Handbook on the Catechetical Accompaniment Process

last updated: July 1, 2024

To learn more about the work of the Subcommittee on the Catechism through the Institute on the Catechism, refer to the Handbook on the Catechetical Accompaniment Process, which can be downloaded here:

Handbook on the Catechetical Accompaniment Process

The Handbook provides instructions on how to use the Protocols—which were developed by the Subcommittee on the Catechism—in the development of catechetical materials:

Protocols for Conformity

What is the Handbook on the Catechetical Accompaniment Process?

The Handbook on the Catechetical Accompaniment Process is a resource developed by the Institute on the Catechism, a work of the Subcommittee on the Catechism, under the Committee of Evangelization and Catechesis at the United States Conference of Catholic Bishops. This resource is designed to serve the Institute on the Catechism and those who collaborate with the Institute in the work of cultivating a culture of evangelizing catechesis in the United States.

The Institute on the Catechism was discerned as a response to a changing catechetical landscape, as well as in response to the guidance provided by the 2020 Directory for Catechesis. The Committee on Evangelization and Catechesis worked with the Subcommittee on the Catechism to renew their approach to their mandate to oversee the use and presentation of the Catechism of the Catholic Church in catechetical resources in the United States, with guidance from the Directory, moving towards a proactive method of accompaniment.

Who is the Handbook meant for?

This resource is meant especially for publishers who wish to have their catechetical materials included on the Conformity Review List. The Handbook gives instructions on the process and provides an overview of what publishers can expect when working with the Institute on the Catechism.

The Handbook is also useful for bishops and diocesan personnel who assist the bishop in selecting and implementing catechetical programs within their dioceses, since it describes the means by which the bishops of the Subcommittee ensure that catechetical materials produced for use in the United States are meant to help foster an evangelizing catechesis.

What is evangelizing catechesis?

At the heart of the Church’s mission to all people, an evangelizing catechesis seeks to deepen a personal encounter with Jesus Christ through the power of the Holy Spirit:1 It proclaims the core message of the Gospel, the kerygma;2 it accompanies people to a response of faith and conversion to Christ;3 it provides a systematic exposition of God’s revelation within the communion of the Catholic Church;4 and it sends out missionary disciples as witnesses to the good news of salvation5 who promote a new vision of life, of humanity, of justice, and of human fraternity.”6

  1. The Directory for Catechesis (DC) offers a more expanded description in paragraphs 55 and 56.
  2. cf. DC, 2: The kerygma “manifests the action of the Holy Spirit, who communicates God’s saving love in Jesus Christ and continues to give himself so that every human being may have the fullness of life.”
  3. cf. DC, 3: The process of accompaniment leads to an internalizing of the Gospel which “involves the whole person in his unique experience of life.”
  4. cf. DC, 4: “The act of faith is born from the love that desires an ever-increasing knowledge of the Lord Jesus, living in the Church.”
  5. cf. DC, 4: “All believers are active participants in the catechetical initiative…and because of this are called to become authentic missionary disciples.”
  6. cf. DC, 60: “Since ‘The kerygma has a clear social content’…the efficacy of catechesis is visible not only through the direct proclamation of the Lord’s Paschal mystery, but also through its revelation of a new vision of life, of humanity, of justice, of social existence, of the whole cosmos which emerges from the faith and which makes its signs concretely present.”

Looking for the former Handbook on the Conformity Review Process?

The former Handbook on the Conformity Review Process, which explains the Conformity Review Process that was in place prior to the implementation of the Catechetical Accompaniment Process, is still available for download:

Handbook on the Conformity Review Process