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Congregation for the Clergy
General Directory for Catechesis

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    • CHAPTER I The ministry of catechesis in the porticular Churches and its agents
        • Various types of catechists particularly necessary today
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Various types of catechists particularly necessary today

232. The figure of the catechist in the Church, has different modes, just as, the needs of catechesis are varied.

– "The catechists in missionary countries", (187) to whom this title is applied in a special way: "Churches that are flourishing today would not have been built up without them". (188) There are those who have the "specific responsibility for catechesis"; (189) and there are those who collaborate in various forms of apostolate. (190)

– In some Churches of ancient Christian tradition but where there is a shortage of clergy, there is need for catechists in some way analogous to those of missionary countries. This requires confronting urgent needs: the community animation of small rural populations deprived of the constant presence of a priest, the helpfulness of a missionary presence "in areas of large cities". (191)

– In countries of Christian tradition which require a "new evangelization" (192) the catechist for young people and the catechist for adults become indispensable, in promoting the process of initiatory catechesis. The catechists must provide for continuing catechesis. In such tasks the role of the priest is equally fundamental.

The catechist for children and adolescents continues to be indispensable. This catechist has the delicate mission of giving "the first notions of catechism and preparation for the sacrament of Penance, for First Communion and Confirmation". (193) This responsibility is all the more pressing today if children and adolescents "do not receive adequate religious formation within the family". (194)

– A catechist who must also be formed is the catechist for pre-sacramental encounter, (195) for adults on occasions such as the Baptism or the First Holy Communion of their children or the celebration of the sacrament of Matrimony. It is a specific and original task comprising the welcome of the faithful, of primary proclamation to them and of accompanying them on the journey of faith.

– Other catechists urgently needed in delicate human situations include catechists for the old (196) who need a presentation of the Gospel adapted to their condition; for handicapped or disabled people who require a special pedagogy, (197) in addition to their total integration into the community; for migrants and those marginalized by the evolution of modern society. (198)

– Other types of catechists may also be advisable. Every local Church, by analysing her own cultural and religious situation, will discover her own needs and will realistically foster those kinds of catechists which she needs. The organization and orientation of the formation of catechists is a fundamental responsibility.

187) CT 66b; cf. GCM.

188) CT 66b.

189) GCM 4.

190) Ibid.

191) CT 45; cf. RM 37, ab, par. 2.

192) RM 33.

193) CT 66a.

194) Ibid.; cf. CT 42.

195) Cf. DCG (1971) 96.

196) Cf. CT 45; cf. DCG (1971) 95.

197) Cf. DCG (1971) 91; cf. CT 41.

198) CT 45a.

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