What does conversion look like for children and youth? How do we teach them that conversion is a way of life that requires daily commitment? These questions are even more pressing today than they were in 1988 when the Rite of Christian Initiation of Adults (with adaptations for children) was issued.
In Children and Youth in the Catechumenate, Anne Koester shows catechumenate ministers how to immerse young seekers into an apprenticeship in Christian life. By using the liturgy of the church and the liturgy of life, she demonstrates the four integral dimensions of Christian discipleship that form young believers for mission.
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"A must read for those involved in implementing the catechumenate adapted for children and youth! Attention to critical pastoral questions inspires a return to the ritual text for Christian initiation that informs pastoral decisions about authentic adaptation that leads to discipleship. It will be required reading in my course on the catechumenate for pastoral ministers."
"Among Catholics, the presence of unbaptized children and youth used to be a rarity. Now any parish may encounter a member of this group any day. Not every parish is ready. Anne Koester’s book shares her experience ministering to young inquirers and their families. It teems with accurate knowledge of the RCIA, a vision of intergenerational parish life, a catechist’s ability to inform and inspire, and an uncanny sense of what your next question will be. Even if you are familiar with the RCIA adapted for children, this book will guide you to fuller ministry."
"This book offers solid insights into the process of Christian initiation for adults and children, accompanied by a wealth of practical questions and suggestions to help parish RCIA teams guide children and teens on the path to conversion and faith. Readers might start with Chapter 4 (a gem in itself) to get a solid grasp of the goal and process of initiation and then go to the beginning and work through each stage of the RCIA. Anyone working with young people seeking to join the Catholic Church and celebrate the sacraments of initiation will find this book quite helpful."
"The challenging task of evangelization is one that belongs to every baptized member of the Body of Christ. In order to be sensitive to the needs of every generation, an evangelizing Church must continually assess and renew the way it forms disciples. Anne Koester's exploration of the Rite of Christian Initiation of Adults as adapted for young children and teens does just that. Koester demonstrates with great expertise and ministerial backbone how the work of initiation is a process of apprenticeship, helping young people to experience real conversion by practicing the Christian life and assisting the already baptized in their role as companions on the journey. This resource is a must read for pastors and religious educators who struggle with how to best incorporate young people into the one catechumenate of the local parish."
"Anne Koester has filled a vital need in the literature on the initiation of children of catechumenal age. She rightly insists that their formation must be catechetical, liturgical, communal and apostolic, that we must take their conversion seriously, and that we focus on their experience of engaging the faith in action. All ministers of initiation will be well served in this straightforward review of the RCIA process for this age group."Catherine Vincie, RSHM, PhD
Anne Koester works and teaches at Georgetown University. She also serves as the coordinator of the RCIA process at Holy Trinity Catholic Church in Washington, DC. She is a member of the North American Academy of Liturgy and has written on various topics related to liturgy.