The National Directory for Catechesis outlines general principles and guidelines for formal catechesis. It is to be used in conjunction with the Catechism of the Catholic Church, another important catechetical text, which serves as the definitive reference for the content of catechesis that
is authentic and complete.
CHAPTER ONE explores the context in which we live and worship in the United States—including particular challenges to catechetical efforts.
CHAPTER TWO explains the meaning of catechesis and the various types of catechesis. It also explains how catechesis is related to Revelation and to evangelization.
CHAPTER THREE gives an overview of the content of catechesis—the truths that have come to us through Revelation as found in Scripture and Tradition.
CHAPTER FOUR presents the methods used in catechesis. This includes an understanding of how God has taught us, as well as the various human methodologies that can and should be employed to continue this teaching.
CHAPTER FIVE focuses on liturgy. Every liturgy is catechetical because we learn about aspects of our faith through prayer and sacramental celebrations.
CHAPTER SIX focuses on moral teaching. Catechesis teaches us how we are to live, as well as what we are to believe. This chapter explains how to live and act as disciples of Christ.
CHAPTER SEVEN explores the various settings and circumstances in which catechesis takes place. It deals with issues such as teaching the faith to people of diverse backgrounds, ages, and abilities who live and work in differing contexts and situations.
CHAPTER EIGHT focuses on those who catechize. Although catechesis is a responsibility shared by all the baptized, those such as bishops, priests, deacons, Catholic school teachers, and parish catechists have special roles.
CHAPTER NINE presents the ways in which catechetical efforts are organized and supervised, by both dioceses and parishes.
CHAPTER TEN focuses on resources for catechesis, including traditional materials such as books and other printed materials, as well as electronic and computer related materials.
FINALLY, the text concludes by entrusting the catechetical efforts of the United States to the intercession of the Blessed Virgin Mary, our national patron
O Blessed Virgin Mary,
we ask you who prayed to strengthen the faith of the first disciples
to obtain for the Church in the United States an outpouring of the Holy Spirit,
to guide us in a new evangelization.
Help us teach the faith in such a way that the members of the Church today
will truly be Christ’s disciples of this new millennium
drawing people throughout the world to the saving message and power of Christ.
We ask this through Jesus Christ, your Son and our Lord. Amen
Mary, Star of Evangelization, pray for us.
Adapted from the National Directory for Catechesis, p. 302.