Be missionary disciples, catechists reminded

Catechists are called to be missionary disciples and live out their baptism according to the teachings of Christ through the Church.

Mar 22, 2019

KUALA LUMPUR: Catechists are called to be missionary disciples and live out their baptism according to the teachings of Christ through the Church.

That is the singular and most important spirituality of every catechist, Sr Retta Savariannan fdcc reminded the 130 catechists at the day-long Spirituality of the Catechist programme, organised by the KL Archdiocesan Catechetical Ministry at the Church of Our Lady of the Holy Rosary in Brickfields, Kuala Lumpur on March 2, 2019.

Further, citing the General Catechetical Directory (GCD) she said, it is essential for catechists to realise that spirituality is an essential part of their lives.

“The function entrusted to the catechist demands of him a fervent sacramental and spiritual life, a practice of prayer and a deep feeling for the excellence of the Christian message and for the power it has to transform one’s life; it also demands of him the pursuit of charity, humility and prudence which allow the Holy Spirit to complete his fruitful work in those being taught.” (GCD,114)

In short, she said,“The success of the catechist’s mission depends on the depths of his/her spirituality”.

She also advised the catechists to have a deep spirituality which springs from their vocation and mission. She highlighted that the call to sanctity and sainthood is central for every Catechist.

Quoting St John Paul II, she said: “The true missionary is a saint.” Likewise, catechists are called to be saints. They are called to holiness and to mission and this includes living out their own vocation with the fervour of the saints.

She encouraged the Catechists to learn the life of the saints and to adopt a patron saint whose life can inspire them in their mission as catechists, while constantly seeking the intercession of the preferred saint.

Sr Retta is a Canossian sister with a Master’s degree in Religious Science from Rome and another Master’s degree in Formative Spirituality and Counselling. She has been actively involved in both parish life and at diocese level over the past 30 years since her religious profession.

She also highlighted the need for catechists to be both self-giving and not shy from suffering.

“Catechists share the responsibility in the Church’s mission of salvation — even of giving one’s life for it, if necessary,” adding that catechists are called to imitate Christ “who loved the Church and sacrificed Himself for her.” (Eph 5:25)

In terms of missionary zeal, Sr Retta reminded the catechists of St Paul’s ideal of apostolic ministry:

To have the “love of Christ which overwhelms us (2 Cor 5:14)”, and “to have a strong missionary spirit convinced of what they say and enthusiastic and courageous, without ever being ashamed of the Gospel.” (cf Rom 1:16)

The day-long session included a series of group discussions and a short quiz to gauge the understanding of the Catechists and to help them recap the key messages of the session

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