WASHINGTON (May 22, 2003) -– A comprehensive National Directory for Catechesis offering catechetical principles and guidelines for those who teach the Catholic faith will be voted on by the United States Conference of Catholic Bishops (USCCB) at their General Meeting in St. Louis, June 19-21.
"We hope that the proposed Directory will be a source of inspiration for bishops, priests, deacons, religious, lay leaders, catechists, Catholic school teachers, and countless others who promote and teach a living, explicit and fruitful profession of faith," said Archbishop Daniel M. Buechlein, OSB, Chairman of the Bishops' Committee on Catechesis and Archbishop of Indianapolis, Indiana.
The Directory offers theological principles and practical guidelines to promote a renewal of catechesis among adults, the elderly, young adults, adolescents, young children, and persons with disabilities. Among the topics it addresses are catechesis within the mission of evangelization, methodologies, liturgy, the sacraments, and moral formation.
"The deepening awareness of the centrality of catechesis in the life of the Church only confirms the need for a comprehensive guide for the years to come," said Father Daniel Kutys, Deputy Secretary for Catechesis at the USCCB.
The release of the Directory is eagerly anticipated by the catechetical community who work with all age groups in many different settings to provide catechetical instruction and formation. This community includes diocesan staffs, parish directors of religious education, Catholic school principals, directors of adult faith formation, parish catechists and school faculty members at both elementary and secondary levels, those involved in campus ministry and publishers of catechetical texts. It is also directed to seminaries, houses of formation and faculties of religious studies at Catholic institutions of higher education and catechetical institutes.
After the development of a new National Directory for Catechesis was approved by bishops in 2000, the bishops' Committee on Education and its Subcommittee on Catechesis began the drafting process. They were aided in this task by an episcopal Editorial Oversight Board and an Advisory Committee comprised of professionals in the field of catechesis. The proposed draft of the Directory, the second to appear, has been shaped by responses to two nationwide consultations with dioceses, the first in 2001 on a proposed outline, and the second in 2002 on an initial draft.
Calling catechesis one of the Church's "primary tasks," Pope John Paul II has focused considerable attention on it through such initiatives as the development and promulgation of the Catechism of the Catholic Church (1992), the Church's first universal catechism since 1566, and a General Directory for Catechesis (1997). The U.S. bishops' proposed Directory relies on these and other documents and applies them to the catechetical situation in the United States. If approved in June by two-thirds of the U.S. bishops, the Directory will require the Holy See's recognitio, or formal approval, before its implementation.
Further information is available at: www.usccb.org/education
The USCCB's June meeting opens Thursday, June 19, and continues through Saturday, June 21, at the Hyatt Hotel at Union Station in St. Louis. Media seeking credentials can find information and a form at www.usccb.org/comm. Media applications should be submitted by June 1. For further assistance, contact the Department of Communications (202/541-3200).