On Catechetical Sunday, as catechists are formally commissioned and blessed in their ministry of teaching the Word of God and the truths of our faith, the Church calls on all members of the community to rededicate themselves to the mission of being missionary disciples. Each person in the community has the extraordinary opportunity to reflect on his or her role in sharing the Good News of the Gospel. This year’s Catechetical Sunday will be on September 17, under the theme Living as Missionary Disciples.

The Church especially calls attention to the role of the family, particularly parents, in preparing children to grow in God’s love and learn about the faith. Parents are the first catechists and represent the immediate models of faith in their children’s lives. On Catechetical Sunday, parents and the entire community join together to support our children’s catechesis and accompany them on their journey in joyful and meaningful ways.

The V Encuentro reminds us that young people are the future of our faith communities; they are the leaders of the next generation. Catechesis requires a communal effort, and we need to nurture these new leaders through our own individual roles, whether as a parent, a catechist, or a parishioner. Catechesis is the source of the trust, love, and service that our young people will bring back to the community as they become missionary disciples. Being a disciple is, after all, what Pope Francis has called us to do. Our service and the act of believing allow the joy of the faith to shine through.

As a growing percentage of the Church is Hispanic / Latino, an increased emphasis is being placed on the catechesis of children and families who belong to shared parishes. It is crucial for all of us who work in Hispanic / Latino ministries, shared parishes, and multicultural-responsive Catholic organizations to use this time of discernment to strengthen on catechetical ministry so that we might effectively serve all of God’s people.

If you’re looking for resources to assist you or your catechists, please take a moment to review these helpful materials. In addition, Loyola Press will offer a Family Catechesis program this fall.

Sacramental preparation for children

The Catechist’s Toolbox: Teaching tips for Catechists