|Sacramental Preparation||Inspire the Faith of Children||Inspiren la Fe de los Niños|
Among the laity who become evangelizers, catechists have a place of honor. "Imbued with the apostolic spirit, they make a singular and absolutely necessary contribution to the spread of the faith and of the Church by their strenuous efforts" (Pope John Paul II, Redemptoris missio).
Welcome back, fellow catechists! I pray your summer was a time of refreshment and of growing closer to your loved ones and to God. I'm excited because my latest catechetical booklet, Be an Amazing Catechist: Sacramental Preparation is now available from Our Sunday Visitor, and my original booklet, Be an Amazing Catechist: Inspire the Faith of Children is now available in Spanish!
Sacramental Preparation is at once a collection of powerful teaching methodologies and an urgent plea for catechists to recognize their dual "calling" within the life of the Church. If God is leading you to teach the Faith, be assured that He is also inviting you to draw nearer to Him. He is calling you to conversion.
As the booklet points out, catechists have always had a major impact on the health of the Church. Those who are unfaithful in their transmission of the Church's teachings do her grievous harm that spins off across generations. Many so-called Catholics have lost their way in a Godless culture because they simply don't know any better. But the humble, loyal catechist, with God's help, can powerfully impact individual souls for the good and thereby strengthen the whole Church.
One day we will stand before God, having labored in these seemingly barren fields, and He will show us all the fruits that were hidden from us in life. If we are faithful to His teachings, those fruits will be beautiful and eternal. Remember:
- Sacramental preparation is of the greatest possible importance to the well-being of the Church. While our salvation is offered freely by God, He calls us to contemplate and understand His teachings, so that we are empowered to pass on a culture of love, obedience, and service to the next generation.
- None of this is possible without your own authentic sacramental walk with Christ, and your humble submission to the unchanging moral and doctrinal teachings of the Church. The source of every Catholic's identity is Jesus Christ, the obedient Son of the Father, who yielded His will even unto death.
- Week by week, study the concepts for your lessons. Day by day draw near to Him and pray. Hour by hour, ask for His help to live out what you've been freely given, always laboring in a spirit of hope. Remember that the Holy Spirit "blows where it wills" (Jn. 3:8) and we must be patient, respecting the unseen work He accomplishes in souls.
As I pray for all of my fellow catechists—that they persevere through suffering and cling devotedly to the person of Christ—it is with a glance heavenward, with the expectation of one day enjoying your eternal friendship face to face, in God's presence. I pray that this little booklet is a joy and a help to you on your way.
Although the Lord gives you the bread of adversity and the water of affliction, your teachers will be hidden no more; with your own eyes you will see them (Is. 30:20).
Heartfelt thanks go out to all the catechists and DREs who contributed their wisdom and insight to this booklet, especially: Heidi Busse, Barbara Falk, Grace Abruzzo, Christian LeBlanc, George Sim Johnston, Dorian Speed, Betty Mitchell, and Mary Elise Eckman. You are all amazing catechists!
In the peace of Christ through Mary,
9/13/2011 4:00:00 AM