New Directory for Catechesis

Libby MahowaldFeatured, News

The National Conference for Catechetical Leadership is excited for the release of the new Directory for Catechesis! This document, released on June 25, 2020, will first be available in Italian and later translated into American English. The launch of the new Directory for Catechesis is a historical moment for our Church. This visionary document provides catechists, religious educators, and the lay-faithful with a reference guide for the teaching and transmission of faith in our modern world. The 12 chapters of the Directory for Catechesis will address important topics, such as: the relationship between catechesis and evangelization, the vocation and formation of the catechist, the process and transmission of the faith, and the function of catechesis in a variety of cultural and institutional settings. Join the National Conference for Catechetical Leadership in watching Vatican News during their press release at 11:30am Rome time (2:30am PT/ 3:30am MT/ 4:30am CT/ 5:30am ET).

As the premier national organization serving catechists in the United States, The National Conference for Catechetical Leadership looks forward to exploring the Directory for Catechesis and providing resources that will assist leaders in their ministry. In partnership with Our Sunday Visitor, we will be launching a 4-month event, called Magnify, along with a meaningful resource to help unpack the implications of the latest directory. The National Conference for Catechetical Leadership looks forward to accompanying catechists in their service to the Church.

June 25, 2020

WASHINGTON – The Pontifical Council for Promoting the New Evangelization has released a new Directory for Catechesis.

As the Preface explains, “The criterion that prompted the reflection on and production of this Directory finds its basis in the words of Pope Francis: ‘we have rediscovered the fundamental role of the first announcement or kerygma, which needs to be the center of all evangelizing activity and all efforts at Church renewal…. All Christian formation consists of entering more deeply into the kerygma, which is reflected in and constantly illumines, the work of catechesis, thereby enabling us to understand more fully the significance of every subject which the latter treats. It is the message capable of responding to the desire for the infinite which abides in every human heart’.”

Bishop Robert Barron, auxiliary bishop of Los Angeles and chairman of the U.S. Conference of Catholic Bishops’ Committee on Evangelization and Catechesis, welcomed the new text: “We are excited to have a fresh and focused tool to enhance our evangelization efforts in catechesis. The new Directory highlights the centrality of the Church’s mission of bringing the world to an authentic encounter with Christ, an encounter that inspires and propels people as witnesses for the faith. In an age marked by tremendous social and cultural challenges, as well as ever-expanding digital tools which have often left the field of catechesis behind, the timing of this updated resource is providential.”

The Second Vatican Council originally inspired a Directory for Catechesis to ensure that the Church’s catechetical efforts might be vibrant, informed, faithful, and attuned to the needs of the times. First released in 1971 and then updated in 1997, this latest edition considers both the opportunities and the challenges which the Church faces in an ever more global and secular society. The new Directory builds upon the teachings of the Second Vatican Council, the Catechism of the Catholic Church, and the ongoing work of the new evangelization—particularly as called for in Pope Francis’ 2013 apostolic exhortation Evangelii Gaudium . . . (The Joy of the Gospel). With a vision that brings the content of these beautiful resources alive in the context of contemporary society, the Directory invites the Christian faithful to be courageous witnesses of Jesus Christ in the family, in the workplace, and in the wider community.

Bishop Barron observed that, “The Directory’s call for a ‘kerygmatic catechesis’ affirms the Conference’s recent focus on the importance of living as missionary disciples. The authentic proclamation of the Gospel leads to the conversion of hearts and minds, which cannot help but manifest that ‘missionary impulse capable of transforming everything’ with the healing power of the Holy Spirit (EG 27).”