Fulfilling the Need of Catechesis that leads to Evangelization
In 1974 Pope Paul the VI wrote in his Apostolic Exhortation "Evangelii Nuntiandi" that there is a great need to form catechists so that evangelization permeates their teaching:
" A means of evangelization that must not be neglected is that of catechetical instruction. The intelligence, especially that of children and young people, needs to learn through systematic religious instruction the fundamental teachings, the living content of the truth which God has wished to convey to us and which the Church has sought to express in an ever richer fashion during the course of her long history. No one will deny that this instruction must be given to form patterns of Christian living and not to remain only notional. Truly the effort for evangelization will profit greatly- at the level of catechetical instruction given at church, in the schools, where this is possible, and in every case in Christian homes- if those giving catechetical instruction have suitable texts, updated with wisdom and competence, under the authority of the bishops. The methods must be adapted to the age, culture and aptitude of the persons concerned, they must seek always to fix in the memory, intelligence and heart the essential truths that must impregnate all of life. It is necessary above all to prepare good instructors- parochial catechists, teachers, parents- who are desirous of perfecting themselves in this superior art, which is indispensable and requires religious instruction. Moreover, without neglecting in any way the training of children, one sees that present conditions render ever more urgent catechetical instruction, under the form of the catechumenate, for innumerable young people and adults who, touched by grace, discover little by little the face of Christ and feel the need of giving themselves to Him." - EN 44
Do you wonder if this is happening in today's Church? Well, it is in the Archdiocese of St. Paul/Mpls - It is called the "Archbishop Harry J. Flynn Catechetical Institute."
Many of us excuse ourselves from proclaiming the Word of God due to lack of knowledge or training. While welcoming is something we all can do, formation is something we all need. Let us never excuse ourselves from showing our gratitude for all that the Lord has done for us and let us not delay in seeking the needed formation to propel this new evangelization.
More info about the Institute here: http://www.stthomas.edu/spssod/continuing/catecheticalinstitute/default.html