New Catechetical Tool Approved by Vatican

WASHINGTON, D.C., JAN. 16, 2005 ( The Holy See has approved an new tool and reference for religious education and faith formation in the United States.

In a memorandum to the U.S. bishops last week, the president of the episcopate, Bishop William Skylstad, announced that the Vatican Congregation for Clergy had approved the National Directory for Catechesis last month.

The Directory, backed by the U.S. bishops in June 2003, is to be both a guide and inspiration for religious education and faith formation in dioceses and parishes. It will be a reference for the formation of catechists and the preparation of catechetical resources.

“The Directory has three basic purposes that are aimed at the orientation and general planning of catechetical activity in this country,” the bishops’ conference said in a statement:

“1. To provide fundamental theological and pastoral principles drawn from the Church’s Magisterium and apply them to the pastoral activity of catechesis.

“2. To offer guidelines for the application of fundamental theological and pastoral principles in order to continue a renewal of catechesis in this country.

“3. To set forth the nature, purpose, object, tasks, basic content, and various methodologies of catechesis.”

Publication of the Directory is planned for May 1.