Friday, April 03, 2009

Catechetical setting

In the last meeting of our Catechetics class, we had the discussion on the place of catechesis.

Although the GDC named certain places (such as home, parish, catholic schools, Christian associations, and Basic Ecclesial Communities) to be the official locales for catechesis, we cannot impoverish the Grace of the Holy Spirit. Along this vein, I believe that the Holy Spirit works practically anywhere.

Having said this, I remind myself that St. Francis Assisi utilized nature in order to preach even to the birds and doves and rabbits. And of course, was it not Don Bosco himself took long hikes with young people to the countries so that he could teach them stuff about God.

These examples express that place is not really a matter of importance. But then, places define the activities we do there. I mean, we could literally eat anywhere in our house. But then again, appropriateness dictates that we do this activity at the dining hall. It follows, too, that we entertain our guests at the living room, and we respond to the call of nature within the confines of our restroom.

Moving from my illustration of the various functions of a home, I think that it is important for the Church to indicate the various places for catechesis in order to heighten the significance to these. As the Church points out these places, she encourages, nay, directs that her resources (material, personnel and even her ‘maternal care’) ought to be felt by those who move about in these locales.

There was this chapel was made up of GI sheet. I'm not just talking of its roof, but also its wall. The cross that identifies that structure as a place of worship usually falls (and at times even flies!) when strong winds hit that area.

The area was muddy when the rainy season comes; and the wind is ‘powdery’ on summer.

The people built that small chapel. They did not only contribute sum for its construction. They rolled their sleeves and soiled their hands and sweated it out just so St. Martin de Porres would have a ‘home’ in that slum area.

But despite that, the people who initiated the chapel united themselves towards a common goal: to improve the structure of the structure so that one day, they would be able to form a parish. And so they dreamt.

Nearby seminaries were generous enough to help that chapel survive. On summer, they would send their seminarians to work there for their apostolate. A congregation of nuns was there as well during its infancy stage.

And then, nearly two decades after, that same chapel flourished into a robust structure that would be a parish which would cater to about 20,000 Catholics.

This chapel was the place of worship I grew in. This is where my parents got married. This is where the rudiments of catechesis were taught to me by my persevering catechists. This is where I served as a sacristan, and a lector and a catechist.

And as I look back in my vocational journey, I cannot but consider that ‘chapel’ as one important place which helped nourish my vocation.