The Way of Catechesis: Exploring Our History, Renewing Our Ministry


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Drawing on more than forty years of experience as a catechist, parish DRE, textbook publisher, and founding director of the Echo Program at the University of Notre Dame, Gerard F. Baumbach explores contemporary catechesis in light of its history. This landmark book is an essential resource for every catechetical leader and will spur a new appreciation of the opportunities and challenges of catechesis in the Church today.

The Way of Catechesis offers a new and timely perspective on the vital ministry of catechesis at a pivotal moment in the work of New Evangelization. Gerard F. Baumbach shows how today’s catechists can follow the pedagogy of Jesus and he invites readers to an understanding that includes both the process and the content of handing on the faith and also a way of living in union with Christ the Teacher.

Baumbach invites readers to consider how key issues and questions throughout the Church’s history shed light on today’s questions and concerns. Numerous reflection questions help the reader prayerfully reflect upon and personally integrate the lessons. He emphasizes four characteristics of the catechetical process in each historical era—belonging, believing, discerning, and living—to highlight the distinctive characteristics of each period and their relevance to catechesis today. 


• As the director of Notre Dame’s Echo Program from 2003 to 2013, Baumbach established a network of diocesan leaders and religious educators who are a ready audience for this book.


GERARD BAUMBACH is professor emeritus in the Institute of Church Life at the University of Notre Dame and director emeritus of the Institute’s Echo Program. He joined the faculty in 2003 after a distinguished career in publishing, writing, and parish catechetical leadership. He was the founding director of Echo.


"A magnificent resource!"
“The Way of Catechesis is a magnificent resource! The text is concise yet comprehensive; accessible yet substantive. The book will be valuable in parishes and classrooms, and for both true beginners and for scholars in the field. It is truly an impressive accomplishment.”

John C. Cavadini McGrath-Cavadini
Director McGrath
Institute for Church Life
University of Notre Dame

"A blessing."
"Gerard Baumbach has been fighting the good fight of authentic catechetical renewal for decades. What a blessing to have his perspective on our disciple-making ministry!"

Ken Ogorek
Director of Catechesis Archdiocese of Indianapolis

"Fills a critical void."
"The Way of Catechesis fills a critical void in literature on the ministry of catechesis. Baumbach has blessed us with a volume essential to our vocations as catechists and catechetical leaders."

Carole Eipers
National Catechetical Advisor for William H. Sadlier

"Appropriate and helpful for a wide range of readers."
"Using the significant points in the history of catechesis as the primary framework, Baumbach weaves together the themes that have shaped and continue to give life to the task of ‘echoing’ the Good News. An accessible writing style and extensive endnotes make the book appropriate and helpful for a wide range of readers."

Jane E. Regan
School of Theology and Ministry Boston College

Dimensions6 × 9 in
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