Aparecida 300: Catechesis and Popular Piety

Today, finishing up the topic of permanent catechesis. The Aparecida bishops recognized that formation must plug in to where people are. Ineffective catechesis happens when information is served whole, without regard to a person’s interests, practices, or needs.

300. An appropriate catechesis must be given to accompany the faith already present in popular religiosity. One concrete possibility is to offer a process of Christian initiation in visits to families, where not only are the contents of faith communicated to them, but they are led to the practice of family prayer, to prayerfully reading the Word of God, and to developing the evangelical virtues, so as to establish them ever more firmly as domestic churches. For this growth in faith, it is also well to utilize pedagogically the educational potential within popular Marian piety. It is an educational path whereby cultivating personal love for the Virgin, true “educator in faith,”(Puebla Document 290) leads us to increasingly resemble Jesus Christ, and leads to gradual assimilation of his attitudes.

Placing more of the initiation process in homes is not a new idea here in the States. Some of my colleagues in RCIA conduct pre-catechumenate sessions in homes of team members. Familiarity with a parish campus has its place, certainly. But when the object is to cultivate relationships, especially the notion of apprenticeship, more personal spaces might better achieve the aim.

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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