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What are the Sources?

I read an article by Dr. Petroc Willey,editor of the Sower Magazine and deputy director of the Maryvale Institute. In the article entitled: Renewing Catechist Formation at the Sources, he speaks of the sources used in the Catechism of the Catholic Church as vital to forming catechists. The Sacred Scriptures should be the foundation of all catechesis. The Councils of the Church and the teachings of the Popes are also very important when forming catechists and offering catechist and adult formation in the parish. Other important sources to use when training catechists is the writings of the saints, especially the doctors of the Church. The last source that needs to be mentioned, and certainly not the least in the sources is the Divine Liturgy which is the source and the summit of the life of a Catholic Christian.

From the Heart of the Church

I believe this is very important to use the sources that the Church uses. Secondary sources like helpful handbooks or creative teaching ideas are good, but good only in reference to the primary sources that are ecclesial.  I find that there is a temptation to be so kid friendly in religious education programs that we only present secondary sources.  Granted it is not always easy to quote the Saints and quote sections of the Catechism, but that does not mean catechist should not be using those primary sources as they preparing to pass on the faith to their studnets.  

Dr. Willey said the following in this article I read from the Sower:  

Those leading catechetical formation are not themselves the sources. They know that they are instruments, guiding others to the living sources of the faith. Above all, they know that they are disciples – literally, learners – whose value lies in exemplifying the joy of learning and drinking from the wellspring of the sources. Their role is to grow less in order that those being formed can ‘grow in all things towards him, who is the Head, Christ’ (Eph 4:15). Catechetical growth which is renewed at the sources is always ecclesial, rather than narrowly personality-led; it is a matter of initiating others into the great Tradition of the Church where they can receive the deposit of grace and the deposit of faith.”

A Couple Questions

Do you find that the textbook your program uses actually quotes from the sources? 

How do you use the “living sources of the faith” in your catechesis?

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