Catechetical Sunday 2023: The Role of Invitation in Evangelizing Catechesis

Catechetical Sunday

Think of the invitations that you have received in your lifetime—invitations that have made a difference and perhaps even changed your life. It’s possible that an invitation led to a friendship, a new hobby, your present job or career, your significant other, or choosing to live in the part of the world you do. As a catechist, you are most likely serving because of the invitation of another, whether the catechetical leader, the pastor, or another catechist. God tends to invite or call us through other people. As catechists, it is our responsibility to pass along God’s call to those we teach.

Invitations are powerful. They make the invitee feel special, affirmed, honored, wanted, accepted, noticed, part of a relationship,  and part of something bigger than ourselves. And, yes, personal invitations can change lives, because they can change the way we think and feel about ourselves and others. That means they serve as a critical tool in the process of conversion, which is the call to change how we think, feel, and act. Personal invitations create an emotional connection.

This year’s Catechetical Sunday theme is all about invitation: “Come to me all you who labor and are burdened.” (Matthew 11:28) Jesus personally invites us to follow him, and he promises that he will not add to our burdens. Rather, he will lighten them. This invitation, which we catechists extend to others, is life-changing. My prayer for you this year is that you will continue to hear the Lord’s invitation to follow him more closely; that your burdens will be lightened; and that you will make it a priority to invite others to follow Christ more closely through your evangelizing catechesis.

Catechetical Sunday is celebrated this year on September 17, 2023.

About Joe Paprocki 2751 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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