Nurturing a living, explicit, and fruitful profession of faith: The Baptismal Catechumenate as a comprehensive Christian formation

Marco D Roman, Fordham University


This dissertation examines the assertion that the “Baptismal Catechumenate is the model for all catechesis” (GDC 59, 90–91). The study also expands on this assertion by suggesting that a catechumenal-style formation is a comprehensive model of Christian formation and not simply for the ministry of the Word that is categorized as catechesis. The study demonstrates that the liturgical Rite of Christian Initiation of Adults, described also as the Baptismal Catechumenate, possess within its instructions, pedagogical directives, and diverse liturgical rites a model of Christian formation that is paschal centered and conversion focused. The study shows how the Rite utilizes several formative elements to foster a holistic, integral, and comprehensive education and formation. These formative elements are metanoia (initial or continuing conversion), kerygma (evangelization), didache (catechesis), leitourgia (liturgy, prayer), diakonia (service), koinonia (community, fellowship), and marturia (witness, testimony). This study contends that the collaborative interplay of the above curricular elements creates a pastorally effective formation process that can facilitate authentic conversion for discipleship, described by the GDC as “an apprenticeship in the entire Christian life” (30, 56, 63, 67) nurturing a faith that is “explicit, living, and fruitful” (56, 66, 82). This analysis also reveals the Rite's collaborative vision of formation and the interdependent roles of clergy, lay catechists, sponsors, and the entire community of faith in orchestrating the formative elements within a progressive and public process of individual and communal discernment. The study seeks to advance the continued implementation of the Baptismal Catechumenate by evaluating current pastoral practices and offering specific pastoral recommendations for each period of formation. Finally, the study demonstrates that a catechumenal formation is an effective model for marriage preparation and has potential applications in other areas of parish ministry.

Subject Area

Religious education

Recommended Citation

Roman, Marco D, "Nurturing a living, explicit, and fruitful profession of faith: The Baptismal Catechumenate as a comprehensive Christian formation" (2010). ETD Collection for Fordham University. AAI3399512.