Aparecida 288: A Rich Kerygma

Initiation into Christ is about more than a liturgy, a ceremony, or jumping through parish hoops. In its fullest form, initiation involves preaching the basic person of Christ and his message through his life, Passion, and resurrection.


288. Christian initiation, which includes the kerygma, is the practical manner of putting people in contact with Jesus Christ and initiating in discipleship. It also gives us the opportunity to enhance the unity of the three sacraments of initiation and delve deeper into their rich meaning. Christian initiation, properly speaking, has to do with the first initiation in the mysteries of the faith, whether in the form of baptismal catechumenate for the non-baptized, or in the formal postbaptismal catechumenate for the baptized who are not sufficiently catechized. This catechumenate is intimately connected with the sacraments of initiation: Baptism, Confirmation, and Eucharist, solemnly celebrated in the Paschal Vigil. It should therefore be distinguished from other processes of catechesis and formation that can presume Christian initiation as their foundation.

Some communities do this kerygmatic formation better than “other” forms. Such as when I’ve heard, “I’ve learned more from being a sponsor.” Or “I wish I hadn’t been baptized so I could experience the full process.”

Unfortunately, some catechists see RCIA or baptismal preparation of parents as an opportunity for catechism-based learning. The truth is that preparing for initiation or providing formation for those insufficiently trained for the Christian life involves a different agenda than the touch-points of Catholic doctrine.

For deeper examination, an English translation of the 2007 document from the Aparecida Conference.

About catholicsensibility

Todd lives in Minnesota, serving a Catholic parish as a lay minister.
This entry was posted in 2007 Aparecida document, bishops, evangelization and tagged . Bookmark the permalink.

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