ADULT Parish Catechesis Is Primary
“….at the heart of catechesis we find, in essence, a Person, the Person of Jesus of Nazareth, Accordingly, the definitive aim of catechesis is to put people not only in touch but in communion, in intimacy, with Jesus Christ: only He can lead us to the love of the Father in the Spirit and make us share in the life of the Holy Trinity” (CT 5).
Everyone who is baptised is called to holiness – a call to be transformed in Christ, it is Jesus who is preparing us to meet the Father, holiness is not an option, it is a necessity for heaven, “become perfect as your heavenly Father is perfect”(Mt 5:48). John Paul II restates the teaching of Vatican II, holiness is for all in the Church-clergy, religious and the laity. (cf LG 39, NMI 30). It is important that we understand this focus for our faith formation.
The goal of catechesis is to assist us to live our call to holiness by motivating us to embrace the truth of Christ’s revelation and the wisdom of the Church’s teaching. Holiness is the supernatural transformation of the heart, to be full of love, fulfilling the two great commandments, firstly to love God and secondly to love our neighbour. True love, compassion and pastoral practice must be based on right doctrine. “It is useless to play off orthopraxis (right actions) against orthodoxy (right beliefs): Christianity is inseparably both.”(CT 22) Unsound theology, however, leads to unsound practices. Our stability of union with God enables us to love better and to do the will of the Father; the call to holiness must be the basis of every pastoral plan. (cf NMI 30)
The Church teaches that a basic knowledge of our faith is a pressing need of every age. The Church has asked that an emphasis be placed on adult catechesis in our parishes (cf. GDC 171-176). Catechesis of adults is the principal form of catechesis because it is “addressed to the persons who have the greatest responsibility and the capacity to live the Christian message in its fully developed form” (CT 43). Adults govern the world that youth live in and they must be witnesses and role models. Catechesis is gravely insufficient if it is stopped in the adolescent years. (cf. CT 43) “Catechesis proves no less necessary for adults” (CT 43).
In light of the Church’s wisdom, our aim is to continue to establish adult catechesis as the primary focus in our parish catechesis. This catechesis must not be limited to liturgy and homilies, but a systematic effort to grow in understanding of the entire Deposit of the Faith as taught by the Church’s Magisterium.
The formation of catechists who are delegated by the parish priest to pass on the faith in the RCIA and in the various sacramental programmes is a major priority and in consequence the Echoes programme, produced by the Maryvale Institute of Theology as an initial formation for catechists, is run in the parish every year. All parishioners, post-Confirmation, are welcome to join this course for their own formation.
Each year the parish runs an additional programme which seeks to provide further development in the faith for all adults utilising the resources produced by Maryvale and the Catholic Truth Society. Every adult course is underpinned by prayer, the universal call to holiness and concludes with a day retreat.
Please return to this page for details of current courses.