Monday, October 16, 2017
The Catholic Pastoral Institute of Korea has made a study of the catechumenate in our parishes and have made some suggestions for change. The Catholic Times and Peace Weekly had articles on the study and a list of areas for change. They have studied the Protestant and a diocese in the States to help in the evaluation of the situation present in Korea.
The reason for the study is to help prevent the falling away of the believers after baptism. In a survey that was made 73.9% of the baptized did not have any experience of religious life during the period of study. The problems that were uncovered were five in number. The most serious were the lack of experience of prayer and the spiritual life. It was all in the head.
During the catechumenate, the time needs to be spent not only in teaching doctrine and transmitting information but a time to begin an encounter with Jesus and begin the journey of faith. What we learn during the period of study should help us to experience the spiritual life and find joy and hope in the way we live our lives. Many have never moved from the head to the heart and experienced the joy of the Gospel. A reason why so many leave after baptism,
A program of study needs to include teaching, fellowship, worship, and service. They have become familiar in their Greek original expressions: Didache, Koinonia, Liturgia, and Diakonia. All four need to be considered and experienced during the period of the catechumenate.
Stressed was the programs after baptism a period called Mystagogy where the newly baptized reflect on their new life as Christians and continue to learn about the Scriptures and the Sacraments and how they will help in the Church's mission and experience their place in the community of faith.
Mentioned also how often godparents of the newly baptized are not taken seriously. They need to be with the newly baptized and help them along the new path they have decided to follow as a disciple of Jesus.
Most of the catechumenates last for about 6 months, 56%. 35% go from 8 to 10 months only about 2% go for a year. 102 parishes were surveyed and 1400 teachers and catechumens were questioned. The number of those baptized continue to decrease and the tepid continue to increase. The hope of this study is to see a change for the better in the future.