Catholic school teachers, parish catechists, and coordinators of youth ministry (to name a few) are all concerned with catechizing teenagers. Unfortunately, these ministries often are not coordinated with each other. Ten years ago, leadership from the National Catholic Educational Association, the National Conference of Catechetical Leadership, and the National Federation of Catholic Youth Ministry, with representation from the USCCB, came together to form the Partnership for Adolescent Catechesis (PAC). One of the goals of this group was to create a shared vision and language for all of those who are involved catechizing adolescents, regardless of the setting. The fruit of that partnership is the recently published document, The Joy of Adolescent Catechesis.
I was honored to be one of the primary writers along with Miriam Hidalgo, President of the Federation for Hispanic Catechesis. We had a writing team that represented people from across the country, various ethnicities, and different catechetical fields. Knowing that Latino young people are now the largest group of Catholic teenagers in the US, we were committed to making a document that was multi-cultural at its foundation, not just something that would be “translated” at the end.
The Joy of Adolescent Catechesis was written to inspire, educate, and challenge those who pass the faith on to young people. For those without a background in catechesis, it is hoped that this document could be an overview of the mission and goals of that ministry. For those more familiar with adolescent catechesis, the document endeavors to invigorate that ministry with a Christ-centered vision that empowers catechists to help young people to become missionary disciples.