Two Church documents which are responsible for guiding and reflecting the practice of catechesis in the twenty-first century are the GDC (General Directory for Catechesis; 1997) and the NDC (National Directory for Catechesis; 2005). The vision of each of these two documents is closely aligned with the other. This seminar will address how these documents echo each other and where they are unique. The accountability for the message of the documents will be examined.
For those of us in the catechetical ministry there is real value in having a working knowledge of the RCIA. Two years ago I was blessed to participate in a Beginnings Plus workshop put on by the North American Forum on the Catechumenate, which challenged my preconceptions about what catechesis is and how it is done. More recently my diocesan department (which consists of seven different offices) engaged in some shared study on the four periods of the RCIA and their implications for our work.
Unfortunately, in many parishes and dioceses the structure in place for catechesis is removed from the structure for initiation and catechists are not familiar with the Rite of Christian Initiation of Adults (RCIA). This is a shame because the two are so closely related and, as the GDC intimates, the Church’s understanding of all catechesis is heavily informed by her understanding of the baptismal catechumenate.
Starting next week, over the course of four or five posts, I will share some reflections based on those experiences. Looking at the individual periods of the RCIA, I will draw out some themes for catechesis in general. I hope that you will add your own thoughts so that this can be a conversation rather than a lecture. (And if you are a catechetical leader and don’t have a copy of the RCIA — get one!)