Verbum Domini Institute
About the Verbum Domini Biblical & Catechetical Institute
Welcome and Mission Statement
Welcome to the Verbum Domini Biblical & Catechetical Institute! The Archdiocese of Hobart seeks to fulfil the role of forming the Catholic faithful through the establishment of this Institute. A key role of the Institute is to form, and then commission, active parishioners to be catechists for the Archdiocese, who can then work in their parishes in the sacramental preparation of children and the preparation of adults for entry into the Catholic Church.
The Institute takes its name from Pope Benedict XVI’s post-synodal Apostolic Exhortation Verbum Domini (2010) which called for the establishment of specialised institutes for biblical studies where the laity and missionaries can come to understand, live, and proclaim the Word of God.
The Second Vatican Council recognised the existence of, and need for, catechists. The Council called for the establishment of diocesan schools where “catechists may study Catholic doctrine, especially in the fields of Scripture and the liturgy, as well as catechetical method and pastoral practice; schools wherein they can develop in themselves a Christian character, and wherein they can devote themselves tirelessly to cultivating piety and sanctity of life” (Ad Gentes, 17).
Pope St John Paul II, in his great document on the Mission of the Redeemer (Redemptoris Missio), speaks of the “army of catechists, both men and women” who have built the Church in mission areas and continue to intensify their catechetical activity in older and established churches (n. 73). The Pope reiterated the Council’s call for the establishment of catechist training schools.
The Task of Catechesis
The task of catechesis is “to show who Jesus Christ is, his life and ministry, and to present the Christian faith as the following of his person” (General Directory for Catechesis, 41). As such, the Verbum Domini Biblical & Catechetical Institute seeks to form adult members of the Christian faithful to be firmly committed disciples of Jesus Christ, who are confident and competent in transmitting the integrity of the Catholic faith and life to those who are enquiring about Christ, those in the process of full initiation into the life of the Church, and those members of the Christian faithful who seek a deeper understanding of the mystery of Christ and conversion to the Person of Jesus Christ.
St. Ambrose of Milan (c. 338-397) is the Patron of the Institute due to his profound understanding of Scripture and his ability to pass it on through the catechesis of the lay faithful. He is also well-known for his participation in the conversion and catechetical instruction of St. Augustine, who became one of the greatest theologians of the Church in the West. St. Ambrose is one of the first four Doctors of the Church together with St. Augustine, St. Jerome, and St. Gregory the Great. St. Ambrose, pray for us!