Monday, April 20, 2015

Seven Conclusions from the Liturgical Catechesis and the New Evangelization Conference

In my previous 6 posts on this blog, I have shared my notes from the presentations I heard on Thursday and Friday from the speakers at the Liturgical Catechesis and the New Evangelization Conference at University of St. Mary of the Lake, Mundelein. Here is the link to Part 1. (You can follow the links at the bottom of each post to the next one.)

So, what did I learn from the conference?  I continue to ponder many of the ramifications, but here are a few thoughts.

1. Liturgical catechesis is crucially important to helping people connect fully with Christ to develop a personal relationship. His presence and action in the sacraments is the major way we can encounter and experience him. We need to help people bridge the public worship experience with their prayer life and private experience of Christ.

2. Liturgical catechesis is not about us. It is about Christ. Not what we do, but what Christ does in the liturgy and the sacraments. Learning about our role in the liturgy is only a tool to open ourselves to the grace and actions of God.

3. We must combat liturgical boredom by putting our best into the liturgy, and by helping people understand it. Many young people leave and don't come back today in part because of boredom with the liturgy.

4. Liturgical catechesis is crucial for formation of children and teens, but even more so for their parents, who are the ones who bring them to Mass and encourage practice of the faith. (So many people in the audience pointed out that issue, and presenters agreed.)

5. Catechesis on the symbols, words and actions of the rites should not be put off until the rehearsals for sacrament participants, but interwoven through their preparatory catechesis - and indeed through all catechesis. (In this, current textbooks are pretty much inadequate, so this requires a catechist well-versed in the liturgy.)

6.  The ability to interweave catechetical presentation of doctrinal points with examples from Catholic liturgical practice is an important skill we need to encourage in catechetical leaders and catechists. (Lex orandi, Lex credendi, Lex vivendi)

7.  So much needs to be done. Who is going to do this training and how? Where are the materials and workshops?  (A mission for the Liturgical Institute, perhaps?)  There is much work to do here - and I intend to be an ongoing part of it through the venues I have available to me: my diocesan ministry, this blog, my Liturgical Catechist website, social media and more....

Part 1 - James Pauley keynote
Part 2 - Fr. Douglas Martis
Part 3 - Petroc Willey
Part 4 - James Pauley
Part 5 - Jim Beckman
Part 6: William Keimig - RCIA

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