of catechesis, why we do it Draw a building of some kind, and write in it where you think catechesis takes place Draw a box, and write it in what you think is the content for catechesis Draw a circle, write in it who is the catechist/who are the catechists? and World 1 2 Draw a person who is to be catechized? Your Context What are the problems and challenges we face in catechesis that we have yet been able to solve? 3 Catechesis at the Crossroads In the Church we see Diminishing involvement of families and the younger generations with the Catholic community and the Catholic way of life Decline in religious traditions and practices at home Inability to keep people engaged in Church life and catechesis after the celebration of a sacrament 4 Catechesis at the Crossroads We need to create communities that... provide sacred space for the formation of identity and meaning connect people to the long history of Christian witness and practice model a particular way of life practices that forge, express, and bear certain traditions imaginatively tell, retell, and enact the Catholic story so that tradition becomes a living thing for people become dynamic learning communities 5 Catechesis at the Crossroads We need a fundamental shift in the way we do catechesis--moving beyond our reliance on a schooling approach to parish faith formation and embracing catechesis for the whole parish community. 6 1

2 A New Approach to Faith We need an approach to lifelong faith formation that nurtures the Catholic identity of all parishioners for a lifetime re-engages all generations in participating in Catholic community life, especially Sunday Liturgy A New Approach equips and supports families, and especially parents, to create a pattern of family faith sharing and a Catholic way of life addresses the hungers of the Post-Vatican II generations of Catholics: experience participation interaction connection and community spirituality and meaning practices for living 7 8 A New Approach involves all of the generations in learning together transforms the parish community into a community of lifelong learners The hallmark of a congregation of learners would be what educators call a culture of learning. Learning would permeate every aspect of the congregation Every activity would be viewed as an opportunity for learning. (Isa Aron, Becoming a Congregation of A Living Faith The aim of catechetical activity consists in precisely this: to encourage a living, explicit and fruitful profession of faith. (GDC 66) Faith formation seeks to make disciples to put people not only in touch, but also in communion and intimacy with Jesus Christ. (GDC 80) Learners) 9 10 A Lifelong Learning Community Catechesis is nothing other than the process of transmitting the Gospel, as the Christian community has received it, understands it, celebrates it, lives it, and communicates it in many ways. (GDC 105) A Lifelong Learning Community In giving attention to the individual, it should not be overlooked that the recipient of catechesis is the whole Christian community and every person in it. If indeed it is from the whole life of the Church that catechesis draws its legitimacy and energy, it is also true that her inner growth and correspondence with God s plan depend essentially on catechesis. (GDC 168)

3 A Lifelong Learning Community Catechetical pedagogy will be effective to the extent that the Christian community becomes a point of concrete reference for the faith journey of individuals. This happens when the community is proposed as a source, locus, and means of catechesis. Concretely, the community becomes a visible place of faith-witness. It provides for the formation of its members. It receives them as the family of God. It constitutes itself as the living and permanent Comprehensive Faith The tasks of catechesis, consequently, constitute a totality, rich and varied in aspect. All of these tasks are necessary. knowledge of the faith liturgical life moral formation prayer belonging to community missionary spirit (GDC 87) environment for growth in faith. (GDC 158) Foundations A Model of Catechesis for All Ages Finally, the concept of the baptismal catechumenate as a process of formation and as a true school of the faith offers post-baptismal catechesis dynamic and particular characteristics: comprehensiveness and integrity of formation its gradual character expressed in definite stages its connection with meaningful rites, symbols, biblical and liturgical signs its constant references to the Christian community (GDC 90) 15 Seven Practices 1. Event-Centered Catechesis 2. Lifelong and Systematic Catechesis 3. Emergent Catechetical Content 4. Connected Catechesis: Prepare-Engage- Reflect and Apply Process of Learning 5. Intergenerational Catechesis 6. Alignment of Catechesis for All Ages 7. Household Faith Events-Centered Focusing the content of catechesis on understanding the events of Church life and preparing all ages to participate actively in these events: Sunday Liturgy Church Year feasts and seasons Sacramental celebrations and Church rituals Prayer traditions and devotions 2.Lifelong and Systematic Catechesis Fashioning a lifelong curriculum around the life and events of the Church that engages all ages and generations in catechesis throughout the entire life cycle Developing a common curriculum for the whole parish community Addressing the foundations of the Catholic faith for all ages and generations. Works of justice and acts of service

4 Lifelong, events-centered curriculum for the whole parish community and age-specific programming Other Parish Learning Sacrament Prep Children Lifelong Curriculum for Parish Community Adults Youth Young Adults 19 Lifelong and Systematic Catechesis Addressing the foundations of the Catholic faith and the four pillars of the Catechism of the Catholic Church: Church Year Feasts and Seasons Creed Sacraments Morality Justice and Service Prayer and Spirituality 20 Example of a Church Year Curriculum Nov: Advent Season Dec: Christmas Season Jan: Baptism of the Lord Feb: Lenten Season Mar: Good Friday April: Easter Season May: Pentecost June: Corpus Christi Aug: Assumption Sept: St. Vincent de Paul Oct: Feast of All Saints 21 Example of a Sacraments Curriculum Dec Celebration of Reconciliation Dec/Jan Marriage: Holy Family Sunday/World Marriage Day Jan Eucharist: Four Movements of the Mass Feb Baptism Lent Mar Eucharist: Real Presence (Holy Thursday) April/May Holy Orders (World Day of Vocations) May Celebration of Confirmation June-Sept Eucharist: Listening to God s Word Oct Celebration of Anointing of the Sick Nov Rite of Funerals (Feast of All Souls) 22 Example of a Justice Curriculum Dec: Christmas and World Day of Peace: Peace Jan: Poverty Awareness Month: Rights and Responsibilities Feb: Lent and Service: Solidarity with the Poor Mar: Good Friday: Sacrificial Love April: Earth Day: Care for God s Creation May/June: Pentecost: Solidarity June-July: Summer Service/Mission Trips Oct Respect Life Month: Dignity of Human Life Nov All Saints Day: Saints of Justice 3. Emergent Catechetical Content Discovering the beliefs and practices of living as a Catholic today within the life, events, and practices of the faith community

5 Designing Intergeneration Learning Example: Lenten Season Catechetical Content Conversion Three Practices of Lent Event: Season of Lent Justice and Reign of God Baptism Reconciliation 4. Connected Catechesis: Prepare-Engage-Reflect and Apply Preparing all ages and generations for meaningful participation in Church events Engaging people in the Church events Reflecting on the significance and meaning of the Church events, and applying the learning to living as Catholics Preparation for the Event Reflection on the Event Experience Application to Life the Event Intergenerational Catechesis Engaging all ages and generations in a common learning experience Building community and meaningful relationships across generations Providing a setting for each generation to share and learn from other generations Integrating intergenerational learning experiences and age-appropriate learning experiences for families with children, adolescents, and adults 28 6.Alignment of Catechesis for All Ages Formal Learning Through intergenerational programs Embedded Learning Through meetings and programs Individualized Learning Through bulletin inserts, resources, parish web site Home Learning Through home activities and resources, parish web site Household Faith in every Christian family the different aspects and functions of the life of the entire Church may be reflected: mission; catechesis; witness; prayer etc. Indeed in the same way as the Church, the family is a place in which the Gospel is transmitted and from which it extends. The family as a locus of catechesis has a unique privilege: transmitting the Gospel by rooting it in the context of profound human values. It is, indeed, a Christian education more witnessed to than taught, more occasional than systematic, more ongoing and daily than structured into periods. (GDC 255) 30 5

6 Practices Household Faith Assisting individuals and families across the entire life cycle, especially parents, to create a pattern of family or household faith sharing and a Catholic way of life that is integral to home life Celebrating traditions and rituals Learning the Catholic faith story Praying together Working for justice and serving others Enriching family relationships 31 Household Faith Involving the whole family (from children through grandparents) in parish faith formation and equipping parents with the knowledge and skills for sharing faith at home 32 Think about it What differences would these 7 practices make on faith formation in your community? How do the 7 practices match up with the why you do faith formation? 33 6

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