Last Updated: Friday - 09/24/2010
Week of October 28, 2002
Catechists find fulfillment in spreading faith
By RENATO GANDIA
WCR Staff Writer
Teaching the basics of the faith to children and young students is fulfilling for catechists.
"My favourite is when I see their faces light up because they get what you are teaching them," catechist Muff-Anne Haley of Holy Trinity Parish told the WCR.
"Just to be able to get the Christian message across to children and knowing also that when they grow up, you've been part of their journey in faith, fulfills me as a catechist."
Haley was reluctant when she was asked to teach but now she's also handling the preparation of children for Christian Initiation.
Like Haley, parish coordinator Paulette Goerz was reluctant when she was asked to help.
She was willing to help but not to teach. But her reluctance has been replaced by enthusiasm whenever she sees children's faces light up as they learn about their faith.
"Knowing that I am able to help my parish through this ministry is fulfilling."
At times part of the reluctance of a prospective catechist is the lack of teaching experience. But experienced catechists are always willing to share their skills with new ones.
As well, the archdiocesan Catechetical Team holds in-service training to help them.
At their fall in-service, the team gave a workshop on understanding the ministry of the catechist as a storyteller and leader of prayer.
Sister Mary Ludwig, a team member, said "Storytelling is not a new way to teach but it is one of the best ways to teach."
Open the Gospels and you will see that Jesus taught through simple stories, the sister said.
In a presentation about catechists as leaders of prayer, Ronald Laginski, said, "As catechists we're called to be comfortable with our prayer life."
If for catechists it is fulfilling to help children, for catechetical consultants like Sister Gertrude Mulholland, "It is fulfilling to work with teachers and parents and help them understand the program."
Working with volunteers, Mulholland said many times they feel insecure. Help from consultants is always welcome.
"For me it's very enriching. I learned. I have grown so much in this ministry. It has helped me to grow and deepened my relationship with God."
"I need to understand Christian faith deeply so I can share it with others. It keeps me on my toes because I need to keep myself updated," said the coordinator of the archdiocesan team.
Mulholland is grateful that she is able to share her gifts even nationally by helping to prepare catechetical programs. Presently she is involved with a national team developing resources for Grades 4 to 6.
The archdiocesan team recently held catechist workshops in Edmonton, Spruce Grove, Fort Saskatchewan, Lloydminster, Daysland and Red Deer.