The Catechetical Review - Communicating Christ for a New Evangelization

Children's Catechesis: The Meeting of Two Great Mysteries

Authored by Sr. Mary Michael Fox in Issue #1.2 of Catechetical Review
In December my niece gave birth to a beautiful girl, Noelle Rose! Her arrival so close to Christmas provided a poignant opportunity to reflect anew on the mystery, the wonder, the gift of the child! One Child was given to the world and destined to be the salvation of all. The other was given to my niece and destined to receive that salvation. The powerful link between the two is grace. Yet, the practical link between them remains the work of catechesis! The topic of children’s catechesis can evoke passionate responses. Some scornfully recall the “content-less” catechesis that beleaguered the Church after Vatican II when many children never even heard the teachings of the Faith much less committed them to memory. Others reproach the pre-Conciliar catechesis where the primary goal was a mental mastery of the Catechism. (We might be tempted to ask whether this method of “indoctrination” might not be the better alternative to the current praxis of making “Fruit-Loops rosaries” or “cotton ball sheep.”) If we are honest, children’s catechesis has been struggling to find an appropriate praxis since the Middle Ages! Before we can rightly consider the how (methodology) or even the what (content), we should first give serious consideration to the WHO! In the Catechesis of the Good Shepherd (CGS)[1] we recognize that children’s catechesis is the meeting of two great mysteries: the mystery of God and the mystery of the child. Though I think the CGS has a particularly unique praxis for fostering this meeting, the insight is not exclusively ours. The Church clearly teaches that the primary task of catechesis is to “help a person to encounter God.”[2] For this reason, the content and method of catechesis (and catechist too) must be seen as “servants” of this encounter. Meaning, our preoccupation should not be with catechetical content and method as goals in themselves but only as they serve the goal: inviting the child to intimacy with Christ.[3] The evaluative question then regarding content and method is this: “How does this facilitate the ‘dialogue of salvation’ between God and the child?”

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

Start your subscription today!


This article is from The Catechetical Review (Online Edition ISSN 2379-6324) and may be copied for catechetical purposes only. It may not be reprinted in another published work without the permission of The Catechetical Review by contacting editor@catechetics.com

Articles from the Most Recent Issue

Editor’s Reflections: The Liturgical Life – A Source of Healing
By Dr. James Pauley
Free “The kingdom of heaven may be likened to a man who sowed good seed in his field. While everyone was asleep his enemy came and sowed weeds all through the wheat, and then went off” (Mt 13:24–25). Our Lord’s imagery helps us make sense of difficult and painful situations existing within the Church. He is describing, afterall, the “kingdom of God.”... Read more
Advent at Home: Five Practices for Entering into the Season
By Brad Bursa
Free Most Catholic parents are so far removed from a rich Catholic culture that living a liturgical season—let alone the liturgical year—can seem impossible. Dr. Tracey Rowland, professor at the University of Notre Dame Australia, describes the scene by saying that young Catholics “find themselves in a situation where they have rarely experienced a... Read more
Principles for Celebrating the Liturgical Year
By Fr. Eusebius Martis, OSB
For Christians, the celebration of the mystery of Christ is, on the one hand, formative and, on the other, an opportunity to offer praise and thanksgiving. This is especially true for Catholics because the events of our salvation in Christ are recalled daily, weekly, seasonally, and annually. The awareness of the liturgical cycle may not be... Read more

Pages

Watch Tutorial Videos

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

Watch Now