Analysing Catechesis in England and Wales

The long-awaited Directory for Catechesis was published by the Vatican on 23 March 2020 presenting the local church with the opportunity to re-examine the role of catechesis in today’s world.

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The Bishops’ Conference’s Catechesis Committee has been reflecting on the directory and what it offers to the Catholic Church in England and Wales.

Analysis phase

One of the directives issued by the Holy See on its publication was that each Bishops’ Conference should analyse the “situation of catechesis in its territory” with a view to producing “catechetical guidelines and tools to help the local Church to continue to develop catechetical materials – including the preparation of a local catechism.”

Bishop David Evans, an auxiliary Bishop for the Archdiocese of Birmingham, is Chair of the Catechesis Committee. Ahead of a June 2021 meeting with diocesan catechetical advisors, the committee is starting this initial ‘analysis phase’ to assess catechetical formation across England and Wales.

It will look closely at the formation process for catechists, and those involved in catechesis, with a view to understanding the local challenges and how better to support them in this important work. The fundamental link between Evangelisation and Catechesis will also be examined.

“The audit of catechists and programmes of catechesis that each Diocese is carrying out is the essential first step in the implementation of the new Directory for Catechesis,” says Bishop Evans. “This significant document gives fresh impetus to the Church’s work of catechesis. It gives a new prominence to the catechist’s role and presents the need for a continuing engagement with our digital culture, so that all those called by Jesus to know God through him may be accompanied on their journey towards the fulness of life.”