Last Updated: Friday - 09/24/2010
Week of May 28, 2007
Talk about faith in 'real' language – bishop
Bishop Paul-Andre Durocher tells class to make words relevant
By DEBORAH GYAPONG
"Our consumer society influences us; it makes us consumers of religion."
- Bishop Durocher
Durocher, a dynamic teacher, showed how that kind of methodical evangelization could take place in the workshop entitled, What Does it Mean For Me to be a Catholic in the World Today?
On May 12, he worked through passages from the catechism on Baptism and Confirmation, encouraging the participants to form small groups, discuss the relevant passages, then report what they discovered.
In discussing the "indelible mark" of Baptism, participants said it was like being born into a family. Even if you walked away from that family, you were still a member.
Then Durocher wove what participants said into a theological context, helping bring the doctrine to life. He said this process of reflection on the passages and finding everyday language and images will help make the Gospel relevant to the people who need to hear the message.
"Don't we all wish we could start all over?" he asked, pointing out that the sea in the Book of Revelation refers to "everything that stops us from being everything we could be. Somehow the messiness and chaos of life wells up within us and we screw up again."
Durcoher explained how in Baptism, one is plunged into those waters and brought up "no longer bound to it."
In Baptism, "we're being made graceful, grace-filled and that quality comes from our relationship with God," he said.
"Our consumer society influences us; it makes us consumers of religion," he said, noting the Church has become "a place for more consumption," in the form of "consuming spiritual graces."
But being a Christian brings responsibility, and that responsibility is to spread the Good News and participate in the Church's mission, Durocher said.
In Baptism, we are welcomed as members of the extended family of God, he said. "Anyone who belongs to a big family knows there's a lot of messiness involved. The Church is like that."
The family image is one of being connected, he said, but many in the world feel disconnected. With the duties and responsibilities come rights and privileges, including inheritance.
Even if you walk away from your family, if you inherit money, some lawyer will come and find you, he joked.
"It's a bond that is established that can never be broken," he said. It also speaks about how we are "shaped like Jesus" and "become like Jesus" as "much as I discover I am a child of God."
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