The Six Tasks of Catechesis #6: Missionary Initiation, or Evangelizing our Faith

The last of the Six Tasks of Catechesis is missionary initiation, or in terms of the remembering phrase HELP ME, evangelizing our faith. Here’s how our bishops explain this task: “The ‘world’ thus becomes the place and the means for the lay faithful to fulfill their Christian vocation. Catechesis seeks to help the disciples of Christ to be present in society precisely as believing Christians who are able and willing to bear witness to their […]

The Six Tasks of Catechesis #5: Education for Community Life, or Mentoring our Faith

The fifth of the Six Tasks of Catechesis is education for community life, or in terms of the remembering phrase HELP ME, mentoring our faith. In other words, this task prepares the Christian to live in community and participate actively in the life and mission of the Church. Read how our bishops challenge us to carry this out: Catechesis encourages an apprenticeship in Christian living that is based on Christ’s teachings about community life. It […]

The Six Tasks of Catechesis #4: Teaching to Pray, or Praying Our Faith

The fourth of the Six Tasks of Catechesis is teaching to pray, or in terms of the remembering phrase HELP ME, praying our faith. Read what the bishops say: Conversion to Christ and communion with him lead the faithful to adopt his disposition of prayer and reflection… His prayer was always directed toward his Father. Catechesis should invite the believer to join Christ in the Our Father. Prayer should be the ordinary environment of all catechesis […]

The Six Tasks of Catechesis #3: Moral Formation, or Living Out Our Faith

The third of the Six Tasks of Catechesis is moral formation, or in terms of the remembering phrase HELP ME, living out our faith. Read what the bishops say: Jesus’ moral teaching is an integral part of his message. Catechesis must transmit both the content of Christ’s moral teachings as well as their implications for Christian living. Moral catechesis aims to conform the believer to Christ—to bring about personal transformation and conversion. It should encourage […]

The Six Tasks of Catechesis #2: Liturgical Education, or Expressing our Faith

The second of the Six Tasks of Catechesis is liturgical education, or in terms of the remembering phrase HELP ME, expressing our faith. Listen to our bishops: Since Christ is present in the sacraments, the believer comes to know Christ in the liturgical celebrations of the Church and is drawn into communion with him…Catechesis should promote “an active, conscious genuine participation in the liturgy of the Church” (NDC 20). Liturgical education calls for preparation before […]

The Six Tasks of Catechesis #1: Promoting Knowledge of the Faith, or Holding on to the Faith

The Six Tasks of Catechesis begin with the task of promoting knowledge of the faith, or in terms of the remembering phrase HELP ME, holding on to the faith. When a relationship between two people deepens, they want to get to know each other. They spend hours talking, meeting friends and family. This getting to know each other lasts a lifetime. Our faith life is no different. Listen to our bishops: Such an encounter engenders […]

The Six Tasks of Catechesis: A Series of Articles to HELP ME

The National Directory for Catechesis (#19B) tells us that, “The definitive aim of catechesis is to put people not only in touch but in communion, in intimacy, with Jesus Christ” and goes on in #20 to state that the fundamental task is the “formation of disciples of Jesus Christ.” The bishops then go on to outline six key elements that need to be incorporated to form disciples seeking this intimacy—the six tasks of catechesis. In […]

Beginning the Conversation About Adult Faith Formation

As a Church, we’ve been talking about adult faith formation for years and yet, here we are “beginning” the conversation at Christ the King parish. That’s not a knock on the parish—many parishes find themselves in the same boat: yet to realize what it means to make adult faith formation a priority. Thankfully, Fr. Larry Sullivan and his staff are determined to change all that! Recently, I met with Fr. Larry and the staff at […]

What Parishes Are Doing to Equip People with Knowledge of the Faith

Thanks to so many of you for responding to my request to send in descriptions of what your parish is doing to help people grow in the first of the Six Tasks of Catechesis: Knowledge of the Faith. Here is a brief summary of what some folks are doing: Ladies’ faith-sharing group (meets three times monthly to discuss Scripture) Weekly Scripture study (some on the Sunday Scripture readings; some on books of the Bible; some Lectio […]

I Need Your Input

In my work in adult catechesis this year, I am assisting the pastoral staff of St. Barnabas Parish in Chicago with articulating a vision for adult faith formation for the parish. We are using the Six Tasks of Catechesis to guide our efforts and we are presently working on the first task, which is Knowledge of the Faith. Here is where I could use your help: Please describe one initiative in your parish that is […]

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