Faith at Home a Key Factor in Catechesis
From Sr Annette St-Amour IHM, Durban – In response to the letter Blame dull Catechism classes (January 17), I would like to commend the young woman, a confirmation candidate. She is spot on, very insightful, able to articulate well what is most important about catechesis for young people. And I thank her for saying it so respectfully, not blaming catechists who try, but not quite getting it right.
What she really is describing is the need for evangelisation before offering too much knowledge that doesn’t make sense without faith nor a desire to know more or deepen faith in Christ. She is right in saying a key factor is faith at home. That is where evangelisation should happen for children the witness that God is important in our everyday life, that Jesus’ love is a great gift to us.
In catechesis today, we need to work with families more to make any catechesis effective for children. The General Directory for Catechesis states (no 80) that the definitive aim of catechesis is to put people not only in touch, but also in communion and intimacy with Jesus Christ. If this is not happening in catechetical sessions, catechists and parish need to be challenged. The system does need to change.
I am sorry that this young woman and so many have not had a more positive experience. I want to assure you that there are in some parishes, catechists on fire with the love of God and wanting to share this passion with more contemporary methods. There are young adults who develop in their high school sessions a relational ministry with the youth leading them to want to know more about Christ and the faith they witness in their leaders.
Have hope! Let’s light those fires in our Catholic Church communities. I hope some day this young woman will be a catechist – she sees so clearly the most important message to be echoed: the message of Christ: Come and see. Updated from 2012