To all our readers, parish priests, catechetical teams and catechists, we wish you a New Year filled with deep peace and a yearning to live out and proclaim God’s reign and goodness by the witness of your lives. We pray that all persons we journey with will come to a deep love for and appreciation of the faith and be filled with a true sense of gratitude, aware that all is gift. Meister Eckhart once said, “If the only prayer you ever say is thank you that will be enough”. If we nurture this attitude from a tender age in young people they will learn to live out of a sense of gratitude rather than one of entitlement.
The mandate of the Archdiocesan Catechetical Office coming out of Synod is:
Be it resolved that the Archdiocese establish ongoing total catechetical formation in all parishes.
This is a tough call as it requires that all parishes and communities utilise available faith formation programmes and opportunities that will facilitate growth in faith from the womb to the tomb. It also challenges all of us to take up our baptismal promise and put it into action. Baptism makes us members of the Church and by this sacrament we share in the priesthood of Christ and his prophetic and royal mission. What better way to evangelise then by the witness of our very lives.
Often gone unnoticed is the contribution of John Paul I who had the shortest pontificate in history. He was a true catechist in every sense of the word communicating God’s love with humour, honesty and humility. Flavoured with contemporary references from the culture of his day, John Paul 1 spoke passionately using experiences of life and nature. Blessed John Paul II paid tribute to John Paul I in the Apostolic Exhortation Catechesi Tradendae by saying his “zeal and gifts as a catechist amazed us all” (CT 4).
As catechists we continuously present Christ to the world, a world that often appears to be anti-Christ. I pray that we may have the courage to do what promotes the good of community and to be a witness to Christ in a secularised society. Meister Eckhart also asked, ‘What good is it to me if the eternal birth of the divine Son takes place unceasingly but does not take place within myself? What good is it to me for the Creator to give birth to the Son of God if I do not also give birth to him in my time and my culture?’
I pray that we may be catechists after the heart of John Paul I, spreading God’s love and goodness with humour, honesty and humility. – Sr Juliet Rajah, HF, Directress of Catechetics