Tuesday, 23 October 2007

Thanks to the Catechists....Well ? The ones who actually do their job!!

VATICAN CITY, OCT. 22, 2007 (Zenit.org).- The prefect for the Congregation for Clergy said catechists are an asset to parishes and a promising sign for the Church today.

Cardinal Cláudio Hummes made that affirmation in a letter sent to catechists Thursday, feast day of St. Luke the Evangelist, marking the prelate's first year of service as prefect of the Vatican dicastery that also oversees catechesis.

The cardinal said to catechists: "You are one of the most promising signs with which the Lord endlessly comforts and surprises us. In a dedicated fashion and with passion, seek to acquire and exhibit that image, which is required of teachers, educators and witnesses of the truth, by faithfully passing on that truth to contemporary man, in all of its fullness and integrity.

"I urge you to pray and cultivate with trust a relationship of love, devotion, attentiveness and silence with the Lord."

The letter expressed the cardinal's gratitude and exhorted catechists to a deeper relationship with God.

Quoting Pope Paul VI's apostolic exhortation "Evangelii Nuntiandi," Cardinal Hummes wrote, "May the world of our time, which is searching, sometimes with anguish, sometimes with hope, be enabled to receive the Good News not from evangelizers who are dejected, discouraged, impatient or anxious, but from ministers of the Gospel whose lives glow with fervor, who have first received the joy of Christ, and who are willing to risk their lives so that the kingdom may be proclaimed and the Church established in the midst of the world."

It's Ironic that amidst all this , in the centre of England - A Town with a higher percentage of catholics than any other in the region; a town that once had two senior schools {I will not go into why they were closed} - my thirteen year old son and twelve year old daughter have received not one second of formal catechesis since they left primary school...
Surely Vatican II was categorical on the issue of mandatory instruction for all children ? The response of the local curate was that the mass was a more than adequate source of instruction...So that put the mockers on a Sunday School.

What of NORES - our diocesan educational service ? surely they must feel some duty or responsibility to instruct these disenfranchised catholic children ?
Think again !
Perhaps it's financial resources ? The purse strings are very tight what with declining mass attendance etc - surely they must be concentrating funds where they feel its the most appropriate ?
Well after checking the Charities commission's records what do I discover ? The Diocese spends an unmitigated fortune on education ; and what do I see within the small print ?

Religious Education Advisers' personal expenses [note - NOT wages] - £ 239,523.00 !!!
[please note this does not include any parish based catechist - as they paid from a separate account]

Well I'm sure the ordinary faithful within the diocese are ignorant this abject profligacy ; and I wouldn't be surprised if His Lordship was a little perturbed on his installation when he discovered exactly how much was being flushed away by a select few clerics and professional laity ; especially when thousands of children have been abandoned and deprived of any instruction in their faith.

I'm not sure whether to send NORES £1.50 in 5p pieces or a bottle of Nytol to help them sleep at night...

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