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{{vm.product.SpProduct.Article}} Liturgical Catechesis in the 21st Century, Revised Edition
A School of Discipleship

James C. Pauley

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In Liturgical Catechesis in the 21st Century: A School of Discipleship, Dr. James Pauley explores the sacred action most essential to forming genuine disciples: the transformative encounter with God in the liturgy.

Drawing upon important twentieth-century intellectual influences as well as the experience of several of today’s foremost catechetical leaders, this book will inspire readers with a promising new vision for sacramental preparation and mystagogical catechesis, one that places maximum emphasis on apprenticing people into an active and fruitful sacramental life in Christ.

This revised edition has been updated to reflect the 2020 Directory for Catechesis.

Praise for Liturgical Catechesis in the 21st Century: A School of Discipleship

“Here is a gift to the Church as we enter a new era when Catholics who remain ‘superficial’ in their prayer lives and ‘remote’ in their knowledge of Christ are being overwhelmed by the values of our passing age. Liturgy can be our source of life in God if instruction is more encounter, teaching more communion between learner and Christ, and catechesis more an ignition of supernatural desire. All catechists, clergy, and theologians will benefit from this book if they receive it for what it is: a cry to allow the supernatural to order the passing on of the truths of our faith. Only then will knowledge give birth to devout worship.”

—Deacon James Keating, PHD
Director of Theological Formation
Institute for Priestly Formation
Creighton University, Omaha, NE


“Dr. James Pauley’s book presents a dynamic synthesis of pertinent conversations about catechesis and evangelization for our day.  His timely work can help our brothers and sisters out of their spiritual poverty to enable them see the greatest possible encounter with God.  It will help form genuine disciples for generations by enabling them to have a transformative encounter with God in the liturgy.”

—Don Kline, VF
Pastor, St. Joan of Arc
Phoenix, AZ


“Every person responsible for catechesis needs to read this book.  Chapters 9-12, describing ways to pass on a deep, lasting and vibrant faith through liturgical catechesis, provide many helpful practical examples. I will be implementing many of these ideas in our parish.”

—Therese L. Salazar, MA
Director of Religious Education
Our Lady of Belen Church
Belen, NM


Liturgical Catechesis in the 21st Century: A School of Discipleship reveals the insightful, well-researched voice of a gifted catechist and an accomplished liturgical scholar; not from an ivory tower, but from the trenches of hard-won pastoral experience.  James Pauley brings the Church’s liturgical-catechetical tradition to life, makes it present and relevant, and offers today’s pastoral ministers, catechists, and liturgists new vision and strategies to revitalize parish life and help accomplish that ‘transformational encounter with God’ needed for missionary discipleship.”

—Gloria F. Zapiain, MA
Director, Secretariat for Evangelization, Catechesis, and Faith Formation
Archdiocese of San Antonio


“Pope Francis teaches us that the Church must initiate everyone into the ‘art of accompaniment’.  James Pauley does just that, painting a roadmap for personal discipleship through the liturgy.  A much needed read to counter the drop in sacramental understanding and participation.”

—Curtis Martin
Founder and Chief Executive Officer
Fellowship of Catholic University Students


"In Liturgical Catechesis in the 21st Century, Dr. Pauley invites us and those we catechize to a deeper encounter with Christ in the Church’s liturgy. He listens with us to the voices of faithful Catholics past and present, who offer new possibilities for helping Catholics of all ages awaken to an encounter with the Divine in every liturgical celebration."

—Lani Bogart
Director of Marriage and Family Life
Our Lady of Perpetual Help, Glendale, AZ


’Lex orandi lex credendi’; As we pray, so we believe. James Pauley offers ample food for thought and prayer on the relationship between the liturgical and catechetical components of the Great Commission.  Dr. Pauley’s book is insightful, practical, and useful for enhancing how we teach the Faith.”

—Ken Ogorek
Director of Catechesis, Archdiocese of Indianapolis
President (2015-2018), National Conference for Catechetical Leadership


“In this inspiring book, James Pauley retrieves and updates the integrated catechetical vision so much desired in the lead up to Vatican II. Like a true Christian scholar, he brings forth things old and new--from the insights of Jungmann to the recent calls of Benedict XVI and Francis for a mystagogical renewal. Pauley demonstrates that the Liturgy is, and always has been, the key to effective catechesis. Liturgical Catechesis in the 21st Century: A School of Discipleship deserves to become a standard text for every religious education program in the training institutes of the English speaking world and beyond.”

—Dr. Gerard O’Shea
Associate Professor of Religious Education
University of Notre Dame, Sydney, Australia


“Dr. James Pauley's work takes seriously the cultural challenges the Church faces in carrying out her mission today. Pauley answers the challenge via a liturgical catechesis that invites one into a deep and abiding communion with Jesus Christ--a much-needed message in an age starved for meaningful and lasting relationships. In youth ministry, he proposes catechesis that takes seriously the need for apprenticeship, which will serve any parish that takes youth discipleship seriously.”

—Brad Bursa
Director, Office of Youth Evangelization and Discipleship
Archdiocese of Cincinnati


“Imagine a parish that is ‘steeped in a culture of transformative liturgical encounter’ with the risen Christ . . . James Pauley shows us how to be that parish, by exploring the early Christian process of liturgical catechesis as a process of apprenticeship in forming missionary disciples.  He describes what is essential to liturgical catechesis, speaks about its challenges, and shares insights from concrete pastoral applications.”

—Ximena DeBroeck
Assistant Professor of Sacred Scripture,
St. Mary's Seminary & University, Baltimore


“James Pauley's Liturgical Catechesis in the 21st Century: A School of Discipleship offers an apprenticeship in a supernatural way of seeing for the Church in a secular age. Pauley draws upon resources from the liturgical movement, the savoir faire of catechists in the field, and his own experience in sacramental formation to develop a contemplative approach to catechesis. This book should be read by all involved in the art of liturgical and sacramental catechesis."

—Timothy P. O’Malley, PHD
Director, Notre Dame Center for Liturgy
Editor, Church Life
Concurrent Associate Professional Specialist, Department of Theology


“With the skill of an historian and the heart of a catechist, James Pauley presents a compelling vision for a contemporary renewal of parish life, a renewal based on helping our people to better encounter God in the sacraments. This book will change the way we look at catechesis. Liturgical Catechesis in the 21st Century: A School of Discipleship is greatly needed by all catechists, youth ministers, RCIA directors and liturgists—and the people who teach them. I highly recommend it. I hope it will be an instant classic."

—Most Reverend James Wall,
Bishop of Gallup NM


“James Pauley’s Liturgical Catechesis in the 21st Century is not only essential reading for any high school religion teacher, priest, deacon, seminarian, or catechists, but it is also an ideal resource for any person who desires a deeper understanding of how we encounter Christ and His Paschal Mystery within the celebration of the liturgy. Pauley is able to weave the insights of Cyprian Vaggagini, OSB and Joseph A. Jungmann, SJ into a dialogue with recent popes, saints, and the lived experience of catechists to develop a comprehensive and insightful work into liturgical catechesis. This work is an authentic response to the need for a new liturgical movement as it outlines the relationship between the liturgy, theology, catechesis, and evangelization."

—Roland Millare, STL, STD
Theology Department Chair
St. John XXIII College Preparatory, Houston, TX