Effective Catechesis is beyond recitation of doctrinal formulas but evangelization focused and reflected in the daily life of every faithful, the Catholic Bishop of Osogbo Diocese, Most Rev. John Oyejola has remarked. The Bishop made this remark while speaking on the topic: Evangelizing Catechesis: 21st Century Mandate at the first National Catechetical Summit of the Church in Nigeria.
The summit which had Revamping Catechetical Apostolate in Nigeria, took place at the CSN Resource Centre, Durumi, Abuja; and was attended by about 300 participants from all the Archdioceses and dioceses in the country, including some members of the Catholic Bishops’ Conference of Nigeria, led by its President, Archbishop Augustine Obiora Akubeze of Benin City.
Bishop Oyejola who spoke extensively on evangelization yesterday, today and tomorrow noted that: “Evangelization is an ongoing attempt to fulfill the mandate given to the Church by Christ the master to make disciples of all nations” He stated that the task of evangelization is not a once and for all action but a continuous process that the Church must carry out until the end of time.
The bishop added: “Although the methodology, strategy and scope may be quite elastic and flexible, the content is sacrosanct. The world is changing so rapidly before our eyes that most of the methods used in the past for evangelisation are becoming less effective. Nevertheless, some of the old methods remain valid and useful for all times.”
He summed up evangelizing catechesis “simply as the need to evangelise through our regular traditional catechetical activities, as well as turning evangelization to a means of catechesis.” He continued: “What do we mean by these? Our already converted committed Catholic members need ongoing evangelization to keep them rooted in the household of faith and also to turn them to evangelisers.
The bishop who gave three important models of how evangelizing catechesis can be implemented and made fruitful also spoke extensively on: catechesis and evangelization; family as the primary place for evangelization; parish evangelization model; external evangelization and outreach; ministry of presence and proclamation; ministry of seed planting and ministry of invitation and connection.
The bishop pointed out that: “Evangelisation calls all Catholic faithful young and old to a personal and life-changing encounter with Jesus Christ through the Church. It encourages them to hear the Gospel and deepen their understanding of the teachings of the Church, to apply that wisdom to life of Christian witness, and in turn to evangelise those around them and the society in which they live. The opportunity to evangelise is always present where the clergy and lay faithful are, and in their life situations.”
He concluded: “The doctrines of the Church must be taught in ways that will transform lives and win more souls for Christ and His Church. It is this Evangelizing Catechesis that is needed in the 21stcentury, and we must all work together to make sure that it is achieved in furtherance of the kingdom of God on earth.”
See Other News & Events »