The Challenge of Integrating Catholic Religious Education and Catechesis: An American Quandary?
In its recent document, the Church distinguishes between Catholic religious education (CRE) and catechesis and mandates that both be part of the curriculum of the Catholic school. The Church’s differentiation between CRE and catechesis seems to indicate two models of faith formation that are distinct yet complementary. As a scholastic discipline, CRE seems to follow an education model, whereas catechesis a community paradigm. The interfacing, if not integrating, of these two models poses a quandary to Catholic schools, especially to the teachers of religion who are responsible for both means of faith formation. This chapter aims at familiarising CRE teachers with the community model of catechesis and its implications to their discipline. It will first outline the emergence of this model of catechesis and then discuss some of the key aspects of this catechetical paradigm that CRE is to attend to in its endeavours in presenting the Christian faith. Aiming at the faith formation of their student, CRE teachers are to create unity in diversity of these two methods of faith formation.
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