In response to the call of Jesus Christ’s great commission to proclaim the gospel throughout the world, the Children’s Ministry department of Catechetical Services seeks to accompany parish leaders, catechists, parents and families as they answer this call to make disciples. We provide ongoing direction, guidance and support to parish catechetical leaders in regards to catechesis of children, including the normative preparation for the first reception of the sacraments of reconciliation and Eucharist. We also organize, conduct, and facilitate special trainings and in-service programs for parish catechetical leaders and catechists.
What is catechesis? Catechesis is the name “given to the totality of the Church’s efforts to make disciples, to help men believe that Jesus is the Son of God so that believing they might have life in his name, and to educate and instruct them in this life, thus building up the body of Christ.” (CT Catechesi Tradendae)
In parishes, catechesis for children takes many forms: 1. Catechetical Programs for Children 2. Sacramental Preparation for Reconciliation and Eucharist 3. Intergenerational Catechesis 4. Family Catechesis 5. Vacation Bible School 6. Evangelization 7. Special Events.
Catechesis is the responsibility of the entire community and is most effective when there is a real partnership between the parish community, the family and those who serve as catechists in parish programs.
The Catholic Church is to proclaim the Gospel message in such a way that it may take root in those being catechized and foster conversion to the person and message of Jesus Christ. Catechesis is an essential component of the Church’s mission of evangelization. Its definitive aim “is to put people not only in touch, but also in communion and intimacy, with Jesus Christ.” (National Directory for Catechesis #19B)
Catechesis echoes the faith of the multicultural Church as it is believed, celebrated, lived, and prayed. It is a gradual and lifelong process with Jesus Christ at its center. A Catechist’s vocation is to communicate the Gospel message and the teachings of the Church in a way that connects with the lives and experiences of children and moves them to develop a “living, conscious and active” faith. The goal is ongoing conversion and discipleship to Jesus Christ.