Accompanying Children Back to the Classroom

“In his proclamation of the Kingdom, Jesus seeks, encounters, and welcomes people in their concrete life situations.” Directory for Catechesis #198 While the COVID-19 pandemic is not over, many states have seen the easing of restrictions around larger gatherings, and there has been an increasing sense that life is returning to some sense of normalcy. This fall, parishes and schools will find themselves welcoming students back to class after a much-needed summer of rest and […]

Five Ideas for Accompanying Catechists Back to the Classroom

“But, really, is there such a thing as a catechist who is not creative? Creativity is what sustains us as catechists.” (Pope Francis at the International Congress on Catechesis, September 27, 2013) Catechists and catechetical leaders have certainly proved themselves to be flexible and creative during this past year and a half of upheaval. Many catechists and catechetical leaders exercised great creativity and “stick-with-it-ness” in reaching out to their students and families with great enthusiasm and […]

Accompaniment Is Ongoing

Imagine attending a concert featuring a solo vocalist accompanied by a keyboard player and, after the first song, the accompanist gets up and exits the stage and does not reappear for the remainder of the concert. So much for accompaniment! Too often, in our faith formation efforts, our accompaniment is short-lived. A family shows up at the parish to have their baby baptized, and we accompany them at the baptismal prep meeting and the Baptism. And […]

The Glorious Mysteries: The Ascension and Accompaniment

We reflect this Easter season on the Glorious Mysteries of the Rosary. Have you ever stared at something or someone in wondrous awe? Or felt unprepared to take on a profoundly important mission? Each time I contemplate the Second Glorious Mystery, the Ascension of our Lord, I realize how much Jesus had prepared the disciples for the evangelizing mission that lay ahead and for the time when his work on earth would come to completion. […]

Accompaniment: Giving People the “Time of Day”

In the new Directory for Catechesis, there is a good amount of attention devoted to the notion of accompaniment. This is not surprising, since Pope Francis used the phrase “the art of accompaniment” in his Apostolic Exhortation Evangelii Gaudium. But what exactly does accompaniment look like? Simply put, to accompany someone is to give that person the “time of day”—a phrase we use to describe acknowledging someone and giving that someone our attention. It is to […]

Kerygmatic Catechesis in the New Directory for Catechesis

This is part two of a four-part series on the new Directory for Catechesis. In part one of this series, I provided an overview of the structure of the new Directory for Catechesis. In this post, we will explore one of the central themes at the heart of the new Directory for Catechesis, namely kerygmatic catechesis. What is at the heart of this new directory? The role of catechesis in the dynamic of evangelization is […]

Accompaniment Requires Trust

One of the key phrases in our current conversations about evangelization and discipleship is what Pope Francis has described as the art of accompaniment. To accompany someone is to walk along with that person on his or her journey. It is important to recognize, however, that a prerequisite to accompaniment is trust! If someone is going to allow us to walk with him or her on the journey, that person needs to know, first and […]