THE CATECHETICAL MINISTRY
EVERY CHRISTIAN A CATECHIST
It might be said that the first disciples of Jesus Christ were the first catechists, and thus began the catechetical ministry of the Church.
The Catechism of the Catholic Church in its Prologue states that God “calls man to seek him, to know him, to love him with all his strength.” (CCC 1).
It continues, “So that this call should resound throughout the world, Christ sent forth the apostles he had chosen, commissioning them to proclaim the gospel: ‘Go therefore and make disciples of all nations, baptizing them in the name of the Father and of the Son and of the Holy Spirit, teaching them to observe all that I have commanded you; and lo, I am with you always, to the close of the age.” Strengthened by this mission, the apostles “went forth and preached everywhere, while the Lord worked with them and confirmed the message by the signs that attended it.”
Thus catechesis is continued to this day by modern versions of Christ’s disciples, every Christian, who carries out, the teaching of the Christian doctrine so that those who hear and understand it may be brought to the fullness of life that God promised.
“Fruitful catechesis is basically a gift of the Holy Spirit’s activity calling us to ever deeper and more mature faith within the Christian community. But in God’s providential way, this gift is most commonly given through the Spirit-inspired faith, hope and love of catechists, who are responding to God’s grace in their daily lives and catechetical ministry.
Now this ministry has been described as an ordered, progressive education and formation in the faith, involving a wide variety of personnel and means, in many different situations and environments, and of differing ages and levels of human maturity. For this, the catechetical efforts must be organized, planned, supported and evaluated.
Catechesis carried out in a haphazard, uncoordinated fashion, or merely by improvisation, will never be adequate to the task. This is especially true for the Philippines today, with so many social, cultural and religious changes taking place, and the growing gap between catechetical resources and the needs of the Catholic community. (cf. Rev. NCDP 449)
A well-planned and organized ministry will then:
1. raise the quality of existing catechetical work, especially of the catechists-formation programs;
2. improve coordination of catechetical work with other pastoral ministries of parish and diocese;
3. establish better lines of communication and sharing of new materials, etc. within the catechetical ministry itself. (cf. Rev. NCDP 452)
Episcopal Commission on Catechesis and Catholic Education (ECCCE)
Catholic Bishops' Conference of the Philippines (CBCP) -