Whole Community Catechesis
A Way of Faith Formation
The Christian community is the origin, locus, and goal of catechesis. Proclamation of the Gospel always begins with the Christian community and invites [people] to conversion and the following of Christ. It is the same whole community that welcomes those who wish to know the Lord better and permeate themselves with a new life. The whole Christian community accompanies catechumens and those being catechized, and with maternal solicitude makes them participate in her own experience of the faith and incorporates them into herself. (GDC #254)
Whole community catechesis is a way of faith formation which youth and adults as well as children are invited to participate in faith formation programs throughout the year. The entire community thus becomes the focus of all we do in catechesis.
In whole community catechesis, what happens in the Sunday Assembly for Mass is tightly connected to what happens in the religious education classroom. The Liturgy of the Word from Sunday is the starting point. Catechesis or religious instruction must flow from that Word and each young person is invited to “break open the Word,” to share their faith about what they believe. Also in whole community catechesis, parents play a vital role alongside all the other members of the community. Catechesis is not just for children! It’s for everyone. Every Catholic is invited to know and love the church, to walk with Christ in his or her daily life, and to gather faithfully together on Sunday for the parish Mass.
Added to that, whole community catechesis places great emphasis on developing households of faith. It’s certainly true for a child, but it’s also true for everyone, that no matter how effective our experience of faith might be at the parish, what really counts is how we live that in our everyday lives at home! If our homes are not places where the faith is shared and lived, then the work of catechesis is like sowing seed on rocky ground.
Looking for Resources?
Follow this link: Whole Community Catechesis Resources