Wednesday, May 16th, 2012
16 May 2012
What should a diocese offer in terms of catechetical programming connected with Christian Initiation? Today’s sections tell it:
274. The diocesan catechetical programme is the global catechetical project of a particular Church, which integrates, in a structured and coherent way, the diverse catechetical programmes addressed by the Diocese to different age groups. (Cf. Part IV, chap. 2: “Catechesis according to age”.) In this sense, every particular Church, especially in relation to Christian initiation, should offer at least two services:
a) a single, coherent, process of Christian initiation for children, adolescents and young people, intimately connected with the sacraments of initiation already received or about to be received and linked with educational pastoral care;
b) a catechetical programme for adults, addressed to those Christians who need to deepen their faith in order to complete the Christian initiation begun at Baptism.
In many countries, there is also a growing need for programmes of catechesis for the old, for those Christians who, in the last stage of their earthly lives, desire, perhaps for the first time, to lay a solid foundation for their faith.
Again, the GDC repeates the mantra that adult catechesis is the core of the catechetical effort. I don’t think many people get that, obvoiusly. They treat catechesis like it’s a degree program with the award being the particular sacrament of the day.
275. These different programmes of catechesis, each with it own socio-cultural variations, should not be organized separately as though they were “separate compartments without any communication between them”. (Catechesi Tradendae 45c) It is necessary that the catechesis offered by a particular Church be well co-ordinated. Among the diverse forms of catechesis “their perfect complementarity must be fostered”. (Catechesi Tradendae 45c) As has been already mentioned, the organizing principle, which gives coherence to the various catechetical programmes offered by a particular Church, is attention to adult catechesis. This is the axis around which revolves the catechesis of childhood and adolescence as well as that of old age.(Cf. General Catechetical Directory 20, where it is shown how the other forms of catechesis are ordered (ordinantur) to adult catechesis.)
The fact that a Diocese offers within a single diocesan programme different programmes of catechesis does not imply that those to whom it is addressed need follow them one after the other. A young person who has arrived at adulthood with a well rounded faith does not need a catechumenal type of catechesis for adults, but other more solid nourishment, to assist him in permanently maturing in the faith. The same is true of those who arrive at old age with well rooted faith. Along with the provision of initiatory programmes, which are absolutely indispensable, the local Church must also provide diversified programmes of permanent catechesis for Christians adults.
We have a long way to go before realizing and trusting this centrality of adult formation. It might be one way in which the Catholic school system handicaps our expectations–not to mention our results.
16 May 2012
Posted by catholicsensibility under Todd's music Leave a Comment
Keeping on the theme of Marian songs this month, I thought I’d post this recording my friend Katherine and I did a few years ago of my metrical Magnificat text set to the tune of St Columba.
I don’t consider myself a hymnwriter, but I found myself in need of a Magnificat two decades ago for a parish event. If I need something in the public domain, I resort to this. Someday, I’ll improve it. But for now, focus on the singing.
16 May 2012
Posted by catholicsensibility under Astronomy Leave a Comment
Astronomy Picture of the Day has been knocking me out this past week. Today they feature the Tarantula Nebula from the Hubble Heritage site, so big and bold we can see it with the unaided eye from across intergalactic space. Let the astronomers tell it to you:
No known star-forming region in our own galaxy is as large or as prolific as (this). Fortunately, (the Tarantula Nebula) can be seen clearly from Earth, and it is nearby enough for Hubble to resolve its individual stars. This allows astronomers the rare opportunity to study stellar evolution closely in the exotic, extragalactic context of a starburst.
The Hubble composite image comprises one of the largest mosaics ever assembled from Hubble photos, including observations taken by Hubble’s Wide Field Camera 3 and the Advanced Camera for Surveys. Hubble’s unparalleled eye for fine, intricate detail is composited with ground-based data that trace hydrogen gas (in red) and oxygen (in blue). These complementary observations of the Tarantula Nebula were taken with the European Southern Observatory’s 2.2-meter telescope in La Silla, Chile. NASA and the Space Telescope Science Institute are releasing this image to celebrate Hubble’s 22nd anniversary.
The image features scenes from the drama of star birth, from embryonic stars still swaddled in cocoons of dark gas to stellar behemoths that rage and die – regrettably, predictably – in blazing supernova explosions.
To give you a sense of scale, the nearest major stellar nursery to us is the Orion Nebula. If the Tarantula were that far away from Earth–about 1300 light years–it would spread across half the night sky.
Image credit: NASA, ESA, ESO, D. Lennon (ESA/STScI), and the Hubble Heritage Team (STScI/AURA). Do yourself a favor and go to the Hubble Heritage site and see the full sized versions there.
16 May 2012
Barring a huge comeback by “The Summons,” the regional semi-finals are set:
In the violet corner, we have #1 You Are Mine vs #12 O Come O Come Emmanuel and #7 Holy Holy Holy vs #14 Veni Sancte Spiritus
For the whites, #4 Panis Angelicus vs #8 Jesus Christ Is Risen Today and #3 Prayer of St Francis vs #7 Silent Night.
It’s easy being green: #5 Ave Verum Corpus vs #8 O Come All Ye Faithful and #6 One Bread One Body vs #10 Ubi Caritas (tied with the round’s top vote-getter).
And the red regional gives us #5 Shepherd Me O God vs #8 Come Holy Ghost and #2 Holy God We Praise Thy Name (tied for most votes) vs #6 Pange Lingua.
You’d never see this distribution in an NCAA March Madness: a #1, a #2, a #3, a #4, two 5′s, two 6′s, two 7′s, 3 8′s, and a #10, a #12, and a #14.
I think by tomorrow, I’ll have the first pairing up for polling. Tell your friends to come vote as we whittle the Spiritual Sixteen down to the Eternal Eight.
16 May 2012
Numbered sections 14 through 16 introduce the Liturgy of Dedication which takes place after the homily and before the Liturgy of the Eucharist. The first part of this would be the placement of the relics:
14. If it is to take place, the relics of a martyr are deposited after the singing of the Litany of the Saints, to signify that the sacrifice of the members has its source in the sacrifice of the Head. When relics of a martyr are not available, relics of another saint may be deposited in the altar.
15. The celebration of the eucharist is the most important and the one necessary rite for the dedication of a church.
Nevertheless, in accordance with the tradition of the Church in both East and West, a special prayer of dedication is also said. This prayer is a sign of the intention to dedicate the church to the Lord for all times and a petition for his blessing.
And we would expect the centrality of the Eucharistic celebration here. The local community really cannot do without a cleric, preferably a bishop.
16 May 2012
The coordination of catechesis will be the topic of the next few posts covering GDC sections 272 through 278. Today, we start by reading about the “The importance of an effective coordination of catechesis.”
272. The co-ordination of catechesis is an important internal responsibility of the local Church. It can be considered:
– from within catechesis itself, through its diverse forms, intended for different ages and social contexts;
– in reference to the link between catechesis and other forms of education in the faith and other evangelizing activities.
The co-ordination of catechesis is not merely a strategic factor, aimed at more effective evangelization, but has a profound theological meaning. Evangelizing activity must be well co-ordinated because it touches on the unity of faith, which sustains all the Church’s actions.
273. The purpose of this section is to consider:
– the internal co-ordination of catechesis, so that the particular Church can offer a coherent and unified catechetical service;
– the link between missionary activity and catechumenal activity—which are mutually dependent—in the context of the mission ad gentes (Redemptoris Missio 33) or of “new evangelization”; (Redemptoris Missio 33)
– the need for well co-ordinated pastoral care in the area of education, taking account of the multiplicity of educators who address themselves to the same recipients, especially children and adolescents.
The Second Vatican Council recommended the co-ordination of all pastoral activity, so that the unity of the particular Church may shine forth all the more.*
* Christus Dominus 17a: “…the various forms of the apostolate should be encouraged. Close collaboration and the co-ordination of all the apostolic works under the direction of the Bishop should be promoted in the diocese as a whole or in parts of it. Thus all the undertakings and organizations, whether their object be catechetical, missionary, charitable, social, family, educational, or any other pastoral end, will act together in harmony, and the unity of the diocese will be more closely demonstrated”.
Good stuff, but not really original or deep.
Do catechists see their ministry as pastoral? I think any minister should see her or his ministry, be it music, liturgy, youth, or what-have-you, as part of a coordinated overall pastoral plan for the parish, deanery, diocese, region, or what-have-you. On a basic level, do we see catechesis as service and relationships, which are at the heart of ministry.
16 May 2012
A few of my readers take me to task for
never hardly ever having a good thing to say about bishops. In my defense, I might say that Christus Dominus was one of the very first Vatican II documents studied on this site. And judging by the light commentary on the series, I can point out that my conservative brothers and sisters in the blogosphere didn’t have a lot of good things to say about them either.
Lately, though, I see the American episcopacy has, in some corners, developed a spine when it comes to assessing GOP talking points. Like on the House proposal for a federal budget. Or even immigration. Unlike their bosses in the Temple Police (who seem all aflutter about Sec Sebelius, but adopting a deer-in-headlights mode when it comes to torture apologists). For these people, prudence is a convenient
political weapon thirty-nine-cent word. Or a 60′s song-n-dance routine.
The Temple Police hound me, of course, about my neutrality on Sec Sebelius. To sort of buff their bona fides, they throw out the Nazi-what-if speaker at a Catholic commencement. I have to admit that I think it’s okay for John Brennan to speak at Fordham. But then again, I also think it’s okay for his appearance to be protested, criticized, lampooned, and even wolf-whistled if necessary. Maybe it’s up to the bishop, the university prez, or even the student speaker to call out a guest speaker for moral missteps in the public sphere. Easy for me to say, I guess, as I inhabit Catholic bloggerdom, where we tell the truth all the time, of course, and where I’ve made a rep for swimming against the current for so long.
Yes indeedy: invite me to speak at a graduation. I’ll show you action on two or more fronts–which is a lot more than the Newman Society or the Republicans will handle successfully.
So let’s give the CNS a C for partisanship and an F for Catholicism. Outside the courtroom, the bishops are definitely higher, grading on a curve. Universities are coming out a bit higher than the bishops.
What did you expect? I’m not putting them at the top of the class. Not just yet.