2016 List of Approved Texts for Catechetical Instruction
Office of Evangelization, Catechesis and Family Life
List of Approved Texts for Catechetical Instruction for the Diocese of Austin
(Updated and approved January 2017)
The role of the catechist is to evangelize and teach the Gospel to all. As evangelizers, we are tasked with providing opportunities for young persons to encounter Christ and to develop an intimate relationship with Him. Evangelization and catechesis go hand in hand; evangelization is like the seed that is planted on fertile ground and catechesis is the process of nurturing, caring and guiding that helps the plant grow and become fruitful. We do this by providing the resources and instruction that meet the particular needs of the people as we accompany them in their journey of transformation.
One of the resources we are in the midst of completing is a revised list of Approved Texts for Catechetical Instruction for the Diocese of Austin, which includes many more texts than before. This list will help pastors and catechetical leaders (DREs) discern the series or texts that would best meet the needs of the parish or school. This list of approved texts serves as a guide for choosing texts, but the final decision should be made by the pastor or principal (texts chosen must be on the approved list). The texts on our diocesan approved list come from the Conformity Review List of the United States Conference of Catholic Bishops (USCCB). The texts chosen from the USCCB Conformity Review List are ones that correlate with the Diocese of Austin’s Religious Education Curriculum approved by our bishop and implemented in our parish programs and Catholic schools. Texts not listed below can only be used as supplemental resources, and may not be used as the primary texts for instruction. (An appendix entitled “FREQUENTLY ASKED QUESTIONS” provides further information about the appropriate use of supplemental materials).
Our hope is that a variety of materials will be considered. Following are recommendations for discerning the appropriate series or texts for instruction at a parish catechetical program or Catholic school:
- The series should promote a knowledge of God, a true conversion to Jesus Christ, and help the student develop an intimate relationship with Christ, who calls us to discipleship and sacramental life.
- The series or textbooks should include the best practices in psychological and pedagogical processes which will facilitate the student's learning and growth in faith in a holistic manner (GCD 121). The selected texts should emphasize on the development of materials and resources to help meet the needs of children with disabilities, special needs and multiple intelligences.
- The series should be relatable to the generation addressed [e.g., age appropriate in content and visuals], showing close acquaintance with anxieties and questionings, struggles and hopes that students experience.
- Texts and series should have practical resources such as manuals, lesson plans, multimedia, on-line resources and tangible materials for the catechist to facilitate the instruction, and to provide ways for parents and family members to continue the instruction at home.
In closing, I offer you this reflection from Pope Francis’ Apostolic Exhortation, Evangelii Gaudium:
“In catechesis too, we have rediscovered the fundamental role of the first announcement or kerygma…On the lips of the catechist the first proclamation must ring out over and over: “Jesus Christ loves you; he gave his life to save you; and now he is living at your side every day to enlighten, strengthen and free you.” This first proclamation is called “first” not because it exists at the beginning and can then be forgotten or replaced by other more important things. It is first in a qualitative sense because it is the principal proclamation, the one which we must hear again and again in different ways, the one which we must announce one way or another throughout the process of catechesis, at every level and moment”.
Approved for use in the Diocese of Austin,
March 30, 2016