The recent revision of this document, developed by the Committee on Divine Worship of the United States Conference of Catholic Bishops, was approved by the full body of the USCCB at their June meeting. View full text at http://www.usccb.org/about/divine-worship/policies/guidelines-sacraments-persons-with-disabilities.cfm or download a pdf version at http://www.archgh.org/media/5921/ca072117guidelines.pdf.
Take a moment to see which webinars will help meet your needs! For more information and to register visit http://www.sadlier.com/religion/resources/lifelong-learning-webinars.
Loyola Press has some great articles on recruiting. Here is one that states the Top Reasons to Become a Catechist. http://catechistsjourney.loyolapress.com/2007/06/top-reasons-to-become-a-catechist/
At this time of the year, many Catholics find themselves considering an invitation to become a catechist in their parish. Directors/Coordinators of Religious Education/Faith Formation, Pastoral Associates, Priests, and Deacons are all “on the prowl” seeking out those who have the potential to serve in this role. Perhaps you’ve been invited to be a catechist. Perhaps you know someone who is thinking about becoming a catechist. Or perhaps you are the one doing the inviting. Whatever the case may be, I offer the following reasons for becoming a catechist.
Top Reasons to Become a Catechist
- You will grow in your own faith, learn the teachings of the Church, and deepen your relationship with Jesus.
- Your Baptism calls you to share in Jesus’ ministry.
- Children, teens, and adults in today’s world, more than ever, need to hear the Good News of Jesus.
- Children, teens, and adults in today’s world, more than ever, need to encounter good role models of faith.
- You have much to share with those you’ll teach, and you’ll have opportunities to share faith with other catechists.
- Today’s catechetical textbooks/resources offer outstanding support.
- You’ll be challenged, you’ll have fun, and you’ll make new friends.
- You’ll be helping people deepen their relationship with Jesus. (You’ll be evangelizing!)
- You’ll be handing on a 2000-year-old Tradition that changes lives.
- It’s our job: Jesus sent us to “go and teach all nations.”
What other reasons would you include?
P.S. If you are considering the invitation to serve as a catechist, please send a comment to my blog and tell me (us, i.e. other catechists) what you’re thinking or ask any questions that you may have. There are lots of great catechists out there who would love to share their thoughts with you about this wonderful opportunity!
Do you need any of the new Catechetical Modules? Do you have your Catechist Certificate and would like to teach the Catechetical Modules? Then this day is for you. To register, go to http://archgh.cvent.com/FestivalofModules2017
A Place For All consists of seven all day interactive training sessions designed to teach effective behavior management strategies that can be implemented immediately in a variety of settings. Come have fun while learning how to meet the needs of diverse learners! Choose the Thursday or the Saturday track. Learn more and register online at https://archgh.cvent.com/APlaceforAll2017.
During May when mental health is highlighted the following resource-filled article from the National Association of School Psychologists regarding the new Netflix Series titled series 13 Reasons Why is certainly helpful. Read full text at http://www.nasponline.org/resources-and-publications/resources/school-safety-and-crisis/preventing-youth-suicide/13-reasons-why-netflix-series-considerations-for-educators.
Access catechetical resources for the 2017 theme: “Living as Missionary Disciples” at http://www.usccb.org/beliefs-and-teachings/how-we-teach/catechesis/catechetical-sunday/living-disciples/index.cfm.
In recent times we have unfortunately heard more about the Christian communities in many of the countries of the Near East because of their threatened or precarious status. Many Catholics in the United States may have been surprised to learn that Christian communities, many established in apostolic times, have in fact continued to exist in areas whose populations are now largely Muslim. Further confusing the situation for many American Catholics are the unfamiliar sounding names of some of the communities. At the end of last month Pope Francis visited Egypt. In addition to meeting with Muslim leaders, Pope Francis also met with Christian leaders, including some who are Coptic Orthodox (and separated from us as Catholics) and some who are Coptic Catholic (who are united with us as Catholics).
The Universal Catholic Communion consists of twenty-three sui iuris Churches: The Roman Catholic Church and twenty-two other Churches known collectively as Eastern Catholic Churches. Each of the twenty-three Churches has a hierarchy which enjoys a self-governing power that has either been expressly conceded or recognized by the supreme church authority; these ecclesial groupings are called churches sui iuris (literally, “of their own right”). They recognize one another as being united in one profession of faith, united under one supreme authority, sharing is one sacramental life, with each being an expression of the one, holy, catholic, and apostolic Church. In some cases this bond of communion was severed for some time, only to be reestablished at a later date. Membership in the Catholic Church is never “at large”; instead a person is a member of a specific church sui iuris. Each of the twenty-two Eastern Catholic Churches observes a rite, i.e., a body of liturgy, theology, spirituality, and discipline, derived from one of the five Eastern traditions: Alexandrian, Antiochene, Armenian, Chaldean, and Constantinopolitan.
Within the Catholic Church, the presence, distinction, and importance of the Eastern Churches was unfortunately under recognized for many years, even centuries, by those in the West. This began to change substantially when, during the Second Vatican Council, the council issued the decree Orientalium Ecclesiarum (Decree on the Eastern Churches) in which it affirmed that it held, “in high esteem the institutions, liturgical rites, ecclesiastical traditions and the established standards of the Christian life of the Eastern Churches” (no. 1) and that it, “solemnly declares that the Churches of the East, as much as those of the West, have a full right and are in duty bound to rule themselves, each in accordance with its own established disciplines, since all these are praiseworthy by reason of their venerable antiquity, more harmonious with the character of their faithful and more suited to the promotion of the good of souls” (no. 5). The establishment of a permanent synod of bishops following the Second Vatican Council for the universal Church was a clear instance of the history and traditions of the Eastern Churches being allowed to influence the direction of the universal Church. Pope St. John Paul II, during his pontificate, reinforced this message when he spoke on numerous occasions of the need for the Catholic Church to “breathe with both lungs,” i.e. to incorporate within itself the inspiration and genius of both east and west.
The United States, being, like most nations of the western hemisphere, a nation of immigrants, has within itself both Roman Catholics and Catholics of several of the Eastern Catholic Churches. There are 18 established hierarchies of Eastern Churches in the United States (2 archeparchies, 15 eparchies, and one exarchate) from 10 different Eastern Churches (Byzantine-Ruthenian, Ukrainian, Maronite, Chaldean, Syro-Malabar, Syro-Malankara, Armenian, Melkite, Syriac, and Romanian Churches).
Within the Roman Catholic Archdiocese of Galveston-Houston there are a number of parishes and missions of various Eastern Catholic Churches. These parishes then, are not Catholic parishes that are not a part of our archdiocese; rather, they are under the jurisdiction of one of those 18 Eastern circumscriptions. In Houston, these include a Ukrainian Catholic parish, a Byzantine-Ruthenian Catholic parish, and a Maronite parish. Also, there are two Syro-Malabar Catholic communities in Missouri City (a Malayalam speaking community and a Knanayan community), and a Syro-Malankara community in Stafford. The Roman Catholics of our Archdiocese are enriched by the presence, witness, and collaboration of these our Catholic sisters and brothers. It is important to remember that these are communities of Catholic Churches with whom we have full communion and therefore all Catholics are welcome not only to attend their liturgies but to share fully in the sacraments. Our own Cardinal Archbishop, with his own deep love of the Eastern Churches, has made it his practice regularly to visit these local eastern communities and to give visible testimony to our full communion by sharing together with them in the sacraments.
As we hear news of the situation of Coptic Catholics in Egypt, Syriac, Melkite, Armenian and Maronite Catholics in Syria, and Chaldean Catholics in Iraq we do well to remember the bonds of communion that unite us to them and to pray for them and their safety.
In the United States we as Catholics can often be guilty of presuming that the issues that seem most pressing to us are likewise the most pressing for the Church throughout the world. That is very often not the case.
On the topics of euthanasia and assisted suicide, however, we see that this issue is indeed a pressing one in many places. Read here about how the issue one that has again been brought to prominence in Italy. https://cruxnow.com/global-church/2017/05/04/pontifical-academy-life-speaks-polarizing-euthanasia-debate/