Tag Archives: catechists

Calling all Catechists

“Catechist” and “catechesis” are two of those buzz words in the Church of the last 40 or 50 years. There is a big difference between catechesis and religious education. They are close but should not be confused. RE is teaching and learning about religion – which means that neither teacher nor pupil actually needs to be a believer. But catechesis, such as preparation for the sacraments or children’s liturgy, is something very different. It is faith talking to faith. The faith of the catechist speaks to the faith of the catechist speaks to the faith of the other party.

We are and have been blessed with many excellent catechists here in our 3 Churches. They all deserve our hearty thanks, but they also deserve our support and that should mean ongoing support and formation. “Faith talking to faith” means that a catechist should be comfortable in sharing her or his own faith, as well as in talking about it following some programme or text-book. How has Christ worked in my life? How do we share our faith with those we are catechizing?
So Cardiff deanery is holding a Day for Catechists to offer such support and formation. It is called “Sharing our faith – an invitation to Catechists”, and will be a day of reflection and faith exploration led by Madeline Page, diocesan Evangelisation and Education Officer.
The day will begin with a reflection on our calling as Catechists, as part of Christ’s call to serve His overall mission for the Church. A practical session will follow on how we share our faith with others. In the afternoon we will reflect on our lives and where God has been present. How can we put our faith and experience into words for those that do not yet know him? The day will also, of course, provide a rare opportunity to share experiences and fellowship with Catechists from all over the city. It is set to be a great event backed by all the clergy of Cardiff.

I would expect and urge every one – baptism, first Communion, Confirmation, RCIA, children’s liturgy etc – to give up these hours just once, for the good of our 3 Churches. Not much to ask, surely, especially out of the Communion and Confirmation “season”?
The day will take place at St David’s College on Saturday 30 September. It will start at 10am with an optional Mass at 9.30am, and finish by 4pm. Lunch will be provided. Please contact madeline.page@rcadc.org or tel 2036 5965 to book your place.

Fr Matthew

On Baptism and beyond – Catechists for our 3 churches

Today is the feast of the Baptism of the Lord. We celebrate that extraordinary moment at the river Jordan when Jesus went down into the water. Three years later he would send out his apostles – and the Church – to teach all nations and baptize them in the name of the Father, and of the Son, and of the Holy Spirit.

The celebration of the Sacraments are central to our Catholic life – grace-filled moments that are truly gifts from God. To celebrate them as worthily as possible should be a joy for the community, but this is also a challenge to all of us.

A beautiful development in the period after Vatican II is the role of catechists in preparation for the Sacraments. They accompany those who are preparing, or their parents, for Baptism or Reception, for Holy Communion and Reconciliation or for Confirmation. They share the journey of faith from their own experience of it. We are extremely grateful to all those who are or have been catechists in our 3 Churches.

This Monday all catechists – including those interested in becoming one – are invited to spend a couple of hours together. We will reflect on our role, especially in the light of the Church’s teaching on evangelization, so important to Pope Francis, and then have the opportunity to review our individual programmes and methods. We will conclude with a time of prayer and blessing.

Some questions to ponder in preparation – How do I see my role? What part does my own faith play in that role? What is the purpose of our particular programme – one day’s celebration or for life? How can we develop our ministry and what help could we seek?

St Brigid’s centre this Monday 12 January 7-9pm

Fr Matthew