"By wisdom a house is built and through understanding it is established, through knowledge its rooms are filled with rare and beautiful treasures." Proverbs 24:3-4
The third Sunday of September in the United States is celebrated as Catechetical Sunday in honor to acknowledge and commission those who are catechists. In his encyclical Redemptoris Missio, Pope John Paul II, said, "Among the laity who become evangelizers, catechists have a place of honor...Catechists are among those who have received Christ's command to 'go and teach all nations.'"
In the General Directory for Catechesis (#225) one of the tasks proper to the presbyterate and particularly to parish priests is: "to foster a sense of common responsibility for catechesis in the Christian community, a task which involves all, and a recognition and appreciation for catechists and their mission." The celebration of Catechetical Sunday provides a means to do this.
The idea of establishing a catechetical day in each parish was brought to light by Popes Pius X and Pius XI. On January 12, 1935, the Sacred Congregation of the Council (now the Congregation for the Clergy) issued Provido sane consilio (On the Better Care and Promotion of Catechetical Education) suggesting that such a day exist in every parish. From paragraph 25 of this instruction, the day should be one in which:
a) The faithful should be called together in the parish, and having received the Holy Eucharist, they should pray to obtain greater fruit from catechesis (divine teaching)
b) A special sermon should be preached to the people on the necessity of catechetical instruction. Parents are to be told their duty to instruct their children in Catholic doctrine and to send them to parish catechism (religion) classes.
c) Books, pamphlets, and other material suitable for the purpose should be distributed.
d) A collection may be taken up for the promotion of catechetical works.
The first celebration of national catechetical day in the United States was held on October 30, 1935 in Rochester, New York. By 1944, the practice was evident in every state of the union and by 1955 most dioceses had opted for the third Sunday in September for its celebration.
Since this was decreed by a Vatican congregation, it should be universal, but little is published in on it in other nations.
This year's theme is, "Open Wide the Door to Faith." Catechetical Sunday is an excellent opportunity for all baptized Catholics to be reminded of their baptismal commitment to witness to the Gospel.
The Formation Offices of the Diocese of St. Augustine exist to assist the local churches to participate more fully in the teaching mission of Christ and to aid the Bishop in his own task as shepherd and chief catechist of the local Church.
The Formation Offices have been established:
- to proclaim the Gospel
- to communicate the teaching of the Church
- to form people in whom the Word of God has taken root
- to provide programs and services which foster a living, conscious, informed and active faith
What each Office does:
The Office of Christian Formation is responsible for parish based religious education/catechetical programs for all age levels. The office provides assistance to parishes in the areas of: Religious Education, RCIA, Adult Faith Formation, Evangelization and Sacramental Preparation.
The Ministry Formation Office provides a three year comprehensive program of study for lay ecclesial leaders. This program, accredited by the USCCB, assists parishes and diocesan agencies by offering quality formation and practical experience to their leaders.
The Youth and Young Adult Ministry Office provides programming, resources, and training for youth ministers, youth and young adults of the diocese. Annual youth rallies, leadership camps, Theology on Tap, retreats and speakers are sponsored by the Youth and Young Adult Office. The office also oversees Catholic Scouting within the diocese.
Director of Formation11625 Old St. Augustine Road
Jacksonville, FL 32258
(904)262-3200, ext 118
Administrative Assistant11625 Old St. Augustine Road
Jacksonville, FL 32258
(904)262-3200, ext 117