Articles Under: Adult Faith Formation

Developing a Process “And they spoke the word of the Lord to him and to all that were in his house.” Acts 16:32 In part one we established the rationale for the wise process of the RCIA to move to the forefront of our endeavors for evangelization and catechesis of entire families. Taking guidance from the Directory for Catechesis , our focus is on a “catechesis of catechumenal inspiration for those who have received the sacraments of initiation but are not yet sufficiently evangelized or catechized or for those who desire to resume the journey of faith.” [1] This article... Read more
At the Last Supper, Jesus celebrated his farewell meal with his disciples, the celebration of his approaching death and resurrection. It was the culmination of the entire saving mission of the Lord, as well as the assurance of the power of that very same event being ever present in time and space. The bread, the Lord tells us, represented his body given for us, the wine his blood poured out for us. In celebrating this sacred meal with his disciples, Christ was giving to them, and to all mankind, what he had already offered to his heavenly Father, namely, his... Read more
On June 25, 2020, the Pontifical Council for the Promotion of the New Evangelization, headed by its president, His Excellency Archbishop Rino Fisichella, presented for the Universal Church a new Directory for Catechesis . The first directory, named the General Catechetical Directory , was issued on April 11, 1971, by the Sacred Congregation for the Clergy and approved by His Holiness St. Paul VI. The second directory, named the General Directory for Catechesis , was promulgated by the same Congregation on August 15, 1997, and was approved by Pope St. John Paul II. In 2013, His Holiness Pope Benedict XVI... Read more
Have you ever wondered why Jesus’ disciples found it so difficult to grasp his true identity, even after living so closely with him and directly witnessing his great works? For instance, he quells a furious storm purely by the power of his words, and—though certainly captured by a great sense of awe—they still question: “Who then is this, that even the wind and the sea obey him?” (Mk 4:41). Revealing, however, is Jesus’ response to Peter proclaiming him “the living Son of God”: “Blessed are you, Simon son of Jonah! For flesh and blood has not revealed this to you,... Read more
St. Paul did his homework carefully before proclaiming Christ to the Athenians. It paid off. In Acts 17, we find St. Paul at the Areopagus preaching about the resurrection of the dead (we will hear this reading during the sixth week of Easter Season, Wednesday, May 12) and introducing God as He in whom “we live and move and have our being” (Acts 17:28). This verse probably sounds familiar. Indeed, it is prayed at Mass in Eucharist Prayer I. But there’s an interesting back story to this particular phrase—it is not originally from St. Paul. In fact, he borrowed it... Read more
I like to say that studying Judaism made me Catholic. Many years ago, I was a zealous, anti-Catholic evangelical Christian living in Jerusalem and active in the Messianic Jewish movement (the movement of Jews who believe in Jesus). Messianic believers are eager to rediscover the Jewish Jesus and the Jewish practices of the Early Church before it became tainted and compromised—so they say—with gentile beliefs and practices. Like my Messianic Jewish friends, I accepted as the foundation of my faith the principle of sola scriptura —the great theological pillar of the Reformation positing that the Bible is our only and... Read more
It is not a secret that knowledge of the faith continues to decline. It is tempting to insist simply upon teaching more doctrine, but this overlooks a more fundamental problem. What is catechesis really about? It is not simply knowledge of the faith but knowledge of the living God, a knowledge that includes and goes beyond simply the intellect, as it must include a complete transformation of life. We are not simply missing knowledge of the faith but the entire structure of life and culture that should undergird and support this knowledge. The Cultural Foundation for Catechesis Grace builds upon... Read more
Western Culture needs renewal. This task of ennobling culture is vast indeed, and requires each of us to be a part of it. There are no sidelines or bystanders. It has been said that “Culture is the root of politics, and religion is the root of culture.” [i] To go a step further, religion rests upon the worship of God, and the Eucharist is at the center of true worship. Therefore, the task of ennobling culture requires ennobling religion and, correspondingly, ennobling worship, at the center of which we find the living God present in the Eucharist. Christian disciples must... Read more
In his encyclical letter Redemptoris Missio , John Paul II makes the claim that “since culture is a human creation and is therefore marked by sin, it too needs to be ‘healed, ennobled and perfected.’” [1] The Intellectual Backstory Like many statements in ecclesial documents, one needs to know the intellectual history behind the statement above—the “backstory” as it were. Here part of the backstory is the Romantic-era approach to the subject of culture, including the idea that every national group has its own culture and that each and every national culture is equally of value. In other words, it... Read more
Many readers of this journal are familiar with how John Paul II describes the definitive aim of catechesis. Our objective as teachers of the faith is to lead those we teach into communion, into real intimacy, with Jesus Christ. [1] He is not only to be our model and example. He is not merely our brother and friend. And he is not only our High Priest and Divine Teacher, revealing to us the right way to see reality and live within it. These are some of the important contours of our relationship with him, but there is more. Frank Sheed,... Read more