The Mission and Ministry of Catechesis:
1. Parental Role: In his “Letter to Families”, Saint Pope John Paul II affirmed that “parents are the first and most important educators of their own children.” St. Mary Religious Education classes support that mission and rely on the parents’ constant and active participation in their child’s faith formation. As role models and primary faith educators, parents are encouraged to:
Pray together daily as a family.
Worship together as a family, including regular attendance at weekend Masses.
Attend meetings and formation in preparation for Sacraments.
Oversee home assignments, if any.
Participate in parish community life.
2. The Aim of the Catechesis: “Catechesis aims to bring about in the believer an evermore mature faith in Jesus Christ, a deeper knowledge and love of his person and message, and a firm commitment to follow him” (NDC19.A)
Catechesis is an official ministry of the Catholic Church, which centers on sharing the Gospel message, presenting Christian values and principles, building community, and leading people into service and prayer. Catechesis is a gradual process through which a catechist leads a student to a greater understanding and identification with the Catholic community. Therefore, it is highly recommended that students progress through all eight years of religious education and beyond, as faith formation is a life-long event.
3. Ministry Focus: The six tasks of Catechesis are to promote knowledge of the following: faith, liturgical catechesis, moral formation, prayer, community life,
and missionary initiative. All of these are essential in forming evangelizing disciples of Christ.
4. St. Mary Religious Education Mission Statement: “The goal of the St. Mary Religious Education program is to educate the whole Church community about our Catholic faith, and to promote the idea of faith formation as a life-long, continuous process. Through the Sacraments and the rich traditions of our Church we desire to bring them into a personal relationship with our Savior, Jesus Christ. We want to form Intentional Disciples, who will go forth and proclaim the Good News by their words, actions, and the lives that they lead.”
5. Parish Mission Statement: “Our Roman Catholic faith community is centered on Jesus Christ as our Lord and Savior. We come together in the love of Christ around the table of the Lord trying to be his family. We welcome all to join us. Our belief in the Scriptures, the Sacraments, the teaching of the Catholic Church, and our compassion for others enables us to live the Gospel message.”