Why is the new ministry of catechist important for RCIA teams?

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4 thoughts on “Why is the new ministry of catechist important for RCIA teams?”

  1. Hilda Kleiman

    I am looking forward to seeing how my archdiocese speaks about and makes use of the ministry of the instituted catechist. As you mentioned, not everyone who is currently serving as a catechist in parish may end up as an instituted catechist, so I will be interested to see how that discernment takes place.

  2. I am wondering if this will become the role of the “master catechist” because before one can embrace a ministry for life, one would have to gain experience in it and training for it. In other words, would the first time volunteer catechist become an instituted catechist right away? Probably not.

    If the instituted catechist reports to the bishop rather than to the director of religious education and then to the pastor, it would seem to be a diocesan ministry.

    Some dioceses, like the Archdiocese of New York, have formation programs for catechetical leaders already in place. Usually these are for the directors and coordinators of catechesis in the parishes. There is also a rather large network of classes oriented to certification of parish catechists and religion teachers in Catholic schools. I have many questions about how instituted catechists will work into such a system.

    For the RCIA catechists, this would seem to open the door for instituted catechists being the ones deputed by the bishop to celebrate the minor rites (blessings and minor exorcisms). There was not a word in the motu proprio about the liturgical role of the catechist, but in the RCIA there is such a liturgical role. I wonder how this will be handled in the future.

    1. Hi Rita. I also thought the instituted catechists might become the “deputed” catechists referred to in the celebrations of the blessings and minor exorcisms. And that worries me a bit. These wonderful rites are already under-used. If catechists must be formally instituted in order to preside at them, will that further limit their use? I suppose it will vary by diocese. I hope deputation will remain widely conferred on those who serve on catechumenate teams and not be limited exclusively to instituted catechists.

  3. Jim Philipps

    I like the recognition of catechesis as the sacred vocation it is, and one open to lay women and lay men.

    I worry a little bit about the danger that this could spread the infection of clericalism into what, for the most part, has been a safe haven from it.

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