Last Updated: Friday - 09/24/2010
Week of March 3, 2003
Bishops talk about catechetics, youth
By RENATO GANDIA
WCR Staff Writer
Catechetics, a common insurance program and youth were among the major issues the Western Catholic Conference of Bishops discussed at their annual meeting, Feb. 20-23.
In response to the catechetical challenges, the bishops commissioned a study of what would be the best approach in delivering adult catechism.
They also discussed the need for more professional catechists especially for adults.
There is a more serious need for English professional catechists than for French speaking, conference president Archbishop James Weisgerber told the WCR.
"There's the need for more formation and encouragement."
At the meeting the bishops talked about how different dioceses can help each other and how to provide resources and support for catechists.
They acknowledged that French catechetics is a special issue. "They are few and very isolated and each province has a different way of dealing with them," noted Weisgerber.
"We want to support them as best as we can but we also want to find what is appropriate."
Prior to the bishops' meeting, the association of Western Canadian catechists sent the conference 15 general resolutions seeking concrete action.
"They want to know in print what can be done. We've agreed in principle what to do but (the association) will cover some practical things," Weisgerber said.
The bishops also discussed a common insurance program for the Church in the region.
The bishops looked at how to jointly provide insurance benefits for priests and lay workers in the region. The bishops believe it's one way wealthier dioceses can help poorer ones. Business people of the dioceses will work out details.
Regarding youth, the bishops exchanged ideas on how to hand on the faith and how to engage young adults in the life of the Church.
"This is a big issue for the bishops and included in that is vocations: How do we encourage vocations to the priesthood and vocations to marriage?"
The bishops exchanged notes on World Youth Day follow-up programs in their respective dioceses. "It is highly important the we recognize the presence of young people in the life of the Church," Weisgerber said.
The bishops re-affirmed that need to read the signs of the times and the challenge to find a way the Gospel can speak to people in this world.
This bishops' conference has 35 members and 24 were present at the recent meeting.