Discipleship Is a Relationship—Catechetical Sunday 2017

Catechetical Sunday 2017 - Living as Missionary Disciples

This Sunday, September 17, 2017, is Catechetical Sunday, with the theme of “Living as Missionary Disciples.” I’d like to take this time to offer my gratitude and affirmation for all catechists who have responded to the call to serve in this heroic vocation and this splendid ministry!

For many of us, the notion of discipleship is still a bit of a mystery. What exactly does it mean to be a missionary disciple? It sounds like a description of someone who goes to a foreign country to work with the poor, and most of us are not quite ready to take that leap. The truth is, all of the baptized are called to be missionary disciples.

To be missionary means to be entrusted with the mission of Jesus Christ, which is to bring his Good News to all people. As a catechist, this is something that you have already committed to. Now, however, your challenge is to call those you teach to be missionary—to proclaim the Good News to others through their words and actions.

To be a disciple means to be in a relationship with Jesus. In Jewish tradition, rabbis assembled a corps of disciples or apprentices. While the transmission of doctrine was important, it was secondary to the development of a relationship between the rabbi and apprentice. This means that you, as a catechist, must be about much more than transmitting doctrine. You are called to invite those you teach into a relationship with Jesus Christ, and that also involves inviting them into a relationship with you, so that you can introduce them to Jesus.

May you be heralds of the Gospel to all those you teach!


Take a few moments to pray in thanksgiving and ask for the grace to serve in your vocation as a catechist with a special 3-Minute Retreat for Catechists. Find this and more Catechetical Sunday resources from Loyola Press here.

About Joe Paprocki 2246 Articles
Joe Paprocki, DMin, is National Consultant for Faith Formation at Loyola Press, where, in addition to his traveling/speaking responsibilities, he works on the development team for faith formation curriculum resources including Finding God: Our Response to God’s Gifts and God’s Gift: Reconciliation and Eucharist. Joe has more than 35 years of experience in ministry and has presented keynotes, presentations, and workshops in more than 100 dioceses in North America. Joe is a frequent presenter at national conferences including the Los Angeles Religious Education Congress, the Mid-Atlantic Congress, and the National Conference for Catechetical Leadership. He is the author of numerous books, including the best seller The Catechist’s Toolbox, A Church on the Move, Under the Influence of Jesus, and Called to Be Catholic—a bilingual, foundational supplemental program that helps young people know their faith and grow in their relationship with God. Joe is also the series editor for the Effective Catechetical Leader and blogs about his experiences in faith formation at www.catechistsjourney.com.

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