Week-in, week-out, the catechists of the Archdiocese carry out crucial but often unseen work introducing the meaning and spirit of what it is to be a Christian to, mainly, children across Perth.
That was one reason why it was a particular pleasure for Bishop Donald Sproxton to welcome 43 new catechists at a Commissioning Mass in the Chapel of St Michael the Archangel in the grounds of the Catholic Education Office of WA in Leederville on August 8th.
Bishop Sproxton affirmed and encouraged the new catechists in his homily for their dedication to this work of evangelisation.
The Mass was an important occasion, not only for the newly-commissioned catechists but for shepherds of the faith like Bishop Sproxton, to celebrate the vital work catechists carry out.
While catechists work mainly with children not attending Catholic schools, they also teach adults with special needs and those who have chosen to enter the Church.
In his homily Bishop Sproxton urged catechists to listen to the spirituality of Saint Mary of the Cross, whose feast day is also August 8, and reminded them of St Mary MacKillop’s unique contribution to religious education in Australia.
“There seems a natural flow from her own spirituality to the educational needs of those she taught,” he said.
“Her reflection and mysticism filtered through her experience of life and enabled her to form her mission and we thank God for that prayerful, persistent model for our work.
Listen to her wisdom and follow her to bring those we serve to know Christ and to love Christ.”
At the end of the liturgy, another 26 catechists were acknowledged for completing their Provisional Accreditation as Catechists (the first stage towards commissioning), while six more were congratulated for acquiring certificates for ongoing formation.
Eleven parish priests were also on hand to concelebrate the liturgy.
Special guest, Debra Sayce, director of Religious Education at the Catholic Education Office, thanked catechist Coordinators for their commitment to this work.