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Post Baptismal Catechesis

The catechesis for children will be provided by parishes through a comprehensive systematic catechetical programming-formation in the faith (CT #23; GDC #67). Integrated into the systematic programs of catechesis is the continuing post-baptismal catechesis to complete initiation into the Christian community. Attention must be given to the importance of the family. “In a certain sense nothing replaces family catechesis . . . for its positive and receptive environment, for the example of adults and for its explicit experience and practice of the faith.” (GDC #176). In ministering to and with families, parishes will be flexible and creative. Catechesis will reflect adult principles, establishing meaningful connections between the reality of family life and the message of the gospel. The need exists in the parishes of the Diocese of San Bernardino to provide systematic catechetical programming that is sensitive to the needs of the people. For our specific Diocese most parishes, if not all, find the need to provide instruction in English and in Spanish. This includes all sacramental catechesis given to children and parents. The Diocese offers the opportunity for training and certifying of catechists in English and in Spanish to better serve the faithful. The Diocese provides resources and diocesan approved textbooks for all parish programming (see Section on Approved Textbooks).

1. Although the catechetical program is not the place for children per se to “learn English”, their religious education should also include their cultural tradition and popular religiosity. (NCD #194) It should be the choice of both the parents and the child in what language they wish to receive their instruction (Gravissimum Educationis #1,2,3).

2. In cases where there is a literacy problem or where either the children or the parents cannot read or write in Spanish and they want to attend the Spanish-speaking program, an interview with the parents at the time of registration should be conducted by the Spanish-speaking DRE, catechist, or Agente de Pastoral (This is assuming that a Spanish catechetical program is already in place with its teachers already prepared.). This interview process would be necessary only at the initial enrollment of the student in the program to determine special needs or circumstances.