Catechesis of the Heart
"Knowledge of Jesus is not the same as belief in him or love of him."
While we lament the closure or consolidation of many parochial schools over the past twenty-five years, we can also celebrate that another area of Catholic education, faith formation, has come into its own.
We are experiencing a kind of “golden age” in religious education. Most young people learn about the faith and prepare to receive sacraments by way of the parish school of religion. More resources than ever are available for parish-based faith formation, partly because students and resources—human and financial—that once belonged to the parish school are now being allocated for parish faith-formation programs.
Increased interest, greater funding, and the pressure to teach many more students have been accompanied by an explosion of creative approaches to catechesis. Faith formation has moved beyond sacramental preparation to life-long catechesis. Family-based catechesis is widely promoted and accepted. A wide range of material grounded in and guided by the catechumenate and the Rite of Christian Initiation of Adults is readily available from numerous publishers and expertly used by volunteer and paid catechists.