September 15, 2019 is Catechetical Sunday, when the Church will celebrate those called forth to be catechists. The theme, “Stay With Us,” is a reminder for all to extend an invitation of hope to the unaffiliated, disaffiliated or marginalized, who, for various reasons are distant or disconnected from faith in Jesus Christ.
St. John Paul II, in the Apostolic Exhortation, “Catechesi Tradendae (Catechesis in Our Time).” writes, “The Church has always considered catechesis one of her primary tasks, for, before Christ ascended to His Father after His resurrection, He gave the apostles a final command – to make disciples of all nations and to teach them to observe all that He had commanded. He thus entrusted them with the mission and power to proclaim to humanity what they had heard, what they had seen with their eyes, what they had looked upon and touched with their hands, concerning the Word of Life. He also entrusted them with the mission and power to explain with authority what He had taught them, His words and actions, His signs and commandments. And He gave them the Spirit to fulfill this mission.
Very soon the name of catechesis was given to the whole of the efforts within the Church to make disciples, to help people to 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 and thus build up the Body of Christ. The Church has not ceased to devote her energy to this task.”
In light of this statement, we offer our continuous prayers for parents (the first catechists of their children), grandparents, extended families, godparents and sponsors, as well as priests, deacons, religious sisters and brothers, Parish Catechists serving the Parish Schools of Religion in areas of formation, sacramental preparation, youth ministry, and outreach, including Catholic School teachers from early learning to college.
In a most significant way, we offer our gratitude to Bishop Michael Duca, our lead-Catechist for the Diocese of Baton Rouge. May God continue to bless Bishop Duca, together with those who hand on the faith of Jesus Christ to all people in all ways.
Resources, including prayers, articles, and the Commissioning Service for Catechists, are available on the United State Conference of Catholic Bishops website.