What is the difference between Evangelisation and catechesis?
When I started at was then the Christ Education Centre of the Archdiocese and has now been renamed The Centre for Catholic Formation answer to this question was essential if we were to help parents, parish and schools do their work of catechesis. Evangelisation is a first hearing of the Gospel, as the Good News. It was through evangelisation that a person comes to faith, which was a relationship of love with Christ. Catechesis comes from the Greek meaning to re-echo faith. It presumes an initial gift of faith and the way we grow in faith.
What happens so often in some families for example, a child is baptised and receives the gift of faith but is never nurtured in that life of love and so when a parent presents them for preparation of First reconciliation and First Eucharist, they need to hear the Gospel for the first time as well as been catechised and prepared for their First Communion.
Yesterday the Pontifical Council for Promoting New Evangelisation issued a New Directory for Catechesis. In the press conference Archbishop Rino Fisichella, president of the Council said “Many of the faithful are not always fully convinced of what they believe, or aware of the foundations of the faith they profess, and sometimes they do not have an authentic experience of it. On this basis we must be aware that many baptised people have never received Christian initiation, have not been encouraged by the kerygma, have not achieved a personal encounter with Christ or have not had the support and accompaniment of the Christian community.”
I think it is exciting that we have a New Directory that looks at recent cultural developments in our digital age and that also suggests which paths to take, so that catechesis “becomes a proposal capable of being understood and adequate to the requirements of its context.” CTS are publishing this document in July.