Issue 23: Autumn 2023

Download the pdf version of this issue by clicking here.

The word ‘CATECHIST’ comes from the Greek word meaning ‘to echo’. As Catechists or teachers of RE we do not proclaim our own word. We echo the message of Jesus Christ our Lord. This newsletter aims at providing parish catechists and teachers of RE in schools some support in terms of reflections, ideas, useful resources they can use and so on. Feel free to share with other colleagues and friends. There is also a pdf version which you can download by clicking on the thumbnail below.

In this issue
The Family and its key role in Catechesis
From the General Directory for Catechesis
World Youth Day
Recents events in SDC London
Church news websites

The Family and its key role in Catechesis


The importance of the family unit within society is a fundamental fact that is hard to be disputed. This vital importance of the family is also key when it comes to the process of passing our Christian faith to the next generation. This is naturally by no means an easy task particularly due to the various challenges the family faces with regards to the traditional family values.

It has always been the view of the church that parents are the first educations in faith for their children. In this sense they can be looked at as the first ‘catechists’ for the children within their family. This what is meant when the family is referred to as a ‘domestic church’ in various Church documents.

The General Directory for Catechesis refers to the family as a locus, a place of catechesis as the different aspects and functions of the life of the entire Church may be reflected..’ within the family unit - Witnessing, prayer, Mission and catechesis too.

As stated in the Evangeli Nuntiandi, the family ‘is a place in which the Gospel is transmitted and from which it extends’ (EN 71) The family does this by rooting the Gospel values in the context of what happens in daily life, good and bad times.

From the General Directory of Catechesis


Christian initiation within the family is a Christian education
  • more witnessed to than taught,
  • more occasional than systematic,
  • more ongoing and daily than structured into periods.
  • The General Directory of Catechesis, paragraph 255

    World Youth Day

    Pope Francis to Young People gathered at the World Youth Day, Lisbon, Portugal - August 2023


    This is what the church and the world expect of you: to be radiant in your youthfulness, to bring the light of the Gospel everywhere, and to be beacons of hope in these dark times… we radiate light when we welcome Jesus into our hearts and learn to love as he does. Then the light of true beauty shines forth: the radiance of a life that is willing to risk everything for the sake of love.

    SDC in London - Our recent SDC Events and Gatherings



    Our Summer term reflection day this year took place on Sunday 25th June 2023. As this was the day following the feast of St John the Baptist, patron saint of our Society, we focused on the life and message of this special saint using one of the Septenary sessions.

    The day started with mass at the parish of St John the Baptist in Purley. We then proceeded to St Catherine’s parish in Littlehampton where we stopped for reflection in the parish hall and lunch. On the way we also visited the shrine of Our Lady of Consolation at West Grinstead. We ended the day with a relaxing walk at Littlehampton harbour before we returned to London.



    On the occasion of the feast of St John the Baptist, a special gathering was held at the SDC House in Upper Norwood on Saturday 24th June 2023. Following our reflection on the life of this saint and devotions from the Septenary programme we had a barbecue in the garden which was an opportunity for the young people and some catechists who attended to come together and celebrate the feast of the SDC patron saint.


    Our weekly sessions this year resumed in January 2023 and continued to be held in a hybrid way where people can attend in person or join us online via Zoom. As from February 2023, we also started meeting in person at the Holy Rosary Parish in Brixton, to give parishioners there the opportunity to join our group.

    The main theme for this year’s Bible sessions is ‘The Bible Timeline’ through which we are looking at one particular era of the Old or New Testaments and key person each month. Among the other topics we regulary cover are the History of the Church, aspects of SDC Spirituality, Lives of Saints, and current affairs.

    Online Resources

    Have a look at these Church News websites


    News from the Catholic world including the Vatican itself and dioceses and Christians around the world. Also includes a direct link to the Vatican Radio.



    The website of the Holy See - Vatican news, information, special events, pope's speeches, links to church publications, biographies of popes and more.



    The website of the official Vatican newspaper. News and reports about events in the Church itself and in the world.


    Download the pdf version of this issue by clicking here.