The word “Catechetical” is a difficult word to spell, pronounce and understand. While it may be familiar to many involved in leadership roles in the Church, the “average Catholic” has little understanding of the word. “Catechetical” and “Catechesis” refers to teaching our Catholic faith. We are talking about faith formation and religious education for children, youth and adults.
About Catechetical Sunday
Catechetical Sunday is a wonderful opportunity to reflect upon the role that each person plays, by virtue of Baptism, in handing on the faith and being a witness to the Gospel. It is an opportunity for all to rededicate themselves to this mission as a community of faith.
Catechetical Sunday 2013 – “Open the Door of Faith”
This year, the Church will celebrate Catechetical Sunday on September 15, 2013, and will focus on the theme "Open the Door of Faith." Those whom the community has designated to serve as catechists will be called forth to be commissioned for their ministry. Catechetical Sunday is a wonderful opportunity to reflect on the role that each person plays, by virtue of Baptism, in handing on the faith and being a witness to the Gospel. Catechetical Sunday is an opportunity for all to rededicate themselves to this mission as a community of faith.
Resources for Catechetical Sunday and the Year
The USCCB’s Committee on Evangelization and Catechesis has prepared a variety of materials associated with the Catechetical Sunday theme, as well as the closing months of the Year of Faith. The resources will assist parishes in celebrating Catechetical Sunday not only in September, but also throughout the 2013-2014 year. These materials are provided free of charge.
While most of the resources – resources for teaching, a catechist in-service, background notes, parish resources/bulletin inserts, theological reflection, various articles, a family retreat and liturgy resources – are available for free from their website (click here), as in past years, USCCB Publishing will sell printed copies of prayer cards, family commitment cards, posters and certificates (click here for ordering information).
The National Conference for Catechetical Leadership (NCCL) also has resources for Catechetical Sunday which you may review by clicking here.
Celebrating Catechetical Sunday
We certainly hope that all parishes would be doing something to mark Catechetical Sunday this year and recognize the women and men who give of their time and talents to share their faith with the young (and old) of their parish communities. As Bishop Donald Wuerl wrote back in 2006 regarding the USCCB’s resources for Catechetical Sunday, “In order to perform their ministry well, catechists need support all year long, not just on Catechetical Sunday. So these materials also provide additional resources for ongoing support and development of catechists throughout the year. Please use these resources to nurture and support your catechists!”
Prayer for Catechists
O God, our Heavenly Father, you have given us the gift of these catechists to be heralds of the Gospel to our parish family. We lift them up to you in thanksgiving and intercede for them concerning their hopes and needs.
May we be attentive to the presence of your Word in them, a Word that lifts up and affirms, calls forth and challenges, is compassionate and consoles.
We pray that our parish family will always be blessed with those who have responded to the call to share in Christ’s prophetic mission as catechists. May we too be open to the universal call to service that Christ addresses to all of his disciples, contributing our gifts to the communion of faith, the Church.
We ask this in Jesus’ name.
Catechetical Sunday 2014
Next year Catechetical Sunday, which is celebrated annually on the third Sunday in September in parishes across the United States, will fall on the weekend of September 20-21, 2014. The theme of 2014’s Catechetical Sunday is “Teaching about God's Gift of Forgiveness.”