“Catechist” and “catechesis” are two of those buzz words in the Church of the last 40 or 50 years. There is a big difference between catechesis and religious education. They are close but should not be confused. RE is teaching and learning about religion – which means that neither teacher nor pupil actually needs to be a believer. But catechesis, such as preparation for the sacraments or children’s liturgy, is something very different. It is faith talking to faith. The faith of the catechist speaks to the faith of the catechist speaks to the faith of the other party.
We are and have been blessed with many excellent catechists here in our 3 Churches. They all deserve our hearty thanks, but they also deserve our support and that should mean ongoing support and formation. “Faith talking to faith” means that a catechist should be comfortable in sharing her or his own faith, as well as in talking about it following some programme or text-book. How has Christ worked in my life? How do we share our faith with those we are catechizing?
So Cardiff deanery is holding a Day for Catechists to offer such support and formation. It is called “Sharing our faith – an invitation to Catechists”, and will be a day of reflection and faith exploration led by Madeline Page, diocesan Evangelisation and Education Officer.
The day will begin with a reflection on our calling as Catechists, as part of Christ’s call to serve His overall mission for the Church. A practical session will follow on how we share our faith with others. In the afternoon we will reflect on our lives and where God has been present. How can we put our faith and experience into words for those that do not yet know him? The day will also, of course, provide a rare opportunity to share experiences and fellowship with Catechists from all over the city. It is set to be a great event backed by all the clergy of Cardiff.
I would expect and urge every one – baptism, first Communion, Confirmation, RCIA, children’s liturgy etc – to give up these hours just once, for the good of our 3 Churches. Not much to ask, surely, especially out of the Communion and Confirmation “season”?
The day will take place at St David’s College on Saturday 30 September. It will start at 10am with an optional Mass at 9.30am, and finish by 4pm. Lunch will be provided. Please contact firstname.lastname@example.org or tel 2036 5965 to book your place.