Thursday, July 7, 2016

Read Jesse Klatt's Report on the Catechesis Workshop

Thank you to the wonderful people who helped to make Level III Formation for Catechesis of the Good Shepherd (CGS) a huge success last week! Mother Kelly organized the formation, bringing in Anna Hurdle, an Episcopal Catechist and Montessori guide from Charlotte, North Carolina, to teach 16 Catholic and Episcopal Catechists representing 3 states and 8 parishes. The ECW provided breakfasts, lunches and snacks for everyone Monday through Saturday. The hospitality of our church allowed the group to focus entirely on the work of preparing for ministry, and all who participated were greatly blessed by the people of ECR and by the beautiful space in which to pray, sing, and learn together.

Personally, formation in CGS deepens my faith and grows my understanding of the Bible and the Church more than any other kind of study. Delving into the Bible and Liturgy through hands-on materials used in CGS reveals a wealth of treasure to ponder and store up for prayer and contemplation. The goal of the formation, however, isn’t just the personal benefit of discovering, for example, the elegance and beauty of the repeated symbolism of the way God feeds his people from the Garden in Eden, to imagery in the prophets, to Jesus’ miracles, and eventually in the Eucharist. Each Catechist uncovers these treasures in order to hide them away again in the Atrium, or classroom, where the child, guided by the Holy Spirit, will find them, and having found some great truth on her own,  she will cherish it. That is why a large portion of formation centers on study of the nature of the child.

Now, as we look forward to opening a Level III Atrium for 9-12 year-old children who have grown beyond our current Level I (3-6) and Level II (6-9) Atria, we consider how this child is unique. As the pre-teen child grows in self-awareness and awareness about the wider world, she may long for opportunities to serve and to plan and organize activities. We hope to provide opportunities for the older children that will help them to grow and strengthen our church body. Father Billy, who has experience working with older children and teens, was able to participate in the formation, and he plans to take a greater role in the children’s formation next year. In the future there may also be opportunities for adults to experience Catechesis as a part of their own spiritual formation. Now we are filled with hope as we trust, “that he who began a good work… will carry it on to completion.” (Phil. 1:6)

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