Catechesis in Our Time Print
Written by Sherry   
Monday, 21 September 2009 09:23
Over the weekend, i'd accumulated a number of things to blog about. Let's see how fast I can do this cause I've got to put the final touches on the Morning of Reflection I'm offering at the Cathedral of St. Paul in St. Paul, MN on the first Saturday of October. The Cathedral looks glorious (from the pictures on their website) so I'm looking forward to this one.

But between then and now, I also have a Called & Gifted workshop and C & G interviewer training in the Atlanta area. So I have to focus.

First of all, I'd like to point you to the Sower Review published by the excellent Maryvale Institute of Birmingham, England. Maryvale is the premier catechetical institution in the UK and is linked to the Association for Catechetical Ministry in the US. (ACM's website has a beautiful new introduction that is worth taking the time to watch.)

What I like about the Sower is the way that it combines initial proclamation, an emphasis on personal discipleship and spiritual formation with top notch catechesis. This is definitely not just catechesis as "rite of passage". If you are not familiar with the Sower, be sure and check it out.

In a related story but a world away, Jen Ambrose ("The only Catholic Expat Steelersfan Mommyblogger in China" = lol!) writes to let us know that the first three-year pastoral and catechetical master's program that will start in mainland China on Oct. 5.

The pre-reqs are dauntingly high for locals: Applicants should have a bachelor's degree and a standard of English comparable to that required by local universities for postgraduate students. Applicants also require approval from a bishop, and a letter of recommendation from their parish priest or Religious superior. The National Seminary intends to have a class of 10-15 students.

Since the Catholic Church has been in China for a long time, it should develop its own research work in theology, said Father Chen, who has a doctorate in education. After running a bachelor's program in theology for six years, he said, "God has given us the opportunity to train highly qualified personnel by launching the master's course."

He said the program aims to help Church workers keep pace with theological developments in the universal Church, develop evangelistic work in mainland China and contribute to the inculturation of the local Church.

Along with local Chinese priests and lecturers, there will also be foreign teachers arranged by Leuven university and the Lumen Vitae Institute in Brussels. Lectures will also be simultaneously translated into Mandarin-Chinese but some course materials will be in English. Father Chen observed that so far, applicants appear relatively competent in English.

According to the July newsletter of the Verbiest Institute, the Chinese civil authorities have approved the program. "This is considered to be a breakthrough," it reported. The newsletter hopes that after their studies, graduates will start pastoral centers in their own dioceses. (via Indian Catholic).