Celebrating Those Who Provide Religious Education

Published on Sep 12th, 2014 by Austin Keith | 0

In the U.S., Catechetical Sunday is celebrated on the third Sunday of every September, as a way to recognize and honor catechists – religious education teachers which may include RCIA teams, adult faith formation leaders, and youth ministers.

This year, the celebration – “Teaching about God’s Gift of Forgiveness,” is slated for Sept. 21.

The idea of establishing a catechetical day in parishes was the work of Saint Pope Pius X and Pope Pius XI. In 1935, the Sacred Congregation for the Clergy (formerly the Congregation of the Council), issued Provido sane consilio (On the Better Care and Promotion of Catechetical Education) suggesting that every parish devote a day for the celebration.

More recently, Saint Pope John Paul II, in his encyclical, Redemptoris Missio said, “Among the laity who become evangelizers, catechists have a place of honor … Catechists are among those who have received Christ’s command to ‘go and teach all nations.’”

Parishes are asked to offer a special sermon on the importance of catechetical instruction, have available books and pamphlets and other resources on Catholic teachings, and even a hold a special collection to promote the work of catechists. Also, parents, as the primary educators of their children’s faith, are encouraged to instruct them in the Catholic faith at home or send them to parish religious education classes.

In the General Directory for Catechesis (#225), the presbyterate, and particularly, the parish priest, is asked to “foster a sense of common responsibility for catechesis in the Christian community, a task that involves all, and a recognition and appreciation for catechists and their mission.”

Catechetical Sunday does just that.

Click here, for more information on Catechetical Sunday and for resources in both English and Spanish.

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