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Catechesis ‘a matter of doing and being,’ says Filipino bishop

Concluding Mass of the Annual Meeting of the Catholic Bishops' Conference of the Philippines-Episcopal Commission on Catechesis and Catholic Education (CBCP-ECCCE) on August 30, 2023. Photo credit to the CBCP-ECCCE's Facebook Page

A Filipino bishop emphasized that the ministry of catechism is a relatively easy task to perform but, above all, a way of life that must be upheld every single day.

"We know that catechesis is not only a matter of doing but also, above all, a matter of being," said San Fernando de La Union Bishop Daniel Presto.

In his homily during the concluding Mass of the Annual Meeting of Catechetical Ministers (AMCM) on August 28–30, Bishop Presto pointed out that the world right now listens more to witnesses than teachers.

"To be a witness to the faith is the challenge given to every baptized," he said. "But it is, above all, a call to all of us who are directly responsible in the work of evangelization."

Bishop Presto, who also serves as chair of the Catholic Bishops’ Conference of the Philippines-Episcopal Commission on Catechesis and Catholic Education (CBCP-ECCCE), underlined the importance of catechists undergoing regular programs to guide them towards self-examination and faith renewal.

"If we do not do an honest self-examination, we would find that we too may be likened to those Pharisees and scribes who are good at just performing the task, but actually inside of us there are still a lot of behaviours and attitudes that need to be transformed," he said.

"If we continually grow in our faith, then the better equipped we are in accompanying those who are entrusted in our care to grow in their faith also," he also said.

At the conclusion of the CBCP-ECCCE’s three-day meeting in the Province of Bataan, the commission’s Advisory Council released a Statement of Commitment detailing their three-fold response to "revitalizing the gifts of being, becoming, and belonging" to their Catechetical Ministries.

They commit to the establishment of the Advisory Council for the Ministry of Catechists (ACMC), the implementation of Pope Francis’ motu propio on installing and instituting catechists, and the execution of the CBCP statutes on the ECCCE.

Furthermore, the CBCP-ECCCE Advisory Council also dedicates itself to strengthening its communication initiatives through "meaningful catechetical activities and social media presence," as well as empowering the network of the National Catechetical Office of the Philippines across the Philippines.

The release of their Statement of Commitment is part of the observance of National Catechetical Month in the Philippines, which is set every September. - Luke Godoy


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