“We are Family” and Whole Catechesis at the MAC

Hi Everybody, I just got out of a wonderful presentation by Cecilia P. Regan, who is a diocesan Director of Catechesis for the Diocese of Metuchen, NJ. (Hello, New Jersey!) She is the perfect combination of that motherly, good-humored quality that is so inviting in some women, with the wisdom and practical experience of many years as a DRE before taking her current position a few years ago.

She spoke compellingly about Whole Community Catechesis, the need for it in bringing parents of RE students back into a growing and nurtured faith (or perhaps bringing them in for the first time). She covered introducing the idea of WCC gradually to one’s parish, using hospitality and brainstorming sessions with parish leaders, creating wish-lists and praying together to set exciting goals for the parish’s future. First, try doing a whole catechesis event only once or twice a year (Advent and Christmas, perhaps), to whet their appetites, and build from there. Generally, after one experience, people are asking for more.

I think what I liked most was that she didn’t want to throw the baby out with the bath water. She wants faithful teaching, adherence to the Church’s dogmas, documents, and goals for the New Evangelization, but she also calls for innovation and openness to our changing needs as a church within a changing culture. She’s clearly got a lively faith and a love of the Church. A very encouraging presence, and someone to watch.

We’ll be in our final Leadership Assembly in a few minutes, so I have to run, but this has been a great experience of the Church in all its diversity and, even in some sense (though gently), its conflicts. But I feel such an affection for this dear group of people, all loving Christ, all seeking sincerely to do good. God bless our church and heal her divisions with an abundance of love and good humor. We are family.

About Lisa Mladinich
  • http://www.thecatholicbeat.com Gail Finke

    FYI, I know someone who talks all the time about WCC being terrible. He says it’s mostly a bunch of people who do not know anything about the faith setting up opportunities for “faith sharing” in which other people who do not know anything about the faith emote about things. I don’t know either way, but it does sound to me like the sort of program/system that depends entirely on the people running it knowing what they’re doing. There is, I’m sure we can all agree, way too much emoting in place of actual learning in many programs. Talking about one’s faith and emotions is great as a part of a comprehensive program, but there are other important things as well, and men in particular do not want to sign up for anything that mostly involves sitting around and “sharing.” Did any of what you heard resemble this person’s assessment?