Baptised and sent catechists

by Bp Jose Luis IMC

The diocesan commissioning of catechists is celebrated every year at the Cathedral during the month of February. This year was no exception. Even though it was a very hot day in Manzini, when I went into the church I found the place practically full with catechists coming from our 17 parishes.

As I was sharing with them during the homily, in this “extraordinary missionary year”, many might be wondering “where” and “to whom” God is calling them to go. Not them. They know. They have been called to be catechists and that is why they come together to be sent once again.

It is certainly a big challenge to accept to be a catechist as whoever sees them, sees our Church. It is to them that we entrust our children, young people and adults who prepare themselves to celebrate our sacraments.

The Gospel of the day (Mark 8: 1 – 10) reminded us of Jesus’ compassion for the people: “I feel sorry for all these people they have been with me for three days now and have nothing to eat” and how that same compassion should always be present in their hearts.

Compassion is shown in many ways and I called them to make sure they always “look after” those entrusted to them. It is somehow “easy” to attend a big diocesan gathering once a year but much more difficult to prepare their meetings and be faithful to their group every Sunday morning. The reasons could be different: becoming too busy with other activities, getting tired or having commitments in Church with their own sodalities.

This is, probably, one of the biggest ones. The same sodalities who encourage them to serve the Church might organize other events at the same time or choose these catechists as members of their executives adding more responsibilities and meetings.

We are grateful, though, for their commitment. We pray in a special way that their witness, their joy in helping others to grown in faith and prepare for the sacraments, may generate in them the desire to be sent to others and our missionary spirit continue to grow.

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