GDC 173: Elements and criteria proper to adult catechesis

To delve deeper into this topic, the title’s footnote in the GDC refers to the following: General Catechetical Directory (the 1971 version) sections 92-94, as well as the 1990 document we mentioned yesterday from the International Council for Catechesis, The catechesis of adults in the Christian community, 20-25; 26-30; 33-84.

It’s illustrative that as we speak of “rights” much more often than duties and responsibilities in the West, the Church is more balanced. Indeed, lay people have a right to be supported in bringing Christ’s seed to full flower. But we also bear a responsibility for doing our part:

173. Adult catechesis concerns persons who have a right and a duty to bring to maturity the seed of faith sown in them by God.(Cf. 1 Cor 13:11; Eph 4:13) It is addressed to individuals who are charged to fulfill social responsibilities of various types and to those who are also prey to all kinds of changes and crises, sometimes profound. The faith of adults, therefore, must be continually enlightened, developed and protected, so that it may acquire that Christian wisdom which gives sense, unity, and hope to the many experiences of personal, social, and spiritual life. Adult catechesis requires the accurate identification of the typical characteristics of Christian adults. It must translate them into objectives and content, and determine certain constants of presentation. It must establish the most effective methodological approaches and choose formats and models. The role and identity of the catechists who work with adults and their formation—the people who are responsible for the catechesis of adults in the community—are vitally important.(Cf. The catechesis of adults in the Christian community, 33-84)

“Life-long catechesis” has become something of a cliche in many circles, but it is certainly the truth. Adult faith is something, as we read above, that must be continually “enlightened, developed, and protected.” Why? Because the object for the believer is wisdom. Wisdom to be able to function as an effective Christian adult not only in the spiritual life, but in all aspects of our living.

That’s not all this brief section gives. What do you see as important?

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About catholicsensibility

Todd and his family live in Ames, Iowa. He serves a Catholic parish of both Iowa State students and town residents.
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