Home > Catechism (CCC), Ministerial Methods, Pope > CCD + catechesis crisis

CCD + catechesis crisis

Ministry Class @ St John Vianney College Seminary, Miami, FLMINISTERIAL PRACTICUM – (Fr Michael) — since the weather was so nice, we had class outside in the grass and discussed the current state of catechesis in the Catholic Church.  Whether you call it CCD or Religious Education or Christian Formation, it’s essentially teaching the Catholic faith to adults or children (either in private Catholic Schools or weekly evening for public schoolers).  We started by sharing, comparing & contrasting our own experiences in CCD verses private Catholic Schools.  We highlighted the good and bad areas that need work, including better textbooks, better catechist training, more challenging truth (and less warm & fuzzy emotion-only faith), and other issues.

I can identify with many of these issues, especially since I’ve been a Pre-Confirmation catechist for (mostly) 7th graders for about the last 15 years.  Even when a catechist commits lots of time, effort & prayer to present catechist attractively, relevantly and challengingly, frustration stiffle your efforts that perpetuates generation to generation producing ignorant Catholics with a childish knowledge of their Catholic faith.  Improvements are coming … through the Church … through a committed laity … through our perseverence … to share the Gospel message of Christ in words and lessons and, most importantly, a living witness in “me”, in order to fullfill my role and awaken all I encounter.

Despite the obstacles and frustrations, I recall a quote from Pope John Paul II about teaching the faith to young people that illustrated my approach to catechesis and youth ministry through the years.  [I’m still looking for the exact quote and will post here … check back]  

[related resource: CATECHESI TRADENDAE (On Catechesis In Our Time) 1979 by Pope John Paul II]

  1. William
    February 28, 2008 at 1:02 pm

    The points about a catechetical crisis is true, however there has been a great deal of progress in catechesis over the last 10 years. The problem I see as I work in the parish (I’m a DRE) is that there is little accountability in parish Religious Education Programs. Our parish is very unique (and despised by some) because we make all our children in our Religious Education Program sign-in at Mass and we do our best to follow through with what we expect (our policies).

    I believe accountability is easier in a Catholic School setting, but if we are going to make a concrete difference then we are going to have to make more of a commitment in our Religious Education Programs to follow through with what we ask students (and of course parents) to do in our programs.

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