Go, therefore, and make disciples of all nations, baptizing them in the name of the Father, and of the Son, and of the holy Spirit, teaching them to observe all that I have commanded you. And behold, I am with you always, until the end of the age (Mt. 19-20)
“Great Commission” to the nascent Church has echoed down to each generation the Catechists in particular embrace responsibility to teach the fullness of the faith and to invite others into the . The catechist does not carry out this mission alone, however; we know that in this sacred ecclesial activity of passing on the teaching of Christ, the Lord Jesus himself is present and at work. In catechesis, not only do we communicate his teaching, but he also meets us in a profound, divine encounter. How is this so? I’d like to suggest ways the catechetical encounter with Christ unfolds.
First, substantial experiences of prayer within catechesis become possibilities for genuine contact with God. Coming face-to-face with God not only happens when we go on retreat, a prayer group, participate in the sacraments, or give of to another in need. Such a meeting also happens in the catechetical setting anytime prayer from the heart is cultivated. Five or even ten minutes of quality prayer may be the most important moments of a catechesis. It becomes an experience of hearing and responding to Christ who “stands at the door and knocks” (cf. Rev. 3:20).
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Second, . Pope John Paul II identified the catechist so intimately with Divine Teacher and the content of catechesis so closely with the Mystery of Christ “in catechesis it is Christ, the Incarnate Word and Son of God, who is taught – everything else is taught with reference to Him – and it is Christ alone who teaches – anyone else teaches to the extent that he is Christ’s spokesman, enabling Christ to teach with his lips.” . that. e ,
And so, in and through the catechetical act, a transformative encounter with Christ is always possible. Catechesis then becomes an opportunity for deep conversion of mind and heart, intellect, and will. such a conversion of those being catechized is integral to the actualization of the New Evangelization.
Franciscan University launches The Catechetical Review, hope that it assists catechetical leaders spiritually, academically, and pastorally as they fulfill their great commission. The Catechetical Review will provide penetrating reflections from experts all over the world on issues impacting the vital work of communicating the Good News, for the sake of better equipping catechists to reach today’s generation with the saving truth of Christ our Lord.
We look forward to working with you, hearing from you, and serving you in this exciting new endeavor.
 John Paul II, Catechesi Tradendaeart. 6.
Editor of The Catechetical Review, Dr. James Pauley is associate professor of Theology and Catechetics and has served on the Theology faculty at Franciscan University of Steubenville since 2002. He received his Doctorate in Sacred Theology from the Liturgical Institute at Mundelein Seminary/the University of St. Mary of the Lakein May of 2014. His doctoral research was focused on the twentieth century history of the renewal of liturgy and catechesis and the proposal of principles for the revitalization of liturgical catechesis in contemporary ecclesial life. He is a frequent speaker in parishes and dioceses nationwide.
This article was originally on page 5 of the printed edition.