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THE CATECHETICAL MINISTRY

 

LEVELS OF THE MINISTRY

A. BASE ECCLESIAL COMMUNITIES

 

“Base-level ecclesial communities, arising from those who “want to live the life of the Church with greater favor” (EN 58c; GDC 263), offer the best opportunity to involve all Filipino Catholics in the catechetical ministry. In so doing, not only do the BECs’ members perceive the specifically ecclesial nature of their own community – as distinct from merely a sociological grouping – but they help one another’s faith become “living, conscious and active through the light of instruction” (Vat II, CD14), moving from merely being catechized to catechizing members – usually by working especially through family catechesis. Catechizing on this immediate, grass-roots level should, if properly developed, foster inculturation of the catechetical ministry by creative use of local customs, symbols, traditions and popular religiosity.” (cf. Rev. NCDP, 462)

Parents. This grass-roots level clearly focuses attention on the challenging vocation of Christian parents to catechize their own children. “Parents are the primary educators in the faith. Together with them, all members of the family play an active part in the education of the younger members.” (GDC, 255) Indeed, “family catechesis precedes… accompanies and enriches all catechesis.” (GDC 226; CT 68) In a family-centered culture such as the Philippines, the following directives of the John Paul II are especially pertinent: “The family’s catechetical activity has a special character which is in a sense irreplaceable… Education in the faith by parents… should begin from the children’s tenderest age… is more incisive when in the course of family events (reception of the sacraments, great liturgical feasts, the birth of a child, a bereavement), care is taken to explain in the home the Christian or religious content of these events” (CT 68). Filipino parents must be encouraged and helped in practical ways to carry out this mandate, especially through BEC activities and agencies engaged in family catechesis. (cf. Rev. NCDP, 464)

<Images from the Cathedral Parish of St. Joseph, Balanga (Bataan)>

"Every catechist must be a
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