Final Catechesis

Today marks the end of catechesis. We were lucky to have the Cardinal Archbishop of Durban Cardinal Napier. The theme today was “Go Forth, Be Missionaries”. The cardinal said that when we consider how well we are missionaries there are five key questions we need to consider.
1. Who am I?
2. Where do I come from?
3. Why am I here?
4. Where am I going?
5. How am I going to get there?

Cardinal Napier, Archbishop of Durban RSA

He went on to say that these are deep questions when you stop to think about them. Clearly God is at their heart for it has been through our baptism that we have been chosen, called and sent to be missionaries. To be a missionary doesn’t necessarily mean being out there vocally proclaiming the Gospel but it means reaching out to our brothers and sisters in need. It is through our care of and response to others that we then begin to proclaim the Good News. True missionaries then walk with Christ, they build the Church with their faith and finally they profess Jesus. Christ remains central to all we do and we cannot exclude the cross in all we do for if we do we become merely another NGO.

As we are called to be missionaries, especially to the poor, how then do we do that. Most importantly, the Cardinal said, we must respect their dignity. To helps us as missionaries to do this and to be mission to the world we must be faithful to the teachings of the apostles (New Testament), be faithful to the community (we cannot be apart from a community), be faithful to the Eucharist, be faithful to prayer especially personal prayer and be faithful to true Christian charity.

Following the Cardinal’s catechesis we celebrated Mass. The Bishop’s were robed in gold and it look spectacular. Before the final blessing Cardinal Napier asked each Bishop and priest to introduce themselves. There were Bishops from Australia and Lincoln Nebraska and priests from Nebraska, Philippines, Boston, Croatia, Perth, Parramatta and Armidale.

When Bishop Michael introduced himself he made mention of his pilgrim group and the whole of Paro1 and 2 erupted in cheering. The Bishop was the only one to mention his group. But all the priests from Armidale and Parramatta were greeted with thunderous cheers. The Americans tried but we beat them on the noise stakes.

We were very lucky to have Steve Angrisano as our animator musician. He led us in very active songs as well as quiet contemplative ones. There is something to be said for a big church full of people responding. Two of the highlights were Lean on Me with Fr Larry and a Kuwaiti and then the Kuwaiti group teaching us a song.

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