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Congregation for the Clergy
General Directory for Catechesis

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  • PART ONE CATECHESIS IN THE CHURCH'S MISSION OF EVANGELIZATION
    • CHAPTER II Catechesis in the process of evangelization
      • Catechesis at the service of ongoing formation in the faith
        • Continuing education in faith within the Christian community
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Catechesis at the service of ongoing formation in the faith

Continuing education in faith within the Christian community

69. Continuing or on-going education in the faith follows upon basic education and presupposes it. Both fulfil two distinct but complementary functions of the ministry of the word while serving the process of continuing conversion. Initiatory catechesis lays the basis for the Christian life of the followers of Jesus. The process of continuing conversion goes beyond what is provided by basic catechesis. In order to encourage this process, it is necessary to have a Christian community which welcomes the initiated, sustains them and forms them in the faith: "Catechesis runs the risk of becoming barren if no community of faith and Christian life welcomes the catechumen at a certain stage of his catechesis". (210) The accompaniment which a community gives to the initiated is eventually transformed into their being totally integrated by the same community.

70. In the Christian community the disciples of Jesus Christ are nourished at a twofold table; "that of the word of God and that of the Body of Christ". (211) The Gospel and the Eucharist are the constant food for the journey to the Father's House. The action of the Holy Spirit operates so that the gift of "communion" and the task of "mission" are deepened and lived in an increasingly intense way.

Continuing formation in the faith is directed not only to the individual Christian, to accompany them in their journey towards holiness, but also to the Christian community as such so that it may mature also in its interior life of love of God and of the brethren as well as in its openness to the world as a missionary community. The desire of Jesus and his prayer to the Father are an unceasing appeal: "May they all be one; even as thou, Father, art in me, and I in thee, that they may also be in us, so that the world may believe that thou hast sent me". (212) Approaching this ideal, little by little, demands of the community a great fidelity to the action of the Holy Spirit, the constant nourishment of the Body and Blood of Christ and continuing education in the faith, listening all the time to the word.

At this table of the word of God, the homily occupies a privileged position, since it "takes up again the journey of faith put forward by catechesis and brings it to its natural fulfilment, at the same time it encourages the Lord's disciples to begin anew each day their spiritual journey in truth, adoration and thanksgiving". (213)




210) CT 24.



211) DV 21.



212) Jn 17:21.



213) Cf. CT 48; cf. SC 52; DV 24; DCG (1971) 17; Missale Romanum, Ordo Lectionum Missae, n. 24 Editio Typica Altera, Libreria Editrice Vaticana 1981.






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