Dear Brothers and Sisters in Christ,
When St. Paul reminds us that “life is Christ,” (Phil 1:21), he is helping us to recognize that the Lord Jesus is both the foundation and the guide for our lives. St. Paul’s words, used as this year’s theme for Catechetical Sunday on September 18, 2005, reminded us not only how we are to live but also what we are to teach others.
St. Paul’s Letter to the Philippians is rich with encouragement and advice. We are exhorted to “conduct [ourselves] in a way worthy of the gospel of Christ,” (1:27) to “do nothing out of selfishness or out of vainglory,” (2:3) to “rejoice in the Lord always,” (4:4) and to “keep on doing what [we] have learned and received.” (4:9) When we live this way, we are living in Christ and teaching others to do the same.
This year’s materials have two purposes. The first purpose is to supply the resources you need to promote and celebrate Catechetical Sunday in your parish or diocese. Catechetical Sunday is an appropriate occasion to commission catechists, to bless parents and guardians in their roles as primary catechists, and to remind parishioners of their responsibility to support and participate in the parish or diocesan catechetical program.
In order to perform their ministry well, catechists need support all year long, not just on Catechetical Sunday. The second purpose of these materials is to provide additional resources for ongoing support and development of catechists throughout the year. For the first time, these resources are available on a CD-ROM to make it easier for you to use and adapt these materials for the particular needs of your catechetical community.
Recognizing, forming, and thanking catechists is an important work and responsibility. The materials that comprise the 2005 Catechetical Sunday kit will contribute to the success of this work, helping us all to live and to teach that “life is Christ.” May God bless all our catechetical efforts!
Sincerely yours in Christ,
Most Rev. Daniel M. Buechlein, OSB
Chairman, USCCB Committee on Catechesis