INSTITUTE OF CATECHETICS OF THE ARCHDIOCESE OF MANILA
Catechists who are impelled by the love of the Father, deeply rooted and committed in the person of Christ, moved by the Holy Spirit, in imitation of Mary, faithful to the Church and truly Filipino.
We, the Institute of Catechetics of the Archdiocese of Manila, commit ourselves to the integral formation of catechists through an ever-deepening commitment to the Triune God by:
• Enhancing their personhood (intellectual, psycho-social and physical),
• Facilitating the process of spiritual growth (prayer and sacramental life),
• Inculcating in them the love for Mary,
• Experiencing among themselves a sense of ecclesial community,
• Participating in building the community of disciples in collaboration with their pastors,
• Fostering the missionary spirit particularly at the Service of the Church of the Poor,
• And involving them in the transformation of their culture and society.
General Description and Goal of the ICAM Formation Program
The Institute of Catechetics of the Archdiocese of Manila (ICAM) is the Archdiocesan Formation Center for Catechists, Religion Teachers, and those who are engaged in the Ministry of the Word of God in the schools and in Parish communities. Its main goal is to offer Integral Faith Formation.
The Programs of the Institute of Catechetics are designed to cover four major areas:
1. The content of the Christian Message (Theology)
The Word of God: Source of Catechesis: “Catechesis will always draw its content from the living source of the word of God transmitted in Tradition and the Scriptures, for sacred Tradition and Sacred Scripture make up a single sacred deposit of the word of God, which is entrusted to the Church” (GDC, 94).
The study of Sacred Scriptures, Christian Witnessing, Christology, and the Sacraments will highlight the purposeful continuity that appears in the process of God’s Self-revelation (D.V., 2, 8). It is in this continuity and mutual correlation that the Institute bases its theological synthesis. This way the students are trained for a catechesis that is personalistic, biblical, liturgical, Christocentric, community forming and truly Filipino in context. Permeating this synthesis is an authentic spirituality steeped in the Gospel.
The gradual discovery of the total meaning of a person’s life and death, freedom and responsibility, the call to communion and mission become the theological framework of the formation program.
2. The Nature of the Human Person and his/her milieu
(Christian Anthropology, Psychology and Sociology)
By including in the programs courses in anthropology, psychology and sociology, the students are made aware that the basic yearnings and needs, the joys and the hopes, the grief and anguish which are part of being human are also the initial revelatory signs of God’s presence and actions in the life of every person (cf. G.S., 1, 11, 58).
“In pastoral care sufficient use should be made, not only for theological principles, but also of secular findings, especially in the field of psychology and sociology: in this way the faithful will be brought to a more mature living of the faith” (GS,62).
“The social sciences provide an awareness of the socio-cultural context in which man lives and by which he is strongly influenced. It is therefore necessary that in the formation of catechists that there take place an “analysis of the religious situation as well as of the sociological, cultural and economic conditions to the extent that these facts of collective life can greatly influence the success of evangelization” (GDC, 242)
Because the life of Faith as an answer to Divine Revelation is essentially a personal relationship between God and the human person, (D.V. 2, 5) the whole curriculum of the program of formation of the Institute lay particular emphasis on the human person in his/her totality as a fully developing rational and social being, ever more open to the needs of others and open to God’s eternal calling.
3. The role and function of the teacher/catechist in the process of transmission of the Christian Message (Methodology)
Because the Institute aims to serve contemporary society, the courses concerning the transmission of the Message are attuned to the needs and goals of the people of today, utilizing techniques and devices of communication, that, aside from being meaningful to both teachers and students, involve them personally in the mutual experience of gradual encounters with the Lord.
Integrated spirituality which is the first aim of renewed evangelization demands a new way of formation for all members of the Christian community. Integral formation is one that is characterized by the newness of its fervor, methods and expressions. (cf. PCP II, 186-187). This entails an approach that is “participative, dialogical, evocative, using stories, parables, and symbols so characteristics of Asian methodology in teaching” (Ecclesia In Asia, 20).
The entire curriculum initiates the students into the task and process of renewed integral faith formation vis-à-vis a spirituality of social transformation that –
§ integrates faith in God with justice and charity to one’s neighbor
§ hope for the world to come with commitment to transform the world
§ attitudinal change with change of ecclesial structures
§ seeks the salvation of the total human person while keeping in mind the primacy of his / her spiritual needs
§ and interrelates dynamically communion and mission in the Church’s life (cf. PCP II, 188).
3.1Renewed understanding of the person of the teacher/catechist and his/her formation
Renewal in evangelization and catechesis necessarily entails renewal in the understanding of the person of the catechist / religion teacher which is inseparable from his / her role. “The present catechetical moment being lived by the Church requires catechists who can “integrate”, who are capable of overcoming “unilateral divergent tendencies” and who are able to provide a full and complete catechesis” (CT, 22, 52).
In view of the need to empower the laity towards a spirituality of social transformation (cf. National Pastoral Consultation on Church Renewal) this renewed understanding of the role of the catechist today, demands that their formation emphasize the development of “new values, new skills new knowledge and new methodologies”. Specifically, the catechist aside from being an agent of social transformation - a strong advocate of the core values of justice and peace in the society and integrity of creation is a facilitator of a real encounter between God and the human person (learner).
This renewed paradigm of the role of the catechist should become a “second nature ”to him / her. Crucial to the task of the catechist / religion teacher therefore, is the facilitation of a personal encounter between God and the human person which brings them (learners) closer to God and at the same time closer to the realities of human life.
“It is a question of forming catechists for the need to evangelize in the present historical context, with its values, challenges and disappointments. To accomplish this task it is necessary for the catechists to have a deep faith, a clear Christian and ecclesial identity, as well as a great social sensitivity” (GDC 237).
3.2 The Christian community as the origin, locus and goal of catechesis, the Parish as an environment of catechesis (Means of Catechesis) cf. GDC, ch I, III
“Without monopolizing or enforcing uniformity, the Parish community must continue to be the prime mover and pre-eminent place for catechesis. It must re-discover its vocation which is to be a fraternal and welcoming family home, where those who have been baptized and confirmed become aware of forming the People of God” (CT, 67).
Catechesis as an ecclesial act is the responsibility of the local ecclesial community. The program hopes to inspire a strong sense of community building and strong appreciation of the role of every catechist and every Christian to help build a participatory Church in the local community.
Seen in the context of a participative Church / community of disciples (PCP II), the Parish, the family, the school, Basic ecclesial communities, associations, movements and groups of the faithful (cf. GDC, ch. 3) become the loci and means of catechesis and at the same time consider themselves empowered partners in the mission of evangelization and catechesis.
The end-product, therefore, that the Institute of Catechetics of the Archdiocese of Manila aims to produce are catechists, religion teachers and Ministers of the Word of God who are first of all well-balanced individuals in touch with people and open to the signs of the times; persons deeply rooted in God through prayer and the sacraments; mature Christians deeply imbued with Catholic Faith and eloquent witnesses of the Risen Christ in the context of the Church and the society today.
Norms and Policies:
Norms and policies mentioned in Chapter IX, Sections H, I and J apply to the Staff of the Institute of Catechetics of the Archdiocese of Manila.
Term of Office:
All appointed ICAM Staff serve a regular three-year term of office. This may be renewed for another term, with an exemption of another three-year term according to the needs of the Archdiocese of Manila and the discretion of the Archbishop of Manila and the ACM Minister.
Office personnel work eight hours a day, 8.00 am to 12 noon and 1.00 pm to 5.00 pm, from Tuesday to Saturday.