In Catholicism, such tenets as evangelization and catechesis serve as foundational ideas that guide the lives of Catholics around the world. In the United States, as in every country where Catholics live, bishops follow mandates related to the church's doctrines. Bishops occupy their positions as successors to the Apostles in the Bible. Catechesis provides Catholic formation and a foundation to evangelize.
Evangelization: What and Why
The Catholic Church follows Christ's mandate to carry the news of salvation into every corner of the earth and into every life situation. Essentially, evangelization is the way Catholics attempt to convert souls to their teachings and rituals. Believed to be the work of the Holy Spirit in human lives, evangelization always directly relates to Jesus Christ -- to Catholic and Christian faith that Jesus was born, suffered on the cross, died and rose from the dead so that all people might attain eternal life. Without this proclamation, evangelization does not occur.
In Catholicism, catechesis serves as the central means of informing Catholics and those preparing to enter the Catholic Church of the Gospel teachings. As Catholics mature in their faith, they receive guidance that opens them to the Holy Spirit, who transforms their spirits. In tandem with their spiritual development, catechesis helps Catholics become increasingly better prepared to evangelize. The Catechism of the Catholic Church functions as the teaching resource that summarizes Catholic beliefs.
Evangelization and Catechesis
To evangelize from a position of teaching authority, Catholics must comprehend and experience what the Catholic Church believes. Catholics must receive continuing spiritual formation to serve as reliable witnesses to Jesus' teachings and to the Church's traditions. In Catholicism, catechesis provides lifelong formation for members and for those pursuing initiation in the Catholic Church. Through catechetical formation, Catholics prepare to evangelize and to convert others to Catholicism. Because evangelization and catechesis form such integral and related roles, the United States Conference of Catholic Bishops has an Evangelization and Catechesis committee.
Stewardship and World Mission
In Catholic teaching, evangelization and catechesis comprise two of four activities led by the Committee on Evangelization and Catechesis in the USCCB. With evangelization and catechesis, the principles of stewardship and world mission also play essential roles in the Catholic Church's mission to the people of the world. While the USCCB addresses church issues in the United States, its guidance adheres to worldwide doctrine and theology.
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