Click here to advertise on CatholicCulture.org

Dictionary

A modern dictionary of Catholic terms, both common and obscure. Find accurate definitions of words and phrases.

Search:

Or browse the dictionary by selecting a letter!
A B C D E F G H I J K L M N O P Q R S T U V W X Y Z

CATECHESIS

That form of ecclesiastical action that leads both communities and individual members of the faithful to maturity of faith. Because of varied circumstances and multiple needs, catechetical activity takes on various forms.

In regions that have been Catholic from past ages, catechesis most often takes the form of religious instruction given to children and adolescents in schools or outside a school atmosphere. Also found in those regions are various catechetical programs for adults, whether in preparation for baptism or reception into the Church, or to deepen one's understanding of the faith. sometimes the actual condition of the faithful demands that some form of evangelization of the precede catechesis.

In churches that have been established recently, special importance is placed on evangelizing in the strict sense. This becomes the well-known catechumenate for those who are being introduced to the faith in preparation for baptism.

For individuals whose minds are open to the message of the Gospel, catechesis is an apt means to understand God's plan in their own lives and in the lives of others. Having come to know this divine plan, they can more effectively co-operate with God's grace and become better instruments for the extension of Christ's kingdom. (Etym. Greek katechizo, to teach by word of mouth.)

All items in this dictionary are from Fr. John Hardon's Modern Catholic Dictionary, © Eternal Life. Used with permission.

Subscribe for free
Click here to advertise on CatholicCulture.org

Recent Catholic Commentary

The Blessed Book of Beasts 10 hours ago
Weekend reading 19 hours ago
Frustrating the Moral Law 20 hours ago
Weep for slaughtered Christians, not for dialogue with Islam 24 hours ago
An Appointment that Francis Should Withdraw August 28

Top Catholic News

Most Important Stories of the Last 30 Days
‘A real via crucis’: Pope Francis, patriarch plead on behalf of Iraq’s Christians CWN - August 8
Hundreds of thousands of Iraqi Christians in flight as Islamic State advances CWN - August 8