Office of Catechesis Fosters All Forms of Religious Education

The Greco Institute has moved under the Office of Catechesis

The word ‘catechesis’ means to echo and comes directly from scripture: Christ commissioned his apostles to go into the world and proclaim the gospel to every creature.  Christ taught His apostles what He received from His Father, “What I heard from Him I tell the world.” (Jn 8:26)   The apostles, in turn, echoed this divine word with perfect faith.  This “echo” of the Word of God is catechesis (NDC 15.)  Second only to the Mass, Catechesis is the most important ministry of our church.

With our baptism, we are all called to be echo-ers of the Word of God. The echo/catechesis is not aimed solely at those preparing for Sacraments or children in PSR (Parish School of Religion) and Catholic Schools. It is a gift and responsibility that continues for all of our earthly lives. In April, Bishop Duca re-visioned the Office of Catechesis, creating an umbrella of lifelong catechesis. Under this umbrella is faith formation for all ages: sacramental formation (baptism, First Eucharist and Reconciliation, Confirmation), Greco Institute/Adult Faith Formation, PSR, and formation for Catechists and Parish Catechetical Leaders (DRE’s). The Office of Catechesis will work closely with the Offices of Worship, Catholic Schools and Youth and Young Adult Ministries.

How does one begin to tackle such an enormous and important ministry on a diocesan level?  Shelly Bole, the new Director of the Office of Catechesis, began by gathering the clergy and catechetical leaders in deanery meetings to listen to their “story” of faith in the diocese. “I have always been against ‘one size fits all’ catechesis and in listening to the good people of the diocese, it is even clearer that we need to offer many models of formation for the parishes.  The diversity in the Diocese of Shreveport is amazing and wonderful!” Bole stated. “What will work for St. Elizabeth Ann Seton is not going to work for St. Joseph, Zwolle where one of the parents may be gone two weeks a month for work.”  The models need to be easily adapted to each parish’s personality and needs for all ages, not just the children.

Within a few months, Bole will establish an advisory council for the Office. Members will represent the varied catechetical ministries.  The purpose for the council is to help advance the vision of Bishop Duca by creating a three to five year catechetical plan for the diocese. In tandem to working with the council in creating the plan, Bole will also be visiting parishes, “Bishop has set forth many goals for me, one of which is to immediately begin supporting and forming the Catechetical Leaders and catechists who serve in PSR.”  (See calendar below for list of opportunities.)

The goal of all catechesis is an intimacy with Jesus Christ.  As privileged members of the Catholic Church, we are continually invited into this relationship and are also charged with inviting others to know, love and serve Jesus Christ and His church.

by Shelly Bole, Director of Catechesis

Leave a Reply

Your email address will not be published. Required fields are marked *


You may use these HTML tags and attributes: <a href="" title=""> <abbr title=""> <acronym title=""> <b> <blockquote cite=""> <cite> <code> <del datetime=""> <em> <i> <q cite=""> <strike> <strong>