Let’s review the GDC’s very quick take on cooperation between dioceses and the role of the national conference of bishops:
Services of inter-diocesan co-operation
268. This co-operation is extremely fruitful in our time. Shared catechetical endeavour is advisable not only for reasons of geographic proximity but also for reasons of cultural homogeneity. Indeed “it is useful for a number of Dioceses to combine their actions, bringing together for common benefit their experiences and undertakings, their offices and equipment; for the Dioceses that are better provided to give help to the others; and for a common action programme to be prepared for the region as a whole”. (General Catechetical Directory 127)
The service of the Episcopal Conference
269. “The Episcopal Conference may establish a catechetical office, whose principal purpose is to assist individual dioceses in catechetical matters”. (canon law 775 § 3) This possibility, which has been established by the Code of Canon Law, is in fact a reality in many of the Episcopal Conferences. The catechetical office or national catechetical centre of the Episcopal Conference has a double function: (General Catechetical Directory 129)
– to be at the service of the catechetical needs of all Dioceses of a given territory: it oversees publications of national relevance, national congresses, relations with the mass media and, in general, those tasks and responsibilities which are beyond the means of Dioceses or regions;
– to be at the service of the Dioceses and regions by distributing information and catechetical projects, in order to co-ordinate activities and to lend assistance to Dioceses less well provided with catechetical materials.
If an Episcopate so determines, it is also within the competence of the catechetical office or the national catechetical centre to co-ordinate its activities with other catechetical institutions or to co-operate with catechetical activities at international level. All this, however, is always done as a means of assistance to the Bishops of an Episcopal Conference.
Diocesan offices required by church decree; national offices an option.In the US, evangelization gets first billing, but we do have such an office.