A History of the Catechumenate
A History of the
Catechumenate: the First Six Centuries, written by Rev. Michele Dujarier,
provides timeless information and a rich resource for anyone involved
with the RCIA or who wants to learn more about the Church and her history.
Published in 1979, this book describes the rise and decline of the catechumenate
in the Early Church, various restoration attempts, and achievements in
restoring the catechumenate during the past half century.
in her introduction to this book, said "I know of no better study
of the history of the catechumenate in the early Church existing today."
Of Father Dujarier's
approach to the topic, Ms. Brusselmans wrote that "he searches for
the practical truth of the matter in order to apply it to his immediate
concerns: conversion, faith and baptism as the seal and sign of that conversion
For the next several
weeks this book will appear here in installments so you can journey through
the experiences of the early Church as it structured the catechumenate.
If you would like
to order the book, please see the Sadlier
Part 1: The Major
Options of the New Testament Era
Christiane Brusselmans presents a succinct overview of the book and of
the history of the catechumenate.
Norms from the Initial Period
This segment reviews the requirements the early Church established for
the selection of those in ministry.
This week reviews the centuries old discussion regarding the length
and requirements of baptismal preparation.
Requirements for Admission to Baptism
An examination of the first years of the Church indicates that access
to baptism seems to involve two distinct stages and two thresholds.
The religious currents that flourished during the New Testament era
and their influence on Christian institutions are examined during this
Part 2: The Structuring
of the Catechumenate (Second-Third Centuries)
Abiding Concern for Pastoral Authenticity
This week looks at two early writers who emphasize the need for a period
of time to consolidate the conversion and to form the convert.
Rome ca. 150
This chapter traces the beginnings of what today is known as the "catechumenate."
Egypt ca. 190-200
The customs and vocabulary that manifest the existence of serious catechumenal
formation at this place and time provide the foundation of this week's
North Africa ca. 200-210
This week continues the examination of the catechumenal reality in this
part of the world during the first centuries.
Rome ca. 215
The chapter details the thorough catechumenal stages at the beginning
of the third century in Rome.
Egypt and Palestine ca. 230-240 Part 1
This week concentrates on the efforts of Origen and Hippolytus to maintain
a catechumenate of quality.
Egypt and Palestine ca. 230-240 Part 2
Continues the review of that catechumenate in Egypt and Palestine process
during this period of Church history.
Syria and Palestine ca. 250
The practice of catechumenal stages developed spontaneously everywhere
as evidenced by documents from this area of the world.
the Dawn of the Fourth Century
This briefly describes information provided by some councils that confirms
the catechumenal pedagogy and indicates a certain relaxation of discipline.
Part 3: The Vicissitudes
of the Catechumenate (Fourth-Sixth Centuries)
In the conclusion of his work, Father Dujarier explores the significance
of the catechumenal experience of the first six centuries of the history
of the Church.
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William H. Sadlier, Inc.
All rights reserved.