‘Agents’ for the new evangelization


By Anne Marie Amacher

Around 160 catechists from the Clinton and Davenport deaneries attended a catechist in-service Aug. 29 at St. Ann Parish in Long Grove. “Make This Year of Faith One to Remember” was the theme for the event. Two of the speakers included C.J. Albertson and Msgr. Drake Shafer. Catechetical Sunday will be celebrated in parishes Sept. 16.

“Catechists and Teachers as Agents of the New Evan­gelization” is the theme for this year’s Catechetical Sunday, which is Sept. 16.
Mary Wieser, director of faith formation for the Diocese of Davenport, said new evangelization “is a big thing. We are all evangelizers and witnesses of the Gospel. Parents and catechists are partners in this process to pass on the faith.
“This Year of Faith is a good opportunity for all of us to look at our roles and responsibility as baptized persons with the mission to witnessing the Gospel.”
Several resources are available for catechists to prepare for religious education and faith formation and for Catholic schools to use throughout the 2012-13 year. The Committee on Evangelization and Catechesis has prepared a variety of materials to help teachers better understand and embrace Pope Benedict XVI’s invitation to be evangelists. “The resources will assist parishes in celebrating Cate­chetical Sunday, not only in September, but also throughout the 2012-2013 year,” said Wieser. These materials, provided free of charge, can be found at Catechetical Sunday 2012 Resources http://tiny.cc/m10nfw. Resources include a theological reflection, catechist in-service, teaching aids and parish resources, such as parish bulletin inserts.
As in past years celebrating Catechetical Sunday, Wieser said, the National Conference for Catechetical Leadership (NCCL) will sell printed copies of prayer cards, family commitment cards, posters and certificates in English and Spanish. Visit the NCCL website www.NCCL.org  for more information on ordering Catechetical Sunday materials.
The Catechism of the Catholic Church is now available in browser-based e-book format at the U.S. Conference of Catholic Bishops (USCCB) website. The new version, currently only available in English, can be found at www.usccb.org/beliefs-and-teachings/what-we-believe/catechism/catechism-of-the-catholic-church/index.cfm. Authorized by Pope John Paul II in 1986, the Catechism of the Catholic Church was first published in 1992, with a revised second edition published in 2000. Prior to 1992, the Church had been using a universal catechism approved by the Council of Trent in 1566.
“Providing the Catechism in this particular electronic format will make this foundational resource even more accessible to people,” explained Bishop John Wester, chair of the USCCB Communications Committee. “It is free to anyone who has access to the Internet.”
“The Catechism of the Catholic Church is proving to be as compelling, if not more, of an influence on the faithful,” said Bishop David Ricken, chair of the USCCB Evangelization and Catechesis Committee. “Our ability to use the new technologies means that many more millions will be able to find the Catholic Church’s teachings on their tablets, their smartphones, and their laptops.”
“The USCCB is wisely using technology to serve their constituents and they are raising the bar for engaging users,” said Dave Gallerizzo, CEO of Fig Leaf Software, the interactive Web agency that partnered with the USCCB to create the e-book. “There might be some e-book readers that have a few of these features, but I doubt you can find one that offers all of these features in a single application.”
In addition to reading content at the USCCB website, visitors can share what they find with their social media networks, receive an RSS feed of the daily readings, and view videos of reflections on the daily Scripture readings.

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