Bishops launch new effort to transmit faith to younger generations

The Institute on Catechism seeks to revive catechesis for 21st century American society.

Much has changed in the 30 years since the Catechism of the Catholic Church was published. When this big volume was published, people read it like a book. Posting online was barely heard and sharing the faith on social media was an unheard of concept.

Now the bishops of the United States are launching a new way to transmit the faith to younger generations – at a time when decreasing percentages of young people are interested in any religion.

The initiative, called the Institute on Catechism, “recognizes that the transmission of the faith is no longer in a Catholic culture but in a secular culture hostile to the Christian faith,” according to Bishop Frank Caggiano, president of the subcommission. on catechesis. of the United States Conference of Catholic Bishops (USCCB).

In a interview with Catholic News ServiceBishop Caggiano said the mandate of the institute is to “create multiple opportunities where a young person can encounter Christ on an ongoing basis” and that “Church leaders and their parents accompany them.”

This involves a “more focused effort to engage young people in the Church and provide them with role models with diocesan and parish resources to facilitate this,” the CNS explained. “One of the hopes is that these young people will in turn invigorate the Church.”

In addition, catechetical material editors and catechetical content developers will work with the catechetical subcommittee meet the modern challenges of teaching the faith.

The Catechism Institute will also host an annual in-person training conference and retreat for diocesan catechetic leaders.

In a

interview with EWTN

Caggiano called the Institute a “national collaboration that will provide ongoing support and training and an annual in-person gathering of bishops, catechetical leaders in their own dioceses, Catholic publishers and those who produce the resources, in order that we can together operationalize and make real the new vision. evangelizing catechesisor as Directory for Catechesis [published in 2020] Talk about, charismatic catechesis. It is to recognize that to transmit the faith it is first necessary to evangelize the hearts so that they encounter Christ several times a day, and then the fire of their hearts burns, like the road to Emmaus, to know more about him, to love him and to serve him.

“The vision we are trying to bring to life will explore the truth, beauty and goodness of how we might unlock these potentials for anyone to encounter Christ, whether in a classroom, whether in recreation, whether in a moment of prayer, certainly during the celebration of the Holy Sacrifice of the Mass, which is the culmination of the real experience of the presence of Christ, where he touches us with the power of the Holy Spirit To open up all of these perspectives, so that a person can begin to feel that Jesus is not a historical figure (only); Jesus is my savior; Jesus is alive; He is with me right now. And then begin this discipleship process, accompaniment towards discipleship.

He said parents, catechists and the parish community are the “primary leaders who bring the accompaniment of faith and make it effective, make it real, make it personalized.” Sometimes the transmission of faith happens, he says, “in being interested and being a good sports coach to a young person and showing them a model of faith. This could sometimes be more convincing than what a parent may try to teach their son or daughter.


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