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CCI director receives national catechetical award

Author: Arts and Letters

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Gerard F. Baumbach, director of the Institute for Church Life’s Center for Catechetical Initiatives (CCI) at the University of Notre Dame, will receive the 2008 Catechetical Award from the National Conference for Catechetical Leadership (NCCL) at its April 8 meeting in Houston.

Baumbach, who also is a concurrent professor of theology at Notre Dame, is being honored “for his work and the ongoing vision and contributions of the Center for Catechetical Initiatives.”
“Through my service to faith and community, I have worked to nurture and empower persons of faith in uncovering such gifts as wisdom, culture and memory in relationship with others in the life of the Church,” Baumbach said.

A catechist since 1966, Baumbach has lectured and directed discussions in more than 40 dioceses on such subjects as spirituality, adult faith formation, liturgy and Catholic identity. He also is the author of numerous articles and books, including “Letters From a Wounded Heart: Reflections to Strengthen and Comfort Your Soul,” “Spirituality for Lent and Easter: A Guide for Bridging the Mysteries,” and “Experiencing Mystagogy: The Sacred Pause of Easter.”

As director of CCI since it was established in 2003, Baumbach was the chief architect of the Echo Faith Formation Leadership Program, in which Notre Dame graduates live in community and pursue master’s degrees while serving as “apprentice parish catechetical leaders” in Catholic dioceses nationwide. During the last four years 47 graduates have begun or completed the two-year Echo apprenticeships. More than 80 percent of Echo graduates have continued in some form of ministry.

*Contact: * Gerard Baumbach at 574-631-2877 or

Originally published by Michael O. Garvey at on March 26, 2008.