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National Directory for Catechesis
National Directory for Catechesis
After years of collaboration, study, and writing, The National Directory for Catechesis is now available. A companion to the General Directory for Catechesis (GDC), the National Directory for Catechesis builds on some of the core themes of the GDC, like catechesis's relationship to evangelization and worship, and provides practical tools for doing catechesis well. This is a "must-have" for anyone in catechesis or Catholic education-teachers, principals, directors, and coordinators of religious education and youth ministry, catechists, and students in the field.
"A term, concept, calling, and duty from the early days of Christianity, 'catechesis' (related to catechism) is the part of Catholicism concerned with 'education in the faith of children, young people, and adults which includes especially the teaching of Christian doctrine imparted...in an organic and systematic way, with a view to initiating the hearers into the fullness of Christian life.' The Second Vatican Council called for a renewal of catechesis in 1971. The 'Directory' provides guidance for this catechesis that is a central part of the Church's activity and aims at all times in all situations with all persons. Mostly for Catholic bishops and priests, the 'Directory' nonetheless does have particular sections for lay persons; and its general material on Catholic ideals and theological principles, organizations and procedures, and texts and other resources apply to anyone interested in catechesis, the lifeblood of Catholicism."
Henry Berry--The Midwest Book Review
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By: Philip Fischer, Review for Religious - July 1, 2005
"For fostering faith itself, the 'National Directory of Catechesis' can help; authoritative, clear, and practical, it will assist catechesis at every level."
By: Benet Exton, Catholic Exchange - August 2, 2005
"This national directory is a companion to the General Directory for Catechesis. The bishops have intended this directory to be a reference resource for those responsible for catechesis from the bishops on down to those on the local level. Those preparing for ordination would also be interested in this directory. The purposes of the directory as stated by the authors are; first, to provide fundamental theological and pastoral principles and how to apply these to the pastoral activity of catechesis; second, to provide guidelines for application of those principles; and third, to help with the content and methodologies of catechesis (p. 17).
This well-organized directory contains ten chapters, each subdivided, and a conclusion or summary is at the end of each chapter which is very helpful. There are several bibliographical footnotes and an index. Chapter one is an overview of the Church in the United States and its diversity. Chapter two discusses the tasks and proper role of catechesis. Chapters three and four discuss the sources of the Christian message and the methodology of presenting it. Chapter five discusses the role of liturgy, the Sacraments, and worship has in catechesis. Chapter six discusses the catechtical principles and guidelines needed for both personal and social moral formation. Chapter seven is about how to catechize the People of God with its diversity of ages, nationalities, races, and other aspects. Chapter eight's focus is for catechists. Chapter nine defines how to organize catechetical ministry. Chapter ten discusses the various resources for catechesis and how to evaluate them.
The national Directory for Catechesis is a Church document (which might be intimidating for some readers) full of information and material for meditation and prayer. All Catholics are called to evangelize or spread the Faith. This directory can be a helpful aid in this. It can also help us know more about our Faith and how to present it. This book of course is mainly for catechists who have the official ministry to catechize the People of God in whatever stage of life they are in. This directory has the approval of the U.S. bishops and of Rome."
By: Diana Raiche, National Catholic Educational Association - November 1, 2005
The expansion of the term catechetical leader is worth noting in the NDC. . . . A Catholic school superintendent by virtue of the catechetical responsibilities "is a diocesan catechetical leader." Since the Catholic school is a center for evangelization, the Catholic school principal is also a catechetical leader who "plays a crucial role in achieving the catechetical objectives of the parish." . . . With the emergence of the NDC, all catechetical leaders are asked to engage in some reflection. In music, harmony requires the combination of simultaneous musical notes that are created according to the structure, relation, and progress of chords. . . . The NDC calls our attention to elements in our work that can help effect a melodic symphony.
By: Arnold Rzepecki, Catholic Library World - January 11, 2006
"This is the long awaited companion volume to the General Directory for Catechesis. It builds on the original work and also serves as a reference point for the formation of catechists and the development of programs and resource.
The Introduction underlines the importance of this essential ministry of teaching the Gospel message and also outlines the renewal of catechetics called for by the Second Vatican Council. The book optimistically describes the current catechetical situation and the challenges to catechesis in our world today. The introduction closes with a statement of the Bishops' purposes for the Directory. The book goes on to provide information on the general character and diversity of U.S. culture and catechesis and evangelizaion.
The National Directory for Catechesis needs to be in every parish library and available to religious education directors and teachers in the United States.