I find that, when you are teaching the Faith in catechesis, because you are transmitting the Person of Christ, not just propositions about him, you share from the depths of your being with those you catechise, from your own reality as a ‘new creature’, as one redeemed in Christ’s blood. You are teaching very deeply from your own heart (the deepest centre of the person), from your own relationship with Christ. This in itself draws you very close to those you teach. They see you witness to them, opening yourself, and they tend to offer the same back to you. They share their lives deeply with you. The communion that catechesis creates, therefore, in the heart of the Blessed Trinity, is very beautiful and sacred.
I love this little chunk from the Lineamente (para 12) for the Synod that happened last October:
“What is not believed or lived cannot be transmitted… The Gospel can only be transmitted on the basis of ‘being’ with Jesus and living with Jesus the experience of the Father, in the Spirit; and, in a corresponding way, of ‘feeling’ compelled to proclaim and share what is lived as a good and something positive and beautiful”
This week, my last in the parish, I feel very surrounded by this communion. Goodbyes are poignant but full of hope, too, at what God is doing. I have felt a torrent of love and received so many flowers, at one stage I was heaping them in my kitchen sink as I didn’t have enough vases. This time next week when I am actually moving I will probably be having a mascara-fest at the sadness of taking myself away from so much love and stepping into the unknown.
One of the things I will miss most of all is giving catechesis in a parish setting:
- The joy of teaching and leading people through the RCIA process and seeing the Holy Spirit transform them;
- I’ll especially miss the one-to-ones with people which always gives the opportunity of conversing more deeply and personally to the individual’s situation;
- The excitement and creativity of a roomful of teenagers keeping you on your toes – the adventure of a constant attempt to let the message break through to them in new ways;
- Sharing the highs and lows of teenagers – I find you can’t help loving them even when they, more than anyone else you catechise, will push you beyond what you thought were your limits;
- Guiding my little group of 7-year-olds towards silent prayer in Come Follow Me and seeing them develop an interior life;
- Nothing beats a hall packed with adults, excited and hungry to be nourished with Christ’s life-giving teaching;
- Spending six evenings last term giving formation to new catechists was such a gift – what can be better than transmitting all that you have learnt which has formed you as a catechist with others?
- All the difficult and messy situations which I’ve witness being transformed with prayer and the Holy Spirit’s power – small conversions, reconciliations, changes of heart;
- Finally, all the ‘catechetical friendships’ in my parish and beyond – the blessing of many, many friendships forged in the mission of giving catechesis together
Thank you, Lord!
I could not have dreamt for myself a better job than I have been privileged to do these last three years. A little piece of my heart will always be here.