Let me confess that I am someone who tends to wear his clothes until they virtually fall apart. My favourite pair of shoes is over ten years old, and my sweaters weren’t much younger, with most pitted with an assortment of tears, holes and other character-defining features. In fact, it wasn’t until I had a business meeting and noticed one of the attendees fixated on my shredded sleeve that I decided, finally, to replace them.
My first thought for the fate of my trusty companions was a quick burial in the garbage. But as the mercury fell dramatically it occurred to me that perhaps a faded or well-worn sweater, for someone less fortunate, was better than none, and so I dropped them in the local charity bin. I won’t lie. My heart skipped a little at seeing my trusty steeds put out to pasture, but at least, I reasoned, it was a noble retirement.
As is often the way, I thought of those clothes going out into the community and wondered whose home they would join. Would they find their way to a cool retro-hunter keen to show off his thrift-shop chic? Would they be part of a workman’s casual wear, perfect for odd jobs around the house? Or would the charity determine that they weren’t fit for duty after all?
Recently, while volunteering at a soup kitchen, a remarkable situation occurred. As I was moving through the crowded hall I noticed an older gentleman shuffling forward. He set himself up at a crowded table and wriggled out of his threadbare jacket. To my surprise I saw that he was wearing one of my recently discarded sweaters. I recognized the torn sleeve, the holes peeking out beneath the armpits, and the frayed edges all around. I couldn’t help but move towards him, and when he saw me he smiled. “Check out my new threads,” he said, rubbing his sleeves happily. “Looking good,” I answered, humbled and abashed. “Yes,” he laughed emphatically, “yes I do.”
If there are such things as life-defining moments, then that was surely one of them. I will never again take my good fortune for granted, and I will always remember that all gifts matter, be they large or small. More importantly, I know that I must go out into the world to offer service. Not just to render good to others, but because my soul needs feeding, and there is no greater meal.
… because you have torn your clothes and wept before me, I also have heard you, says the Lord. -2 Kings 22.19
This Certificate Program is designed to give lay people the necessary Catechetical background in order to feel more confident in the following areas of Parish Ministry:
- Sacramental Preparation
- Youth Ministry
- Parish-based Catechesis
This program, offered in three levels covering various topics, is also invaluable to anyone seeking to know more about their Catholic Faith.
Course Registration Fee is $100 for each Level.
Location: Canadian Martyrs Parish 835 Northmount Dr NW, Calgary, AB
Catechetical Certificate Program 2017-2018
Topic Order is subject to change
- Scriptural Foundations (Hebrew Scriptures): Sept. 30
- Scriptural Foundations (New Testament) : Oct. 14
- Liturgy: Oct. 28
- General Directory for Catechesis: Nov. 11
- How to be and Effective Catechist: Nov. 25
- Prayer and Spirituality: Dec. 2
It is a very exciting time in our diocese as the newly created Religious Education curriculum is rolling out in all Catholic schools in Alberta! Growing in Faith ~ Growing in Christ is the fruit of a powerful collaboration of the Catholic Bishops of Ontario, Alberta, Saskatchewan and the Northwest Territories. This new curriculum replaces the long standing Canadian Conference of Catholic Bishops’ curriculum Born of the Spirit.
This new catechetical instrument which will be for grades one through eight is already being used by grades one, two and three. Within the next few years all grade levels will be available. This new program of studies is state-of-the-art as it embraces our Canadian Catholic milieu with our diverse ethnic communities and aboriginal peoples, as well as our Eastern Catholic communities such as Ukrainian Catholics and many more.
The program is organized in such a way as to journey with our children through the Church’s liturgical seasons, so that what they learn about how their faith is celebrated. This is reinforced by what they experience at Mass and in their Catholic school communities. The program includes a student text book, and an online component that students can share with their parents via their personal web portal.
Even the parish priest and his staff have a special parish web portal so that they can access and review what is happening at any grade level in religious education.
The program is also designed so that teachers who deliver the program will be personally enriched with materials specially researched to act as teacher enrichment resources. For the first time, we have a resource that can enrich the student, the parent, the teacher and the parish staff.
The Religious Education Office of the Diocese thanks Bishop Fred Henry for making this project a reality. Bishop Henry’s untiring efforts to seek out partners for collaboration, in order to bring this project to fruition cannot be exaggerated. As the Liaison Bishop for the Alberta Catholic Bishops, for the past 19 years, Bishop Henry has observed, validated, and put into motion all that was needed to help bring about a collaborated effort in producing the best catechetical resource we can have at this time for our school communities.
Bishop Henry spared no sacrifice or effort to meet, discuss, explore, dialogue, evaluate, and execute all that was needed to make this project a reality. On behalf of all the stakeholders within our diocese who, for years to come, will enjoy the many blessings of this rich and dynamic resource, we thank you from the bottom of our hearts and wish you God’s abundant grace and blessing for the years ahead!
The Alberta Catholic School Trustees' Association has prepared a resource that can be used in classrooms to supplement the letter written by the Catholic Bishops of Alberta-NWT for the 2016 Catholic Education Sunday.
To view the resource in English, click here.
To view the resource in French, click here.
On Saturday, September 24 the Diocesan Office of Religious Education gathered approximately 100 catechists at Holy Spirit Parish to celebrate the World Jubilee for Catechists. Following the special Mass, we listened to a marvelous presentation by Dan Lacroix on Fr. Albert Lacombe, whose centenary we are celebrating in Alberta this year. Fr. Lacombe was a zeal-filled catechist who brought the message of the Gospel to native people of our land. His “Catechetical Ladder” was one of the original catechetical tools used to help the native people of Alberta visualize God’s saving plan for humanity.
After our historical journey into our past (which will be shared in more detail in upcoming editions of THE CARILLON, starting in December) we were treated to a profoundly faith enriching presentation by renowned motivational Catholic speaker Michael Chiasson, and Erin, a young woman joyfully testifying to her own faith renewal. Michael and Erin’s faith witnesses re-enkindled the fire that motivates us to go out and spread the Good News to all we meet!
Many of the participants will be registering for our Diocesan Catechetical Certificate Program. The program has been running since its launch in the Holy Year 2000. The program consists of three levels that are presented from September until June each year. Hundreds have graduated from the program feeling more confident and empowered to share their faith with others by various means of catechesis: in RCIA; sacramental preparation; as Catholic school teachers; and in youth ministry and adult faith formation groups. If you are interested in learning more about your Catholic faith check out our Diocesan website: www.calgarydiocese.ca under Religious Education to register for the next session.