Baptism, Study, Bible, Theology, Catechesis
Catechesis, or understanding our faith, is central to the life and mission of our church. It supports the proclamation of our faith and offers instruction and formation in faith, helping to bring members of the Christian community to maturity in that faith. The five objectives in this area are as follows:
Within the next five years, our diocese will develop and implement a comprehensive plan for catechesis / faith development, as outlined in the National Directory for Catechesis, Share the Good News (2010).
Formal Theology courses have been organised by the Office of Pastoral Renewal & Family Ministry (OPRFM) for the past six years. The Certificate in Theology, Adult Education and Pastoral Ministry (2015-17) begins in September and is accredited by the Pontifical University, St Patrick’s College, Maynooth. It opens opportunities to continue to Diploma and Degree level, and helps to prepare laity for significant leadership positions in our parishes.
Not everyone can commit to a number of years of formal study, so the diocese will continue to offer shorter-term, ‘bite-sized’ courses in theological study, along the model of the previous Soil for the Seed programmes. The Adult Faith Formation Commission also has a particular role in this objective, and will continue to offer short programmes such as the Catholicism series.
“The sacred page is the very soul of theology” (Dei Verbum). This plan aims to have Lectio Divina available in every Pastoral Area by 2020. Programmes like the Bible Timeline will be offered, and assistance given to groups who wish to set up Bible study classes, Lectio prayer groups, etc.
“Baptism is the basis of the whole Christian life, the gateway to life in the Spirit, and the door which gives access to the other sacraments” (Catechism, 1213). Appropriate preparation is vital for the proper understanding and celebration of Baptism, so we strongly encourage each parish to have a pre-Baptism team to meet with parents and godparents. Appropriate formation and training will be provided for these teams. The RCIA Programme, which prepares candidates for adult Baptism, will also be made more widely available throughout the diocese.