This is part one of a four-part series on the new Directory for Catechesis.
Anyone who has read Pope Francis’s 2013 apostolic exhortation Evangelii Gaudium, will be familiar with many of the themes in the new Directory for Catechesis. Let’s begin our exploration of the 2020 Directory for Catechesis with an overview.
What is the new Directory for Catechesis?
The new Directory for Catechesis was publicly released on June 25, 2020, against the backdrop of a global pandemic, in a time of great global upheaval. This new directory has been produced as a follow-up to several important documents of the Magisterium, namely the General Catechetical Directory (1971), the General Directory for Catechesis (1997), the Catechism of the Catholic Church (1992), and the apostolic exhortation of Pope Francis, Evangelii Gaudium (2013). All of these texts explore a number of similar themes: the process of evangelization, the goals and tasks of catechesis, changes in the global context, and the implementation of evangelization and catechesis.
Who published the new Directory for Catechesis?
The 278-page text was published in English in July, 2020, by the United States Conference of Catholic Bishops. The preface to the document is authored by Archbishop Salvatore Fisichella, Titular Archbishop of Voghenza, President of the Pontifical Council for the Promotion of the New Evangelization, and Archbishop José Octavio Ruiz Arenas, Archbishop Emeritus of Villavicencio, Secretary of the Pontifical Council for the Promotion of the New Evangelization. The text was promulgated from the Vatican on March 23, 2020, the liturgical memorial of St. Turibius of Mongrovejo, evangelist and catechist. St. Turibius of Mongrovejo conferred the Sacrament of Confirmation on two saints: St. Martin de Porres and St. Rose of Lima. It is under his protection that the new Directory for Catechesis is placed.
What is the new directory about?
Situated in dynamic continuity with the General Catechetical Directory, which St. Paul VI approved on March 18, 1971, and the Catechism of the Catholic Church, published on October 11, 1992, the new Directory for Catechesis is marked by an emphasis on the primacy of the kerygma within the process of evangelization, an understanding of kerygmatic catechesis, and the new and emerging cultural conditions to which catechists must be attentive. Two cultural contexts, in particular, are highlighted. The first is the phenomenon of digital culture, which brings with it a second implication, the globalization of culture.
How is the document structured?
This Directory for Catechesis develops the catechetical journey under the primacy of evangelization in three parts. Each part consists of four chapters, for a total of 12 chapters. In addition, there are a preface, introduction, conclusion, list of abbreviations, and thematic index. The directory is structured as follows:
Part I: Catechesis in the Church’s Mission of Evangelization
Chapter One: Revelation and Its Transmission
Chapter Two: The Identity of Catechesis
Chapter Three: The Catechist
Chapter Four: The Formation of Catechists
Part II: The Process of Catechesis
Chapter Five: The Pedagogy of the Faith
Chapter Six: The Catechism of the Catholic Church
Chapter Seven: Methodology in Catechesis
Chapter Eight: Catechesis in the Lives of Persons
Part III: Catechesis in the Particular Churches
Chapter Nine: The Christian Community as Participant in Catechesis
Chapter Ten: Catechesis in the Face of Contemporary Cultural Scenarios
Chapter Eleven: Catechesis at the Service of the Inculturation of the Faith
Chapter Twelve: The Organisms at the Service of Catechesis
That’s the overview of the new Directory for Catechesis in a nutshell! In my next post, we are going to look at a new term ushered in by the directory: kerygmatic catechesis.
Have you read the new directory? If so, share your impressions with us by commenting below.