WASHINGTON (January 13, 2005) - The Vatican approved the National Directory for Catechesis, Bishop William Skylstad, President of the United States Conference of Catholic Bishops, announced on January 7 in a memo to the U.S. bishops.
The directory, which had been approved by the U.S. bishops in June 2003, was awarded its recognitio (approval) by the Vatican Congregation for the Clergy (the Roman dicastery responsible for catechetical matters) December 16, 2004.
The National Directory for Catechesis is to be both a guide and inspiration for religious education and faith formation in the dioceses and parishes of the United States. It will be an important reference for the formation of catechists and the preparation of catechetical resources.
The Directory has three basic purposes that are aimed at the orientation and general planning of catechetical activity in this country:
1. To provide fundamental theological and pastoral principles drawn from the Church's Magisterium and apply them to the pastoral activity of catechesis.
2. To offer guidelines for the application of fundamental theological and pastoral principles in order to continue a renewal of catechesis in this country.
3. To set forth the nature, purpose, object, tasks, basic content, and various methodologies of catechesis.
Publication of the National Directory for Catechesis in English is projected for May 1. Several types of ancillary materials are being prepared by the USCCB Department of Education to assist dioceses and parishes in the implementation of the Directory.
The USCCB Committee on Catechesis sponsored a Symposium on the Directory for bishops and members of their diocesan school and religious education staffs January 10. More than 200 participants representing 96 dioceses attended.
The USCCB Department of Education plans to develop a PowerPoint program based on the three presentations at the Symposium to aid diocesan personnel in conducting local programs on the Directory. This PowerPoint program along with the full text of the symposium presentations will be made available on the USCCB Department of Education Web site in early February.
For more information about the National Directory for Catechesis, contact the USCCB Department of Education.