The Catechetical Review - Communicating Christ for a New Evangelization

Priorities and Practical Strategies for Diocesan Catechetical Leaders

Authored by Marie Powell & Michael Steir in Issue #35.3 of The Sower
The following article is an abridged text from a webinar created by the authors to orient new diocesan educational and catechetical leaders to principles for effective leadership. While the first part of the webinar gives an overview of the key ecclesial documents and focuses on evangelization, catechesis and inculturation, we highlight here the second part explaining the seven keys to diocesan leadership. These are particularly helpful to our readers who are involved in diocesan leadership positions but are also more widely applicable. The link for entire webinar is available for download on the USCCB’s website found at the end of this article. We thank the authors for sharing these insights with readers of The Sower. On April 17, 2008, during his apostolic visit to the United States, Pope Benedict XVI gave an address to Catholic educators at The Catholic University of America. In very direct language the Holy Father laid out a vision of a Catholic educational institution. Early in his address he proclaimed that education is integral to the mission of the Church to proclaim the Good News. First and foremost, every Catholic institution is a place to encounter the living God who reveals his transforming love and truth in Jesus Christ. As diocesan leaders consider the goals and achievements of their work, doing an evaluation of whether formational programs in our administrative care actually proclaim the Good News and cause students, teachers, and families to encounter Christ is an essential starting point. As Pope Benedict emphasized, Catholic identity is a question of conviction. He urged Catholic educators to reflect on whether our Catholic institutions and programs motivate people to commit themselves entirely to God, have tangible expressions of Faith, and give fervent expressions to Faith through liturgy, sacraments, prayers, acts of charity, concern for justice, and respect for God’s creation. The vision of Catholic education the Holy Father described can assist diocesan catechetical or school leaders to focus on goals for their work. In this article, we shall examine seven key areas of leadership, which encompass most, if not all, of the roles of diocesan catechetical leaders. These administrative areas are imbedded in the General Directory for Catechesis, the U.S. National Directory for Catechesis and Our Hearts Were Burning Within Us. The seven diocesan leadership areas we will address are: planning, policies and guidelines, coordination, communications, research, personnel, and evaluation.

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: 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


Watch Tutorial Videos

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

Watch Now