Vatican City, 13 December, 2021 / 1:00 pm (ACI Africa).
The Vatican’s liturgy office on Monday issued a rite and guidelines for the institution of lay catechists in the dioceses of the Catholic Church.
Pope Francis created the lay ministry of catechist in May with the release of the motu proprio Antiquum ministerium (“Ancient ministry”), which emphasized the importance of the role of the catechist in history and today for transmitting the Catholic faith.
The Congregation for Divine Worship and the Discipline of the Sacraments published the rite of institution to the ministry of catechist on Dec. 13. The rite is a liturgical ritual by which the role of catechist is conferred.
In a letter to bishops published with the new rite, the Vatican’s liturgy prefect, Archbishop Arthur Roche, explained that catechist is a lay ministry distinct from the ordained priesthood, but that catechists, “by virtue of their Baptism, are called to be co-responsible in the local Church for the proclamation and transmission of the faith, carrying out this role in collaboration with the ordained ministers and under their guidance.”
“The definitive aim of catechesis is to put people not only in touch but in communion, in intimacy, with Jesus Christ: only He can lead us to the love of the Father in the Spirit and make us share in the life of the Holy Trinity,” Roche said, quoting from St. Pope John Paul II’s 1979 apostolic exhortation Catechesi tradendae.