Hi Joe , could you please give me an explanation on why and when Catechetical Sunday was started and the role of catechists and the community as with regard to catechetical sunday?
Here’s some good background on what Catechetical Sunday is all about and how it came about (I found this on the Web site for the Diocese of Fargo) –
The third Sunday of September in the United States is celebrated as Catechetical Sunday in order to acknowledge, appreciate and commission those who are catechists. In his encyclical letter Redemptoris Missio Pope John Paul II, says: “Among the laity who become evangelizers, catechists have a place of honor…Catechists are among those who have received Christ’s command to ‘go and teach all nations’” (Guide for Catechists, 33).
Among the catechetical tasks proper particularly to parish priests is the task to “foster a recognition and appreciation for catechists and their mission” (General Directory for Catechesis, 225). The celebration of Catechetical Sunday provides a means to do so.
The idea of establishing a catechetical day in each parish was presented by Pope Pius XI in his instruction entitled On Better Care for Catechetical Teaching (Provido sane consilio) published in 1935. In paragraph 25, he writes that the day should be a day in which…
a. The faithful should be called together in the parish, and having received the Holy Eucharist, they should pray to obtain greater fruit from catechesis (divine teaching)
b. A special sermon should be preached to the people on the necessity of catechetical instruction. Parents are to be told about their duty to instruct their children in Catholic doctrine and to send them to parish catechism (religion) classes.
c. Books, pamphlets, and other material suitable for the purpose should be distributed.
d. A collection may be taken up for the promotion of catechetical works.
The first celebration of a national catechetical day in our country is recorded to be on October 30, 1935, in Rochester, N.Y. By 1944, the practice was in every part of the union and by 1955 most dioceses celebrated the day on the third Sunday in September.