September 10, 2020

Celebrating Catechetical Sunday 2020

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By: Marilyn Santos, Associate Director, Secretariat of Evangelization and Catechesis, USCCB


“Catechesis is an ecclesial act, arising from the missionary mandate of the Lord (cf. Mt 28:19-20) and aimed, as its very name indicates, at making the proclamation of his passion, death and resurrection continually resound in the heart of every person, so that his life may be transformed. A dynamic and complex reality at the service of the Word of God, it is accompaniment, education, and formation in the faith and for the faith, an introduction to the celebration of the Mystery, illumination and interpretation of human life and history. By harmoniously integrating these characteristics, catechesis expresses the richness of its essence and offers its specific contribution to the pastoral mission of the Church.” Directory for Catechesis #55


The new Directory for Catechesis clearly confirms the relationship between evangelization and catechesis, one simply cannot exist without the other. From the initial encounter to ongoing formation and growth of faith it is most effective and leads to ongoing conversion when approached from the heart as a missionary disciple.

This year, the Church will celebrate Catechetical Sunday on September 20, 2020. The 2020 theme is I received from the Lord what I also handed on to you. Catechetical Sunday is a wonderful opportunity to reflect on the role that each person plays, by virtue of Baptism, in handing on the faith and being a witness to the Gospel. Catechetical Sunday is an opportunity for all to rededicate themselves to this mission as a community of faith.

The 2020 Catechetical Sunday theme is taken from St. Paul’s first letter to the Corinthians. This theme focuses on the essential work of catechesis, which is an invitation to a whole new life given by Christ Himself. It emphasizes that living faith necessitates movement, inspiring all those who hear the Word to share it as witnesses of the true and living God.

In his message for Catechetical Sunday, Bishop Robert Barron, Chairman of the Committee of Evangelization and Catechesis writes: “This year, we also invite everyone who is involved in the work of catechesis to consider earnestly the importance of catechist formation. Since catechists are the instruments through which many come to encounter Christ and hear this invitation, they have a unique role in keeping people connected to the life of the parish. The new Directory for Catechesis describes the following goal of catechist formation: ‘making catechists aware that as baptized persons they are true missionary disciples, meaning active participants in evangelization, and on this basis are enabled by the Church to communicate the Gospel and to accompany and educate believers in the faith’ (DFC 132). Therefore, catechists must first be accompanied by their pastors and catechetical leaders to encounter Christ, in order to facilitate encounters with Christ for others.” Please visit our Catechetical Sunday webpage for a variety of articles, video resources, new prayer cards, liturgical resources, the year’s image and its catechesis. New resources will be uploaded periodically through the end of the year.

Continued blessings.