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Unformatted text preview: ur Lord Diocese of La Crosse Page 1 of 16 Grade 1
Thank you for answering the call of God to be a teacher of the Faith, which involves leading children closer to Christ!
Catechesis is the art of teaching the Faith in order to facilitate a personal encounter with Jesus Christ. The teaching
should lead to understanding who Christ is in light of God’s word (what He has revealed to us in Sacred Scripture and
Sacred Tradition) in order to be changed through His grace to become more and more like Him. Transformed by the
working of grace, “the Christian thus sets himself to follow Christ and learns more and more within the Church to think
like Him, to judge like Him, to act in conformity with His commandments, and to hope as He invites us to” (On
Catechesis in Our Time, Pope John Paul II, #20. Hereafter CT). “The definitive aim of catechesis is to put people not
only in touch but in communion, in intimacy, with Jesus Christ: “only He can lead us to the love of the Father in the
Spirit and make us share in the life of the Holy Trinity” (CT, #5).
1. How are catechists to teach in a way that leads children and young people into communion with Jesus Christ?
Sacred Scripture is the driving force of all catechesis. The students need to know that the teachings are based
upon God’s Word. In addition, when the Word of God is spoken, grace is given. We need grace in order to
receive Jesus’ teaching. The General Directory for Catechesis (GDC), (a universal Church document
promulgated by Pope John Paul II in 1997) tells us that a primary place to encounter Jesus is through the Sacred
Scriptures. The Bible transmits “the very word of God...” [For this reason the Church desires that] “catechesis
should be an authentic introduction to lectio divina (Divine Readings),” which is a way of meditating upon
Scripture and applying it to one’s life (GDC #127). “Thy Word is a lamp to my feet and a light to my path.”
(Psalm 119:105). 2. An overview of Salvation History is to be presented at the beginning of each grade. Each and every teaching of
the Faith that follows should be presented in light of this Story of God’s Plan for us (GDC #128). This gives
students the context for all the content of our catechesis. See Overview p. 19-20 and Creed, p. 6, number 1. 3. The doctrinal content of our catechesis is found in the Catechism of the Catholic Church, which is the “sure norm
for teaching the Faith.” (GDC #121) All Catholic School administrators, teachers, DRE’s, CRE’s, catechists and
Youth Ministers should regularly utilize the Catechism when teaching the Faith (GDC, #121). 4. Holiness of life is essential in order for the catechist’s teaching to bring others into intimacy with Jesus Christ.
Teachers must first and foremost be witnesses. “Modern man listens more willingly to witnesses than to
teachers, and if he does listen to teachers, it is because they are witnesses” (Evangelization in the Modern World,
Pope Paul VI, #41)....
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- Fall '13