Remembering that the readership of this blog is international, I’ll ask forgiveness for another post having to do particularly with the future Ordinariate in the United States. The subject here is the catechetical preparation of the laity.
One of the many marks of genius in Anglicanorum coetibus is the importance it gives to the place of those communities and parishes coming in from Anglicanism. It's not just about the clergy! As we all know, the very name of the document means “groups of Anglicans.” Not to state the obvious (but I will), these groups are comprised of individuals, each of whom will need to make a profession of faith. To make such a profession necessitates a program of Catholic catechetics, and one of the tasks of the Anglican clergy presently responsible for a group of Ordinariate-bound people is to teach them the fulness of the Catholic faith.
I don’t think there’s a single incoming community or parish where this isn’t taking place in some form already, but the expressed preference for the catechetical material to be used in America is the United States Catholic Catechism for Adults. Many places are using this, but I thought it might be good to state the expectation so there will be conformity in the preparations being made.
The United States Catholic Catechism for Adults is a publication of the United States Conference of Catholic Bishops, and it states this on the website:
The presence of the Catholic Church in the United States reaches back to the founding days of our country through the leadership of Archbishop John Carroll, the first Catholic bishop in the United States. His story, like other stories at the start of the chapters in the United States Catholic Catechism for Adults, gives us a glimpse into the lives of Catholics who lived out their faith throughout our country's history. Each chapter in the United States Catholic Catechism for Adults includes stories, doctrine, reflections, quotations, discussion questions, and prayers to lead the reader to a deepening faith. The United States Catholic Catechism for Adults is an excellent resource for preparation of catechumens in the Rite of Christian Initiation of Adults and for ongoing catechesis of adults.
You can purchase copies through the USCCB website, and there is a 50% discount for ten or more copies (which is a good thing, since the full price is a hefty $24.95). Also, you can find individual copies on Amazon.com, and that’s probably the best place to go for fewer than ten copies, since their price reflects the discount already. Additionally on Amazon.com, there are used copies available for as little as four or five dollars each.
In my earlier post, To Those Preparing, I mentioned some of the things that can be done during this time leading up to the formal establishment of the Ordinariate. The catechizing of the laity is one of the truly essential responsibilities for those of you who are pastors of souls.
I’ve heard from lots of you about the preparations you’re making with your congregations, and from all I hear, our Ordinariate congregations will be amongst the best-catechized in the Church!