Although only nine of the 56 catechists, youth and pastoral ministers who have received the Advanced Certificate in Media Literacy since we began the program in 2006 were able to attend the commissioning, it was a wonderful experience. Each received a certificate from Cardinal Mahony and here is our group just after.
Actually, the entire ceremony was beyond beautiful. 2000 people were present at the bi-lingual (Spanish-English) evening prayer service, and 900 catechists received basic certificates as catechists – a never ending line. Then many others were commissioned as/in Master Catechists, National Certificate in Youth Ministry Studies, Curso Avanzado de Pastoral Juvenil, Media Literacy (Advanced Specialization), Animadores y animadoras des estudios biblicos, and Certificado Curso Avanzado de Biblia.
Where on earth do you ever see 900 catechists commissioned all at once? And in such a place, such music.
For one reason or another this was the first time I had attended a catechists commissioning anywhere. It blew me away, or shall I say, the mighty wind of the Spirit blew through creation last Sunday throughout the Cathedral of Our Lady of the Angels, the Archdiocese of Los Angeles, and the whole world.
900 people who have gone the extra step to become certified catechists on the basic level, and hundreds more who have specialized in some area of faith formation, especially the Bible, catechesis, evangelization, and now media literacy. If you could have seen the people: the entire population of the world was represented. If you ever doubted it, know that Los Angeles is the new New York.
A week later and I am still moved by this experience, this witness, humble and true, by so many believers who will go forth to spread Christ and his Word in love, hope, generosity, a spirit of sacrifice of time and resources.
So much goodness and love of God and neighbor, all in one place, is almost overwhelming.
Here are some photos of the day; enjoy!
Sr. Karen Joseph Hamm and Elaine Liming
Carmen, Sr Hosea, Terri
Celeste (and friend) and Susie
(The laity ROCK!)