WASHINGTON (May 3, 2005) – The National Directory for Catechesis (NDC), reference point for the formation of catechists and the preparation of all catechetical materials in the United States, is now available from USCCB Publishing. Published simultaneously was a Summary of the National Directory for Catechesis, a resource developed by the Committee on Catechesis.
"The release of the National Directory for Catechesis marks an important and welcome moment for the Catholic Church in the United States," said Archbishop Daniel M. Buechlein, OSB, Archbishop of Indianapolis and Chair of the USCCB Committee on Catechesis. "It provides us with an understanding of the teaching and developments in catechesis that have taken place since the Second Vatican Council. With the Catechism of the Catholic Church as a reference point for the content of catechesis and with the National Directory for Catechesis as a reference point for the principles of catechesis, we have two solid tools on which to rely as we concretely respond to the Lord's call to us to baptize and teach," Archbishop Buechlein stated.
The National Directory for Catechesis was developed by the Committee on Education and the Committee on Catechesis of the United States Conference of Catholic Bishops (USCCB). It was approved at the June 2003 General Meeting of the U.S. Catholic bishops and received the subsequent recognitio of the Holy See. Catechesis is an education in the faith of children, young people, and adults which includes the teaching of Christian doctrine imparted in an organic and systematic way.
USCCB officials paid tribute to a wide array of people who they said helped make publication of the National Directory possible.
"I think I will always regard the publication of the National Directory for Catechesis as one of the most significant events that took place during my tenure at the USCCB," said Sister Glenn Anne McPhee, OP, Secretary for Education. "It is not only a reliable guide for catechesis, but also a reminder of the generosity of the people in the Catholic Church in this country. There were many bishops, priests, men and women, religious and lay, who helped develop and refine this text to be of service to the Church. For me, everything about this text is catechetical, even the process of its development."
Msgr. Daniel J. Kutys, USCCB Deputy Secretary for Catechesis, added: "To me, the most significant aspect of both the National Directory for Catechesis and the General Directory for Catechesis is the emphasis on divine pedagogy. It is so important for everyone involved in catechesis, whether teaching or learning, to remember that what we know and believe in our faith is rooted in what has been revealed to us by God. It is not the leaders or members of the Church who have decided what to believe. It is God himself who told us."
A large number of preorders for the NDC and the Summary have been received by USCCB Publishing. Some dioceses plan to send out a copy of the NDC to each parish, use it as the basis for parish training later in the year, and highlight it as the focus of the upcoming catechetical year. Parishes have purchased presale copies to give to their priests, deacons, school principals, administrators, religion teachers, professional catechetical staff, members of their catechetical committees, and key and experienced volunteers. The Summary is expected to have a large audience in parishes among volunteers at all levels from early childhood to adult education and in Catholic schools with teachers of all disciplines.
The NDC and the Summary of the National Directory for Catechesis are available by calling USCCB Publishing at 800-235-8722 or visiting the Internet site at www.usccb.org/publishing. The NDC has a list price of $19.95 (English: Publication no. 5-443, 328 pp; Spanish: Publication no. 5-862, 328 pp.). The Summary sells for $3.95 with discounts available for more than 10 copies (English: Publication no. 5-695, 48 pp; Spanish: Publication no. 5-913, 52 pp.).