Yesterday Pope Benedict made Bishop Alexander Sample of Marquette, Michigan the new Archbishop of Portland Oregon..
There are some interesting firsts with this appointment which include this the first Bishop in the USA that Pope Benedict actually made a Bishop that he has now made a Archbishop.
He also was one of the men made Bishop that was born in the 1960's. So on that note I found this part of a Catholic World Report interview interesting.
You’ve described yourself as a member of “the first lost generation of poor catechesis,” which “raised up another generation that is equally uncatechized.” What’s wrong with catechesis and what have you done to help solve the problem?
Bishop Sample: My generation was the first in the wake of Vatican II. While I certainly don’t blame the Council, much upheaval occurred in the Church in its aftermath. Culturally, society was experiencing the sexual revolution, the women’s liberation movement, and the anti-war movement, among others. There was an anti-authoritarian spirit.
In this time of great confusion, catechesis suffered. We booted the Baltimore Catechism out the door, but there wasn’t anything to replace it. I was taught the faith in Catholic schools using materials that were weak and insubstantial. I wasn’t being taught my faith. The liturgy suffered from experimentation as well.
When I speak about this publicly, invariably people of my generation come up to me to agree with what I’m saying. This includes many bishops.
My generation raised up the next generation. Since we weren’t taught the faith, we raised children who weren’t either.
We need a renewal in catechesis. I feel passionately about this. In my Diocese of Marquette, I directed the development of a diocesan curriculum for faith formation for grades K-8. It is a solid, substantive, systematic, and sequential curriculum, which builds from one year to the next. It is topical, based on the pillars of the catechism. Every parish is expected to follow this curriculum.
Now I’m turning my attention toward adult faith formation. If we can get catechesis and the liturgy right, we’ll be well on our way to the renewal and growth of the Church for which we hope.