Drawing on more than forty years of experience as a catechist, parish DRE, textbook publisher, and founding director of the Echo Program at the University of Notre Dame, Gerard F. Baumbach explores contemporary catechesis in light of its history. This landmark book is an essential resource for every catechetical leader and will spur a new appreciation of the opportunities and challenges of catechesis in the Church today.The Way of Catechesis
offers a new and timely perspective on the vital ministry of catechesis at a pivotal moment in the work of New Evangelization. Baumbach shows how today s catechists can follow the pedagogy of Jesus, the way, the truth, and the life, and he invites readers to an understanding that includes both the process and the content of handing on the faith and also a way of living in union with Christ the Teacher.
Baumbach asks readers to consider how key issues and questions throughout the Church s history shed light on today s questions and concerns. Numerous reflection questions help the reader prayerfully reflect and personally integrate the lessons. For example:
- What is Jesus teaching you through the Beatitudes about the need for a new evangelization in your life as you seek to promote the Church s mission to evangelize?
- What does our history teach us about inviting Catholics who are distant from the Church to find the way back to this community of faith?
- What is your earliest memory of hearing about the Second Vatican Council? What questions did you have? What questions about Vatican II do you have now?
Drawing from his experience, study, and implementation of the Rite of Christian Initiation of Adults, Baumbach highlights four characteristics of the catechetical process in each historical era: belonging, believing, discerning, and living. This framework is a tool for highlighting the distinctive characteristics of each historical period and their relevance for the catechetical enterprise in the life and practice of the Church today.
Each chapter also includes a broad look at highlights of some important dimensions of the catechetical climate, weaving together influences that affected the era. In addition, Baumbach explains the role of key thinkers in each period of the history of catechesis is explained, including Cyril of Jerusalem, Thomas Aquinas, Robert Bellarmine, and Joseph Jungmann.
Those engaged in catechesis and evangelization at every level will find much to enrich their ministry and deepen their commitment to the Church in this extraordinary book."