GDC 171: Catechesis according to age

Chapter II of Part Four opens with some “general observations” of catechesis of all age groups. This Chapter runs through GDC 188, and as such will take us about two more weeks into Lent.

Catechesis based on different age groups is an essential task of the Christian community. On the one hand, faith contributes to the development of the person; on the other, every phase of life is open to the challenge of dechristianization and must above all be reinforced by ever new responses of Christian vocation.

One of the first mentions of “dechristianization.” But they are correct to say that the phenomenon of inactive Christians must be met with new responses.

Catechesis, therefore, is given by right on the basis of diverse and complementary age groups, on account of the needs and capacity of its recipients.(Cf. Catechesi Tradendae 45)

Rather than make the social sciences the adversary of the Church, we can use different disciplines to enhance our effectiveness.

For this reason it is necessary to pay attention to all the factors involved, whether anthropological-evolutionary or theological-pastoral, including also up to date scientific data and pedagogical methods prepared for different age groups.

Adult formation important as part of the overall unity and coherency of catechesis:

The various stages in the journey of faith must be prudently integrated, with care that successive phases of catechesis harmoniously complete catechesis received in childhood. Hence it is pedagogically useful to make reference to adult catechesis and, in that light, orientate catechesis for other times of life.

And as always, the GDC addresses the issues of catechesis broadly. Details are for national conferences, dioceses, parishes and other faith communities, pastors, and catechists:

This chapter seeks to set out purely general elements, by way of example, and leaves further details to be worked out by the Catechetical Directories of particular Churches and of the Episcopal Conferences.

About catholicsensibility

Todd lives in Minnesota, serving a Catholic parish as a lay minister.
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