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Archbishop Schnurr: An exciting new vision for teaching catechists

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Archbishop Dennis M. Schnurr (Archdiocese of Cincinnati)
Archbishop Dennis M. Schnurr (Archdiocese of Cincinnati)

My Dear Friends in Christ,

I am writing to invite you to learn more about an exciting new vision for catechetical formation in the Archdiocese of Cincinnati.

Catechesis is our encounter with the person and teachings of Jesus Christ, and the way we teach the Catholic faith in our schools and parishes. While parents are the first and primary teachers of the faith, we must always develop – to quote St. John Paul II – “new ardor, methods and expressions” of evangelization to empower the parish catechetical leaders, school principals, teachers entrusted to your care to teach and live the faith with a dynamic, discipleship-oriented approach to Catholic education.

In this spirit, I asked the Office for Evangelization and Discipleship (OED) to develop a new process of catechetical certification that is predicated upon the essential personal encounter with Jesus Christ. After many listening sessions and discernment of current best practices, we have identified a blended learning environment that will infuse our Catechetical certification process with a spirit of mission, as called for by our Holy Father, Pope Francis in his recent Apostolic Exhortation Evangelii Gaudium (The Joy of the Gospel).

The objective of our new Catechetical Institute (CI ) is to promote a Catholic-identity-enhancing culture in our schools and parishes as places where all encounter the voice and teachings of Jesus Christ. This digitally-enhanced catechesis will replace how the OED currently certifies directors and coordinators of religious education, volunteer and paid catechists, and Catholic School principals and religion teachers.

A two-year grace period for catechetical certification is now in effect. All current certifications will now expire in June 2019.

No additional in-person courses will be scheduled after the CI starts in June.

Pastors, principals, and DREs will all have the opportunity to provide input that will help the OED develop and implement the new Institute. I hope that you will help the Institute with your prayers. While the New Evangelization is primarily a call to conversion, it must also remain faithful to the vocabulary of Catholic doctrine.

I believe our new Catechetical Institute is a worthy development of the New Evangelization and I am confident that this venture, with your help and prayers, will renew and energize the way we teach and live the Catholic faith in our parishes and schools. May God bless you, your families, and your parishes and schools in 2017!

Sincerely yours in Christ,

Archbishop Dennis M. Schnurr

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