A New Model for Catechesis

Yesterday I attended workshop in our diocese entitled “The Challenge of Catechesis Today”  given by Bishop Frank Caggiano (Auxillary Bishop of Brooklyn).  Last fall the New York State Catholic Bishops released a new document called “The Catechetical Leader in the Third Millennium.”  I just want to share a couple of highlights with you.

Catechesis is the education for us to learn about our faith.  We live in a world of high-tech communications.  As a Church, we need to make use of technology to reach out to people, whether it be by texting, websites, blogs, social media, or any other means.  This is the way our young people today communicate.  If we wish to reach them, we need to “go” where they are at.  The Internet is a big part of “where they are at.”

I want to share with you two terms he used.  The first is “Truth” with a capital “T”.  Today there are people who feel there is no absolute truth when it comes to religion, ethics, or morality. Both Pope Benedict XVI and his predecessor have spoken of this as the danger of relativism.  As Catholics we believe there is.  The Truth (with a capital T) comes from God.  This Truth does not change.  It is God who determines what is right or wrong.  The goal of catechesis is to help us all know that truth.

The second term is “love”.  He defined love in a way I had not heard before.  He said love is effectively willing the good of the other.  Do we care about the other enough to work for their good?

Bishop Caggiano also spoke of evangelization.  When we think of evangelization, we often think of people who don’t go to church.  Evangelization does call us to reach out to the people we know who don’t go to church but it begins with us.  We need to learn more about our own faith so that we can better share it with others.


Fr. Jeff

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