As the National Directory for Catechesis reminds us that “Catechesis is that particular form of the ministry of the word which matures initial conversion to make it into a living, explicit and fruitful confession of faith.”
For this reason, during the month of September in many parishes around the United States, the Church will celebrate the 2018 Catechetical Sunday and the call to many disciples who have answered his call in service to his word. The catechetical Sunday, celebrated this year on Sept. 16, provides different opportunities for the community of believers to reflect on the importance of the ministry of catechesis especially by celebrating and sending every person who will be catechizing in the name of the church.
The theme for this year’s Catechetical Sunday is “Enlisting Witnesses for Jesus Christ.” The purpose for this year, based on the theme, will be to address the great need for catechetical leaders to get involved in the trenches of a diverse culture bringing the Gospel of Jesus Christ to all that are leaving their Catholic faith. Pope Francis, in his Apostolic Exhortation Evangelii Gaudium, begins by saying “The joy of the gospel fills the hearts and lives of all who encounter Jesus.” Therefore, the joy one receives with the call surpasses any turbulence on the journey. What each catechist receives from the Lord is not just a call, but there is a promise of joy for all who minister in the name of Jesus Christ.
Bishop Robert Barron, in his reflection on the 2018 Catechetical Sunday, reminds us that we are living in a secularized society that is pushing Christianity to the margins, disconnecting it from Jesus Christ and the Church. Today is more important than ever for all catechists to be loud and clear in the importance of embracing Jesus Christ through the Gospel, utilizing every method possible to show God’s love to others.
The 2018 Catechetical Sunday invites all catechists to come forward and renew their commitment to the Gospel of Jesus Christ and to witness the graces received by the merciful Lord. The Church will also rejoice with all the catechists coming forward from the community to catechize children, youth, adults and all who are in the peripheries.
Following the theme of the Catechetical Sunday, the local church will also come together to celebrate the hope in our Lord Jesus Christ, in a Faith Formation Conference. This Faith-filled event will motivate and renew the members of the different ministries from all our communities. The Theme of the Conference will be “Beacons of Hope” the event will provide opportunities for formation, praise and worship, healing, and delving into the mysteries of our faith through art and creativity. For more information and to register, please visit us at http://www.catecheticalsb.org
Teresa Rocha is the Low Desert and Hemet Vicariate Coordinator for the Diocesan Office of Catechetical Ministry.