Catechetical Methodology: Teaching Attractively

Authored by Marianne Cuthbertson in Issue #31.4 of The Sower

‘Attractiveness’ is one of the keys of the pedagogy of the faith that Petroc Willey, Barbara Morgan and Pierre de Cointet write of in The Catechism of the Catholic Church and the Craft of Catechesis. In this work we are helped to see how essential this characteristic is considered to be by the Church. To encapsulate this point the Catechism of the Catholic Church has, on the front cover of every edition, the image of a shepherd playing panpipes to attract and comfort the sheep at his feet. Let us look at how to be attentive to the importance of this key in practice.

God himself is, of course, completely beautiful, utterly attractive. Catechesis is about God and therefore it is logical to think that in order to be true to the nature of God, beauty should in some way be integral to catechesis. Catechesis should be attractive, should attract. This raises many questions. What attracts people? What is a Catholic understanding of beauty? When we use the word ‘beauty’ in relation to catechesis, we need to be aware of both the physical resources we are using and, also, spiritual beauty, which has an attraction entirely its own. There can be spiritual beauty even in the midst of ugly physical surroundings. In this sense, we say, faith is beautiful, or, trust is beautiful. The beauty of trust in God can appear even in the most dismal and upsetting of surroundings.

The rest of this online article is available for current subscribers.

Start your subscription today!

This article is from The Sower and may be copied for catechetical purposes only. It may not be reprinted in another published work without the permission of Maryvale Institute. Contact

Articles from the Most Recent Issue

Editor's Reflections: Kerygmatic Catechesis and the New Directory
By Dr. James Pauley
Free The much-anticipated Directory for Catechesis is finally here! So many of us involved in the work of catechetical renewal have eagerly awaited its publication. This directory is the third of its kind, following 1971 and 1997 directories that each proposed a vision for catechesis intended to prepare Catholics to live in the modern world as well-... Read more
An Invitation to a Faithful, Dynamic Renewal of Catechesis
By Jem Sullivan
Free This article explores c hapters 1-2 of the new Directory for Catechesis. The publication of a Directory for Catechesis by the Pontifical Council for the Promotion of the New Evangelization could not have arrived at a more providential moment as the universal Church seeks a renewal of Christian faith in local churches struggling through the effects... Read more
Becoming Windows for the Light of the Living God
By Brad Bursa
This article explores chapters 3-4 of the Directory for Catechesis. O ne could liken c hapters t hree (The Catechist) and f our (The Formation of Catechists) of the new Directory for Catechesis to a meditation on windows and how they are made. Identity and Vocation of the Catechist In the early Church, those who followed the Way were often called... Read more


Watch Tutorial Videos

We've put together several quick and easy tutorial videos to show you how to use this website.

Watch Now