...Some lay people feel called interiorly by God to assume the service of catechist.
Our Diocese has a comprehensive curriculum, supported by teacher's guidelines and student workbooks, but as we are encouraged to do, we also prepare additional lesson materials, to enable me to effectively communicate the 'Aim' and 'Message' of the lesson to my students.
As Mary brought Jesus to us all, we hope to bring Him to those individuals – adults or children – who are unable to use other resources.
We do this directly by online courses,
through the catechists we train and support,
and in occasional meetings.
Mary, Seat of Wisdom. Mary is the Seat or Throne on which Jesus stands. Her body, her hands hold Him up to all people, whom He blesses while His sceptre shows that He is the King and the world is His Kingdom.
Mary by her YES was the instrument of the salvation of the world.
The Divine Word is Wisdom. Mary is not the wisdom but the seat of wisdom. The seat or throne is a symbol of authorised mission and legitimate teacher whether it is the throne or King, Bishop or Pope, or the family in the old days, ‘your father’s chair’. Mary is crowned by God not for herself but for her role in God’s work of salvation. She carries the lily of purity.
In humility we place ourselves before the Seat of Wisdom.
We are catechists
Every time we use the words Our Lady’s Catechists we are proclaiming to others and reminding ourselves that we are members of that section of the Church’s teaching ministry and speaking not for ourselves but for the Church.
If you have not already heard the word Catechist you will perhaps have heard of the Catechism, which might give you a clue to what catechesis means and what a catechesis is.
A dictionary definition usually goes something like, ‘one that catechises, a teacher of catechumens.’ That isn’t very helpful, is it?
Webster’s Third Interational Dictionary, 1961, also includes ‘in some mission churches and, a Christian native who teaches.’
Catechesis, catechist, catechumen are words that have become associated more with Roman Catholics although they are words from the Greek, meaning ‘to instruct’. A Catechist is more than an instructor. A Catechist, in addition to passing on information about God in Christianity, tried to help the one being catechised grow in an ever closer relationship with Jesus Christ. To do this well a Catechist needs not only simple piety but a deep faith in Christ together with a sound understanding of the teachings of the Roman Catholic Church.
In Western countries lay catechists are commissioned to help the priest in their parish. This usually means they worked with children who are not able to receive their Catholic education in school. Catechists are becoming more and more involved in the religious education of Catholic adults and those preparing to be received into the Catholic Church.
The Bishop is the first Catechist in his Diocese and is responsible for all catechetical work carried out in that Diocese. Priests and Religious, Parents or childless couples and single people, all who have received the Sacraments of Initiating (Baptism, Eucharist and Confirmation) are called to engage in Catechesis. Sometimes being a Catechist is full-time paid work. Most often it is not. Vast numbers of people devote many hours to the work of catechising. All the baptised are called to proclaim the Gospel.
Catholic Catechist is an association of men and women who are qualified to give religious instruction at the request of parents or parish priests.
The work is voluntary throughout. Catechist members pay no subscriptions, though many generously give a donation. Catholic Catechist depends on donations and subscriptions to cover expenses — mostly postage, printing, fares etc.