Saturday, September 08, 2007

Christian Initiation as a Process for Becoming a Christian Faithful

The Website of the European Bishops' Conference makes available a series of papers presented at the 2006 CCEE meetings on "Of Catechesis". Even if the focus is on catechesis in a European context, there is much in these presentations that applies universally or can stimulate reflection in other parts of the world. I list some of these presentations below and provide excerpts from each of them to highlight their content.
  • Essential Elements in the Process of Christian Initiation by Sr. Judit Fogassy

    Catechesis occurs in stages that deal with initial and on-going conversion. Since its aim is to bring one into the fullness of relationship with Jesus, - as stated above - it is closely linked to the Catechumenate, which is a process of initiation into this life with the Lord and His community. This process contains certain definitive steps and elements which derive their meaning from the goal of initiation.

  • The Practice of Adult Catechumenate in a Cultural and Religious Pluralism by Béatrice Blazy

    The fact of becoming Christians cannot be perceived as something external to human beings. The catechumenate is defined as a space and time in which the Word of God re-echoes, in which human ambition is fulfilled. Actually, no catechumenal process can take place without considering the cultural factors which influence each catechumen.

  • The Experimentation of a Catechumenal Itinerary for Children-Youth in the Parish of Mattarello (Trent) by Don Antonio Brugnara
    This area is increasingly growing in the number of people who have weak connections to the church, who often do not attend mass or only occasionally receive the Eucharist. Above all, there is a lack of consistent Catholic formation within the family milieu, despite a widespread demand to receive the sacraments...All of this has shown the urgent need to review the Christian Initiation process in the parish and has spurred the decision to begin an experiment in the catechumenal process for youth...
  • The Need for Christian Communities in the Process of Christian Initiation by Christophe Dufour, Bishop of Limoges

    The cultural context in which we live nowadays in France – and more generally in Europe – prompts us to become aware once again of the vital link existing between catechesis and community and of some convictions which have strongly being stated in the General Directory for Catechesis: «Catechetical pedagogy will be effective to the extent that the Christian community becomes a point of concrete reference for the faith journey of individuals. This happens if the community is proposed as a source, locus and means of catechesis» (GDC 158).

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