GDC 177: The important context of infancy and childhood

Sections 177-180 address “The catechesis of infants and young children.” The document refers to the parallel sections (78-81) in the 1971 General Catechetical Directory (GCD) as well as Catechesi Tradendae 36-37. The title of today’s section, also the post above, cites GCD 78-79 and Christifideles Laici 47 as its source. Let’s read:

177. This age group, traditionally divided into early infancy or pre-school age and childhood, possesses, in the light of faith and reason, the grace of the beginnings of life, from which “valuable possibilities exist, both for the building up of the Church and for the making of a more humane society”.(Cf. Christifideles Laici 47) As a child of God, in virtue of the gift of Baptism, the child is proclaimed by Christ to be a privileged member of the Kingdom of God.(Mk 10:14) For various reasons today, rather more than in the past, the child demands full respect and help in its spiritual and human growth. This is also true in catechesis which must always be made available to Christian children. Those who have given life to children and have enriched them with the gift of Baptism have the duty continually to nourish it.

This is perhaps the American area of specialty, young children. Americans may be inclined to cede particulars–likely more than necessary–to “professionals.” How to form parents to form children from the earliest ages: this is where we probably need the most help. How to keep in mind that twofold aim: building up the Church and contributing to a more humane society? Any thoughts?


About catholicsensibility

Todd lives in the Pacific Northwest, serving a Catholic parish as a lay minister.
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