Last Updated: Friday - 09/24/2010
Week of May 6, 2002
Be passionate for God, Reichers urges catechists
By ART BABYCH
Canadian Catholic News
Almost 400 Catholic religious educators from across Canada attended a four-day conference in Ottawa and were challenged to return to their communities filled with passion for God.
Pallotine Father Erik Riechers, director of the Pallottine Faith Enrichment Centre in Red Deer, was the final keynote speaker at the conference April 25-28, sponsored by the child portfolio of the National Office of Religious Education of the Canadian Conference of Catholic Bishops.
Riechers drew a parallel between the delegates' faith journey as catechists for children, and the disciples' encounters with Christ at the Transfiguration on Mount Tabor; in the garden of Gethsemane; and on the road to Emmaus.
"On the top of the mountain, the disciples say 'Lord, it is good to be here,'" he said. "From the transfiguration, where you have unrestrained joy, a life immersed in play and passion for God, you come down the mountain and your first real experiences are sickness, death and taxation."
Then comes Christ's crucifixion and later the disciples' encounter with him on the road to Emmaus, after which they ask him to stay with them. "And that is the fullness of the catechetical journey," Riechers said.
It is a journey "From the place where we are mesmerized by the Lord, to the place where we are called back by the Lord, to the place where we will literally call upon him to stay with us, to remain with us."
"You must go back (to your homes and ministries) with passion for God that starts on Tabor, goes to Gethsemane and ends, not at Emmaus, but at turning back to Jerusalem."
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