May 20, 2014
|Marlon De La Torre, the diocese’s new Catechesis director poses for a photograph in the chapel at the diocesan Catholic Center. (Photo by Juan Guajardo / North Texas Catholic)|
Marlon De La Torre, who has been named director of the diocese’s Catechesis Department, is an example of a position and person coming together perfectly.
De La Torre came to the diocese in 2010 and has served as director of Office of Marriage and Family Life and director of Catechist Formation and Children’s Catechesis.
He holds a B.A. in Theology and a B.S. in Mental Health and Human Services as well as an M.A. in Theology with a concentration in catechesis from Franciscan University of Steubenville. He also earned a master’s in education from the University of Saint Mary in Leavenworth, Kansas.
“This position perfectly embodies the gifts and talents God has given me in the areas of catechesis, teaching, and administration,” De La Torre wrote in a recent e-mail. “The characteristics of these three areas complement each other well in this position.”
Indeed, as director of Catechesis, De La Torre will oversee all ministerial offices in the diocese including Catechist Formation and Children’s Catechesis, Adult Education, RCIA for adults and children, the Office of Marriage and Family, Pro-Life, Hispanic Ministry, the Cursillo Center, and Youth, Young Adult, and Campus Ministry.
“Bishop Olson has made evangelization and catechesis a priority within this diocese,” De La Torre said. “My primary emphasis will be effective evangelization and catechetical practices in everything that we do.” He stressed that this approach will impact the way fellow Catholics view themselves and others in the light of Christ, helping all to view the world through a Catholic lens.
To this end, De La Torre seeks to implement a catechumenal model of catechesis.
“The catechumenal model is also known as the RCIA model of instructions,” he explained. “In short, it is a journey of faith with various periods within the journey.”
De La Torre spelled out the particulars of the RCIA model which centers around five stages of faith development: inquiry, catechumenate, purification and enlightenment, initiation, and mystagogy.
Inquiry is the time where a person receives an authentic witness of the Gospel, is introduced to Jesus Christ, and is encouraged to begin his or her journey with Christ.
During the catechumenate period, the person receives sound catechetical formation in doctrine, liturgy, moral life, and prayer with emphasis being placed on a thorough knowledge of the Catholic Church.
The purification and enlightenment period fosters a deeper understanding of Christ in prayer and aims to bring the person into a greater awareness of his or her faith in Jesus Christ and to view the world through a Catholic lens.
In initiation the person becomes intimated into the Church and begins his or her new life in Christ through the sacraments of initiation.
Mystagogy refers to the continual call to conversion calling on the person to continually develop his or her relationship with Christ and his Church.
“In essence, this is the Church’s model of catechizing the faithful,” De La Torre said. “The aim is to help every single person have an intimate relationship with Jesus Christ.”
Marlon De La Torre, who has been named director of the diocese’s Catechesis Department, is an example of a position and person coming together perfectly. De La Torre came to the diocese in 2010 and has served as director of Office of Marriage and Family Life and director of Catechist Formation and Children’s Catechesis.