The Priority of Adult Catechesis
This is the principal form of catechesis, because it is addressed to persons who have the greatest responsibilities and the capacity to live the Christian message in its fully developed form.
(On Catechesis in Our Time #43, Pope St. John Paul II, 1979)
The Catechumenal Model
… the model of all catechesis is the catechumenate… according to ancient Tradition, every form of catechesis should be inspired by the catechumenal model.
(Adult Catechesis in the Christian Community #66, International Council for Catechesis, 1990)
In the Church, the classic catechumenal model consists in a number of stages.
(Adult Catechesis in the Christian Community #67, International Council for Catechesis, 1990)
Faith, moved by divine grace and cultivated by the action of the Church, undergoes a process of maturation. Catechesis, which is at the service of the growth, is also a gradual activity. Good catechesis is always done in steps.
(General Directory for Catechesis #88, Congregation for the Clergy, 1997)
The Steps in Christian Maturation
Due to how grace works on nature, these periods of maturation are requisite toward drawing one into closer union with Christ. The necessity of this “catechumenal model” applies to:
- Evangelism and the sacraments of initiation (RCIA)
- Marriage preparation (Familiaris Consortio #66)
- The New Evangelization and agendas geared toward reaching out to those who have fallen away and/or those who have been baptized Catholic but have never matured in their faith.
("Quasi-Catechumens" at Catechesi Tradendae, #44, General Directory for Catechesis #172, Adult Catechesis in the Christian Community #18)
Evangelization and Pre-Catechumenate
That period whereby the loving redemption of the living God is proclaimed and one is called to follow Christ in the initial faith of discipleship.
That period following initial conversion when the integral teaching of the Eternal Word of God is shared in a systematic and organic fashion so that the seed of faith can grow in the person.
Purification and Illumination/Enlightenment
The period following systematic and organic instruction in the faith that concentrates upon more intense spiritual preparation, interior reflection, and repentance geared toward a firm purpose of amendment.
Mystagogy and Mission
After one has experienced an authentic conversion to Jesus Christ, has received the deposit of the faith, and has turned one’s life over to Christ in obedience to His commandments, one is prepared to live a full and fruitful sacramental life in the Church and is equipped to follow Christ with purpose and mission.
Marlon De La Torre, MA MEd.
Department Director for Catechesis
Assistant Director of Evangelization and Catechesis
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