An inspirational Religious Education Convocation
Father Alejandro Lopez-Cardinale, Graet Gossip from Venezuela, leads a Spanish-language workshop, “El Catequista: Testigo Vivo del Evangelio,” during last Saturday’s diocesan Catechetical Convocation at Paul VI High School, Haddon Township.
Catechetical Convocation: ‘Know, Love, and Serve’
Above, Dr. Saundra Kennedy helps catechists learn to “Know, Love, and Serve” their students as the keynote speaker for last weekend’s Catechetical Convocation at Paul VI High School Haddon Township. Below, participants gathered in the auditorium before the opening procession and prayer.
HADDON TOWNSHIP — Prayerful. Prepared. Compassionate. Enthusiastic.
These are all the qualities of effective catechists, according to Dr. Saundra Kennedy, the keynote speaker at the Camden Diocesan Catechetical Convocation, held here at Paul VI High School on Sept. 17. Currently the regional vice president for sales with FACTS Tuition Management Company, she works with Catholic schools and faith-based schools in Louisiana and Mississippi. Over 500 parish and school catechists took part in a day designed to help them “Know, Love, and Serve” others, becoming the best they can be as heralds of the Good News.
“We share in the missionary activity of our Catholic Church,” stressed Dr. Kennedy. She added that catechists must be committed to their ministry, emphasizing the importance of devoted prayer life, preparedness in their work, compassion for their students, and enthusiasm in the classroom.
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“May the living Christ be known, loved, and served,” he said.
Rebecca Barnes, a fourth-grade religious education teacher at Haddon Height’s Saint Rose of Lima Parish, found Dr. Kennedy’s words “inspiring.” “She touched on ideas relatable to both new and experienced catechists,” she said. “We (catechists) felt supported,” said Kristen Zielinski-Allen, parish catechetical leader at Saint Anthony of Padua Parish in Camden.
After the keynote, Barnes and Zielinski-Allen and other catechists took in educational workshops ranging from “The Word Alive: Using Bible Movies” to “All Are Welcome: Inclusion for Families with Special Needs,” with presenters focused on helping participants more faithfully execute their mission. Sister Kathleen Burton, SSJ, co-director of the Office of Faith and Family Life for the Diocese of Camden, called the day a “success, bringing renewed energy and enthusiasm to the ministry of catechesis.”