Kochi: The Conference of Catholic Bishops of India published the Directory for Lay Catechists, which contains directives and norms regarding the identity, formation, and role of lay catechists, like Sunday school catechists, teachers of catechesis in regular schools, and full-time catechists in the mission areas.
The Directory was released by Most Rev. Joseph Kalathiparambil, Archbishop of Verapoly, by handing over its first copy to Most Rev. George Palliparambil, S.D.B., Chairman, CCBI Commission for Catechetics, and the Bishop of Miao on Tuesday, September 12, 2023, at Ashirbhavan, Ernakulam, during the national catechetical conference. Most Rev. Aplinar Senapati, C.M., Bishop of Rayagada; Rev. Dr Stephen Alathara, Deputy Secretary General, CCBI; Fr Duming Gonsalves, Executive Secretary, CCBI Commission for Catechetics; Rev. Dr Gilbert Choondal, S.D.B.; Fr Mathew Puthiyath, Secretary, KRLCBC Commission for Catechetics and Fr Vincent Naduvilaprambil, Secretary, Verapoly Archdiocesan Commission for Catechetics, were present at the releasing ceremony.
The Directory for Lay Catechists is a set of guidelines on the vocation and mission of lay catechists. Pope Francis has made this ancient ministry relevant in the 21st century with his Apostolic Letter, Antiquum Ministerium, published on May 10, 2021. The lay catechists should be installed as ministers through the official rite, which is also included in the Directory.
The purpose of this directory is to provide directives for bishops, catechetical directors, and lay catechists to know and understand the identity and mission. It helps the parish priests to initiate a proper selection of lay catechists, their adequate formation, and their specific roles in the parishes. This directory gives a roadmap towards the ministry of lay catechists in India.
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