Sunday, 06 September 2020 15:36

A message from Bishop Barron on Catechetical Sunday

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The 2020 Catechetical Sunday theme is taken from St. Paul’s first letter to the Corinthians, “I Received from the Lord what I also Handed on to You.” This theme focuses on the essential work of catechesis, which is an invitation to a whole new life given by Christ himself. It emphasizes that living faith necessitates movement, inspiring all those who hear the Word to share it as witnesses of the true and living God.

This year, we also invite everyone who is involved in the work of catechesis to consider earnestly the importance of catechist formation. Since catechists are the instruments through which many come to encounter Christ and hear this invitation, they have a unique role in keeping people connected to the life of the parish. The new Directory for Catechesis describes the following goal of catechist formation: “making catechists aware that as baptized persons they are true missionary disciples, meaning active participants in evangelization, and on this basis are enabled by the Church to communicate the Gospel and to accompany and educate believers in the faith” (DC 132). Therefore, catechists must first be accompanied by their pastors and catechetical leaders to encounter Christ, in order to facilitate encounters with Christ for others.

We have produced a variety of articles, videos, and podcasts exploring our baptismal call to be active participants in the evangelizing mission of the church, as well as the unique role of catechesis in the whole process of evangelization. In our baptism, we received a living faith and, deepened by a true kerygmatic catechesis, this faith propels the missionary work of the church. Since “all members of the community of believers in Jesus Christ participate in the Church’s catechetical mission” (NDC 217), our resources aim to support and inspire the faithful to live out their baptismal vocation.

This divine movement of faith, gratuitously given to us by Christ, flows generously from a personal and growing relationship with him. Rooted in and nourished by our encounter with Christ in the Eucharist, this beautiful ministry of the church’s catechetical and evangelizing mission helps to further actualize the Body of Christ in our world. May our lives be instruments of faith, which we have “received from the Lord [and…] handed on to you!”

Sincerely yours in Christ,
Bishop Robert Barron, Chairman
Committee on Evangelization and Catechesis
United States Conference of Catholic Bishops