By Liz Sullivan
Featuring the theme of “Teaching for Discipleship” the Diocese of San Jose held its annual Welcoming & Commissioning Day for catechists on September 1 at Santa Teresa Church.
This day is an opportunity for pastoral ministry leaders to renew friendships, meet and welcome newcomers. It also featured a special liturgy in English, Spanish and Vietnamese and a liturgy presided over by Bishop Patrick J. McGrath.
“Discipleship is no easy task,” said the Bishop. “I repeat: to be a true disciple is indeed costly business. Jesus knew this, as he was walking the path to Jerusalem, to the Cross; the Twelve may have begun to wonder, but until the end, they were uncertain. Only after the Resurrection and Jesus’ gift of the Spirit did they truly understand, were they truly willing to take up their own crosses to follow.”
The Bishop added, “Disciples know Jesus. In the same way that they come to know their friends, their loved ones, they know Jesus. Not because they have read about him in a book or Googled the events of his life. No, disciples know Jesus intimately, and they allow Him to know them in just the same way. To you, catechetical ministers and youth and young adult ministers, are entrusted the treasure of the Church. To you are entrusted children, youth and other inquirers who echo the apostles’ request. They, too, want to see Jesus.”
Catechetical Ministry Director Wendy Scherbart introduced a commissioning ceremony for eight ministers in English, Spanish and Youth & Young Adult Ministry.
David Cortese received a Certificate of Advanced Catechist from Bishop McGrath
Receiving Certificates for Master Catechist were: Paty Rascón, Alde Vera, Hermana Silvia Frías Zepeda, Joselyn Martinez, Araceli Zarate, Anabella Estrada and Yolanda Toulet.
Speaker of the event was Mike Carotta, EdD, who is the author of “Teaching for Discipleship: The Call, The Challenge, The Difference.” Everyone attending the day received a copy of the book. His workshop was sponsored by “Our Sunday Visitor.”
Carotta’s book points out why now is the right time to emphasize the call of discipleship, the challenges involved in making “necessary adaptations,” catechetical dynamics that distinguish this from our past approaches, and practices that can help all of us keep heart.
“I have never been more excited in my catechetic life than I am right now,” said Carotta, “because of the notion of discipleship. Those who teach, lead and serve. It is more than a belief, it is a notion to do good.”