Aparecida 295-296: Permanent Catechesis

Numbered sections 295 through 300 cover the topic of “permanent catechesis.” Catechesis and its proponents get a lot of bad-mouthing in many Catholic circles these days. Closer to the truth is that catechetical material has never been better. Many catechists are better formed and trained than their predecessors of two generations or more in the past. The effectiveness of catechesis is predicated on initial conversion. Where there is no conversion or commitment to Christ, teaching will always fall on rocky ground.

An assessment of the state of catechesis in Latain America and the Caribbean:

295. In considering the current situation of catechesis, there has obviously been great progress. The time devoted to preparing for the sacraments has increased. Both families and pastors are more aware of its need. It is understood to be absolutely necessary in all Christian formation. It has become routine for diocesan and parish catechetical commissions to be set up. The large number of people who feel called to become highly dedicated catechists is admirable. This assembly extends a sincere recognition to them.

More of a problem with this paragraph. Do you spot it?

296. However, despite good will, the theological and pedagogical formation of catechists generally leaves much to be desired. Teaching materials and aids are often quite varied and are not part of a comprehensive pastoral plan; they do not always reflect contemporary pedagogical methods. Catechetical programs in parishes often fail to get full collaboration from families. Pastors and other people in charge do not put major effort into performing their proper role as primary catechists.

Where children are concerned, primary catechists are parents, not professionals. What about when adults are the target of catechesis? Are we necessarily dependent on “pastors and other people”?

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

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About catholicsensibility

Todd lives in the Pacific Northwest, 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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