CRS and the Six Tasks of Catechesis

Karen Kasmauski for CRS

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The heart of catechesis is about relationship with Jesus Christ. The whole Church community is responsible to help form disciples of Christ. Catholic Relief Services contributes to the tasks of catechesis by forming disciples who will recognize and serve Jesus who is present in the poor.

Catechesis promotes knowledge of the faith.

Knowledge of our faith includes understanding Catholic social teaching, which is rooted in Scripture and Tradition. CRS’ educational outreach helps people grow in their knowledge of faith. We offer videos, lesson plans and activities that help bring Catholic social teaching to life.

Catechesis promotes a knowledge of the meaning of the Liturgy and the sacraments.

All sacramental and ministerial life in the Church is oriented towards the Eucharist (Catechism of the Catholic Church, no. 1324). In addition to resources on the Eucharist, CRS resources for the Sacraments of Baptism, Confirmation, Penance and Reconciliation, and Matrimony help catechetical leaders invite people at various stages of life to reflect on how the sacrament they are preparing to receive commissions them for a life of discipleship.

Catechesis promotes moral formation in Jesus Christ.

Catechesis forms us to live Christ’s teaching in our everyday lives. This means bringing God’s love into the world in both our private life and in the public arena. Stories on CRS’ website illustrate how the Catholic Church in the United States shows Christ’s love to people in need overseas. We also form and inspire people to make a public witness through legislative advocacy. Through Catholics Confront Global Poverty, CRS’ and the United States Conference of Catholic Bishops’ legislative advocacy network on international issues, Catholics are equipped to urge lawmakers to enact policies consistent with our faith.

Catechesis teaches the Christian how to pray with Christ.

Jesus teaches us how to pray with him. His whole public life—his preaching, ministry to the poor, and death and resurrection—can be seen as an offering of prayer to his Father. We can model his witness by grounding our service to others in prayer. CRS offers prayers that can be used with a variety of settings and audiences.

Catechesis prepares the Christian to live in community and to participate actively in the life and mission of the Church.

Jesus encouraged us, his disciples, to love one another as he has loved us. This means bringing his love into our families, neighborhoods and country—and to the world. Participating in CRS Rice Bowl during Lent, and in the Helping Hands meal packaging program, are two ways families can show Christ’s love to our neighbors in need around the world.

Catechesis promotes a missionary spirit that prepares the faithful to be present as Christians in society.

Catechesis helps the faithful understand how we fulfill our vocation in the world. CRS provides avenues for people to be present as Christians in society through opportunities like CRS Fair Trade, which helps us practice our faith in the marketplace.

The Tasks of Catechesis listed are from the USCCB’s National Directory for Catechesis.

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