In order that the sacrificial offering of his of her faith should be perfect, the person who becomes a disciple of Christ has the right to receive 'the word of faith' not in mutilated, falsified or diminished form but whole and entire, in all its rigour and vigour. (Catechesi Tradendae, 30)
They continued steadfastly in the apostles' doctrine and fellowship, and in breaking of bread, and in prayers. (Acts 2:42)
- Teaching of the Apostles
- Life in Christ
- Catechesis for the celebration of the sacraments: this is for everybody, and it goes on forever. Nobody should be celebrating the sacraments without adequate preparation. Perhaps an example of this is preparing lapsed-people immediately a sacrament such as baptism and marriage. This means, not only what they 'do' to participate, but what they are 'doing' in participating.
- Catechesis in preparation for the first reception of the sacraments: this is what, perhaps, most people are referring to when they say 'catechesis'; as we see, sacramental preparation is just a part of what catechesis is. This is for everybody, but happens only once. Our sacramental life is nourished through on-going catechesis.
- Catechesis after the first reception of the sacraments: in the early Church, this was called 'mystagogia', and it refers to the on-going catechesis immediately after the sacrament, whether that be baptism (for adults and older children), first communion, or confirmation. The person still needs to be instructed at this time, perhaps even more so than before. Just think of all the grace present from the sacrament just received; it is important to keep that flame burning.
- Catechesis for the impaired: sometimes, we are required to instruct people who are impeded in some way by a disability, physical or mental, which necessitates particular care and attention.
- Catechesis for the faith of youth and adults: this is for the on-going formation of 'grown ups', in order to strengthen, enlighten and develop their faith in a variety of different ways. Every person has a right to this formation (though, obviously, it ultimately requires them to respond to it!). For those who undertake a particular ministry in a parish, it is particularly important, and they should all have access to at least an annual 'day of recollection' and 'day of formation', whether they be Extra-ordinary ministers of Holy Communion, readers or flower-arrangers: none are more important than the other in what they do for Christ, and, in fact, these are the people most open to formation.