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The Mission of the Catechism with Dr. Petroc Willey

This episode tackles the questions, “what’s the difference between catechesis and evangelization? Do they overlap at all? And how do we encounter Christ in the Catechism?”

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Show Notes

(00:04) Edmund and Emily introduce this episode, its mission and its guest. Today, they are joined by Dr. Petroc Willey, Ph.D, Ph.D. professor of theology at the Franciscian University of Steubenville. Dr. Willey is the Director of the Catechetical Institute at Franciscan University of Steubenville, Ohio, Consultor for the Pontifical Council for the Promotion of the New Evangelisation (now the Dicastery for Evangelization) in Rome, and is on the Board of Advisors for Real+True. Edmund shares how he encountered Dr. Willey and the impact of Dr. Willey.

(03:40) “How did you encounter the Catechism, Dr. Willey?” Our guest shares how a project to write a commentary on the Catechism introduced him to the book that would change his life. “It (the Catechism) was asking of me a response of faith, and it was challenging me into entering a relationship with Christ the whole time. It wasn’t a book that could just stay on the shelf.” Edmundo then shares his personal story of encountering the Catechism.

(10:20) Catechesis and Evangelization: what’s the difference? And how do they overlap? Evangelization is a process, and catechesis is a moment within it. Dr. Willey explores this and details that the Church considers primary catechists to be parents. “The catechist needs what’s in the catechism in order to introduce the other person to Jesus Christ and his saving truth.” The goal of catechesis is ‘insertion into the mystery of Christ.”

(19:50) Introducing others to Christ: encountering the Catechism and encountering Christ. Dr. Willey shows us an example of how the Catechism speaks to the human heart, and the “depth of its spirituality.” Dr. Willey switches out the word “mankind” with the name of the person he’s speaking to as an example of how powerful the Catechism is. Emily asks Edmund to explain how to pray with the Catechism, following the structure of Lectio Divina.

(32:44) The gift of the Catechism: “The Church gives us what we need for our times…. And this will convert, heal, and restore us… in the most important ways, in our understanding, our faith, our worldview, and our relationship with Christ.”

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