The Catechetical Leader in the Third Millennium


The Catechetical Leader in the Third Millennium

September 26, 2012

A Statement of the Catholic Bishops of New York State

PDF version here.

A companion piece, Comprehensive Plan for Catechetical Leader in the Third Millennium is available here.

Watch highlights of the launch event, include a Mass featuring Cardinal Dolan and the Bishops of New York State, here.


We the Bishops of New York State have a history of collaboration with the New York State Council of Diocesan Directors of Religious Education. This collaboration was evident in the jointly written pastoral vision for catechists in New York State entitled The Catechist in the Third Millennium, which was published in 1998. That document affirmed the primacy of catechesis in the mission of the Church and called for a renewed commitment to the recruitment, formation and ministry of the catechist as a top priority in our parishes and Catholic schools. The document not only provided our state with a framework for forming catechists, it earned a national award for providing the province with a unified vision of catechist formation. In addition, we published a document in 1988, Journeying Toward a Future Full of Promise, which presented a vision for catechesis in New York State. Ongoing collaboration of the chief catechists of the dioceses and their diocesan catechetical leaders has resulted in the further integration of this vision, which is lived out in various ways in each particular diocese.

This new century presents opportunities and challenges. The Church has given us visionary catechetical documents to ensure that the essential truths of our Catholic faith and tradition would be known, shared and lived in an increasingly complex, changing world. The teaching found in the General Directory for Catechesis, The Catechism of the Catholic Church and the National Directory for Catechesis became the anchor and guide for a renewal of catechesis throughout the world. We began to understand in a dee