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Share the Good News

25 February, 2013

Eoin O’Mahony and Bernadette Sweetman introduce the National Directory for Catechesis in Ireland and explain how people might engage with it locally.

National Directory for Catechesis in Ireland

source – www.catholicbishops.ie

Share the Good News is the National Directory for Catechesis in Ireland.

It is a ten year plan for Evangelisation, for Catechesis and for Religious Education in Ireland from the perspective of the Catholic Church.

Share the Good News may be purchased at any Veritas shop or online at www.veritas.ie.

It is addressed to and is aimed at everyone in the Church. It obviously deals with those who have ministerial and teaching positions in the wide Church community but it is particularly addressed to adults – young adults, those rearing children and adults of mature years.

It reaches out to children, to adolescents, to those who experience social disadvantage, to people with special needs, to the deaf community, to the travelling community, to migrant workers and other newcomers and to those living with illness.

Chapter seven, the final chapter of Share the Good News, presents policies and objectives to be pursued at all levels of Church governance and membership. Alongside each objective, some indicators of achievement are provided, suggesting steps to be realised along the way in addressing a particular objective.

The Directory is concerned with your faith development and with the renewal of your Church.

CONTENTS

Abbreviations 
Preface 
Decree 
Introduction

SECTION A: THE IRISH CONTEXT

1. Living the Gospel in Ireland Today

The Irish Christian Tradition
New Culture, New Challenges

  • Fulfilling Our Potential
  • Overcoming Social Exclusion
  • Ecology, the Sciences and Technology
  • Understanding Culture
  • Diversity: Welcoming Newcomers
  • Globalisation and Communications Technology
  • Church and State in Dialogue

Witnessing to the Power of the Gospel

SECTION B: UNDERSTANDING THE GOOD NEWS

2. Evangelisation, Catechesis and Religious Education

The Revelation of God’s Love
Education in the Love of God
Presenting the Message of Jesus Christ
Good News for All People

  • Initial Proclamation
  • Christian Initiation
  • Catechesis
  • Religious Education
  • The New Evangelisation
  • Theological Reflection

Faith Development Overview

3. Our Faith: The Gospel Alive 

Growing in Faith
The Deposit of Faith
A Hierarchy of Truths
The Catechism of the Catholic Church
The Profession of Faith: The Apostles’ Creed
The Celebration of Christian Mystery: The Sacraments

  • Sacraments of Initiation
  • Sacraments of Healing
  • Sacraments at the Service of Communion

Life in Christ: The Beatitudes and Commandments

  • The Beatitudes
  • The New Commandment of Love
  • The Ten Commandments

Prayer in the Christian Life: The Lord’s Prayer
Ecumenical Outreach
The Challenge of Inculturation
Inter-religious Dialogue

SECTION C: SHARING THE GOOD NEWS

4. Adult Faith Development

The Catechesis of Adults

  • Initiation of Adults into the Catholic Church
  • Adult Faith Development
  • A Supportive Environment for Adult Faith Development
  • Sensitivity to Adult Ways of Learning

Young Adults
Marriage Preparation and Support
Parenthood and Family Ministry
The Single Life
Bishops, Priests, Deacons and Religious
Adults of Mature Years

5. Sharing our Faith with the Young

The Baptism of Children
Presenting the Gospel to Children

  • Nurturing the Faith of Children
  • Children’s Religious Education in School

Presenting the Gospel to Adolescents

  • Nourishing the Faith of Adolescents
  • Religious Education of Adolescents

6. Reaching Out in Christ’s Love to All 

Those Who Experience Social Disadvantage
People with Special Needs

  • People who have Physical Disabilities
  • People with Special Learning Needs

The Deaf Community
The Travelling Community
Migrant Workers and Other Newcomers
People Living with Illness

SECTION D: SUPPORTING THE GOOD NEWS

7. Resources and Implementation

The Parish Community as Agent of Faith Development

  • Parish Faith Development Objectives

Diocesan Faith Development Services

  • Diocesan Faith Development Objectives

National Co-operation

  • National Faith Development Objectives

Faith Development in Catholic Schools

  • Faith Development Objectives in Relation to Schooling

Ecclesial Movements, Groups and Organisations

  • Faith Development Objectives for Church Organisations, Small Christian Communities and Ecclesial Movements

Education and Training for Faith Development

  • Faith Development Formation Objectives

Provision of Materials for Faith Development Activities

  • Objectives Concerning Materials for Faith Development

Conclusion 
Index 

234 pp. Veritas Publications. To purchase this book online go to www.veritas.ie

 

PREFACE

It is with a strong sense of gratitude for the blessing that Jesus Christ has been in the life of Irish people down through the centuries that the Irish Episcopal Conference publishes this National Directory for Catechesis in Ireland. We are convinced that the gifts of goodness, healing and peace that Christ offers the Church and all peoples today have the power to teach us, and future generations, how to live generous, just and committed lives with one another in God’s all-embracing love:

I know the plans I have for you, says the Lord, plans for your welfare… to give you a future with hope… When you search for me, you will find me; if you seek me with all your heart. (Jeremiah 29: 11-13)

In the spirit of the Second Vatican Council, and of the pastoral attentiveness to catechesis with which the Church has concerned itself since, Share the Good News seeks to encourage renewal within the Catholic community in Ireland as it endeavours to make the Good News of Jesus Christ more fully known and available to all. It does so, as pointed out in the Introduction to the Church’s General Directory for Catechesis, by situating catechesis within the call to evangelise, taking account of the particular circumstances and needs of the local Church, and by helping people to appropriate the content of the faith as presented in the Catechism of the Catholic Church. This National Directory provides the Irish Church with a framework indicating principles and guidelines for evangelisation, catechesis and religious education today, and motivating us to study and research all the means available to bring the Gospel to life anew every day. Share the Good News has been reviewed and approved, according to established norms, by the Vatican’s Congregation for the Clergy and Congregation for the Doctrine of the Faith.

The Irish Episcopal Conference wishes to acknowledge and support the wonderful catechetical work that is ongoing, the length and breadth of the country, and the great variety of faith development initiatives for adults as well as for young people that are emerging North and South. It is difficult to express adequately our gratitude to all those who contribute to the Church’s catechetical ministry in parishes, schools, groups and communities, as well as in their homes and at diocesan and national levels. We invite you, wherever you may be on life’s journey, to take this opportunity to open yourself again to the mystery and message of Jesus Christ. Guided by the Holy Spirit, let us enter, once more, into energetic proclamation and discussion of the Gospel. Together we can find the resources necessary to build on the time and talents we have been given by the Living God and so make the coming decade a period of great catechetical renewal.

We extend our profound thanks to Dr Gareth Byrne, writer and editor of this important text, to his Advisory Group, Linda Kiely and Brendan O’Reilly (successive National Directors for Catechesis), Roger Maxwell, Raymond Topley (RIP) and Grainne Wilson, for their ongoing commitment, and to the final editing team, Dr Byrne, Bishop Martin Drennan and Professor Brendan Leahy. We congratulate all the members of the Episcopal Council for Catechetics for overseeing this project with enthusiasm. We offer our gratitude also to the many hundreds of people nationwide who wrote in response to the invitation for submissions, to those involved professionally in theological, catechetical, religious education and pastoral ministry who gave of their rich experience, to diocesan advisers and other diocesan and national catechetical and education groups and associations, to priests, members of religious congregations and of lay communities and organisations, and all those individuals who have continued to offer their wisdom and insight. Particular thanks to the Episcopal Commissions/Councils for Doctrine, Education, Theology, Pastoral Renewal and Adult Faith Development, Liturgy, Justice and Peace, Missions, and Emigrants, for their generous contributions. Special thanks to Veritas for the preparation and production of this very attractively presented text.

This National Directory for Catechesis in Ireland speaks from the heart of the Church with love. It is particularly timely in seeking to address the specific catechetical issues that arise in the Irish context now, at the beginning of the twenty-first century. It acknowledges the many questions about Christ and his message that are alive in Irish society and in the Church in Ireland today. We hope that it will encourage all who are searching for the deepest meaning of life and love to turn toward Christ who educates us to live truly, compassionately and with integrity in the presence of our ever-loving Father.

We trust that this Directory will have a wide circulation. It is essential reading for those engaged in catechetical and other faith development initiatives at every level of the Church in Ireland. We invite all those who are interested in sharing the Good News, to study, reflect, pray and act upon this document, as individuals and as communities of faith, so that together we may grow ever closer to the Lord.

We pray that the same Holy Spirit who gave courage and voice to the prophets and apostles will guide us, too, in all our efforts. May Mary, ever faithful, intercede for us in the wonderful work of making her Son more fully known to all.

+ Seán Brady, Archbishop of Armagh, Primate of All Ireland
+ Diarmuid Martin Archbishop of Dublin, Primate of Ireland
+ Dermot Clifford, Archbishop of Cashel & Emly
+ Michael Neary, Archbishop of Tuam

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