What is it? Why do it?

Whole community catechesis is an approach to parish or school religious education through which youth and adults as well as children are invited to participate in faith formation programs throughout the year. The entire community thus becomes the focus of all we do in catechesis.

In whole community catechesis, what happens in the Sunday Assembly for Mass is tightly connected to what happens in the religious education classroom. The liturgy of the Word from Sunday is the starting point. Catechesis or religious instruction must flow from that Word and each student is invited to “break open the Word,” to share their faith about what they believe.

Also in whole community catechesis, parents play a vital role alongside all the other members of the community. Catechesis is not just for children! It’s for everyone. Every Catholic is invited to know and love the Church, to walk with Christ in his or her daily life, and to gather faithfully together on Sunday for the parish Mass.

Added to that, whole community catechesis places great emphasis on developing households of faith. It’s certainly true for a child, but it’s also true for everyone, that no matter how effective our experience of faith might be at the parish, what really counts is how we live that in our every day lives at home! If our homes are not places where the faith is shared and lived, then the work of catechesis is like sowing seed on rocky ground.