WASHINGTON--Catholics are called to learn more about the practice of going to confession, as Catechetical Sunday 2014 focuses on the theme "Teaching About God's Gift of Forgiveness." The U.S. bishops' Committee on Evangelization and Catechesis offers a range of resources on the Sacrament of Penance to be used in parishes in conjunction with Catechetical Sunday, which is September 21 this year.
"Whether you confess regularly, or this is the first time in a long time, may this be your moment to draw near to the confessional with confidence to celebrate the tender loving mercy of God," said Bishop David L. Ricken of Green Bay, Wisconsin, chairman of the Evangelization and Catechesis committee, in a message to U.S. Catholics.
Pope Francis has encouraged Catholics to return to confession at some of his Wednesday general audiences and even modeled the practice during a Lenten penance service this year in St. Peter's Basilica. Videos produced by Catholic News Service, capturing these moments, are among the resources for diocesan and parish catechists offered by the U.S. Conference of Catholic Bishops (USCCB). Resources in English and Spanish are available at: www.usccb.org/beliefs-and-teachings/how-we-teach/catechesis/catechetical-sunday/sacramental-forgiveness/index.cfm
These resources include a guide for clergy, "Preaching About the Gift of God's Forgiveness," by Father John Guthrie, USCCB's associate director of Clergy, Consecrated Life and Vocations, a teaching aid by Jesuit Father Peter Ryan, USCCB's executive director of Doctrine, and a catechist in-service by Father Louis Cameli of the Archdiocese of Chicago. Other resources cover saints who were confessors, why one should confess sins to a priest and an examination of conscience, among other topics.
Resources can also be purchased at: www.usccbpublishing.org
Catechetical Sunday, which is observed on the third Sunday in September, is a celebration of catechists and all teachers of the Catholic faith. Many parishes commission those who serve in catechetical ministry on Catechetical Sunday. The U.S. bishops have provided resources for Catechetical Sunday since 1971. More information is available at: www.usccb.org/catecheticalsunday