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By María G. Covarrubias

 Summer is almost over and most parishes are preparing to begin their catechetical programs again. Every year in September, the Catholic Church has a day to celebrate the ministry of catechesis and those called to be catechists. This special day is called Catechetical Sunday. 

 Catechetical Sunday came about in 1935, when the Vatican published a document called “On the Better Care and Promotion of Catechetical Education.” This document asks every country to acknowledge the importance of the Church’s teaching ministry and to honor those who serve the Christian community as catechists.

Read more: Catechetical Sunday and our call to teach the faith

By Maria G. Covarrubias

It is Sunday morning. There is a new sense in the air. Our Lenten journey for this year is over. Again during Lent, we had the opportunity to embark on a very intentional and intense journey of conversion by practicing the three pillars of Lent: prayer, almsgiving and fasting. We also had the opportunity to go to confession and receive God’s forgiveness. 

We just went through our Triduum, which began on Holy Thursday with the Last Supper of Jesus celebrating the institution of the Eucharist and the priesthood. On Good Friday, many of us participated in the Stations of the Cross; in the evening, we remembered the death of Jesus on the Cross and venerated the Cross as a sign of our salvation. On Holy Saturday night, we lit a new fire to light the new Paschal Candle, which symbolizes the light of Christ rising in Glory scattering the darkness of our heart and minds. During the Easter Vigil celebration, the catechumens received the sacraments of Baptism, Eucharist and Confirmation, and the whole church renewed it baptism. Easter is here! JESUS IS RISEN, Alleluia! 

“During this time we will need to keep our gaze fixed upon Jesus Christ, the “pioneer and perfecter of the faith” (Heb 12:2): in him, all the anguish and all the longing of the human heart find fulfillment. The joy of love, the answer to the drama of suffering and pain, the power of forgiveness in the face of an offense received and the victory of life over the emptiness of death: all this finds fulfilment in the mystery of his incarnation, in his becoming man, in his sharing our human weakness so as to transform it by the power of his Resurrection. In him who died and rose again for our salvation, the example of faith that has marked these 2,000 years of our salvation history are brought into the fullness of light.” (Apostolic Letter: Porta Fidei, Benedict XVI, 2011, p6, #13) 

What a great and divine journey of hope and faith we have just accomplished! What an outpouring of divine grace this has been! Everything around us speaks of new life. We are renewed! Jesus has risen! He is truly with us, guiding, healing, and loving us. The resurrected Jesus has descended into the most profound part of our darkness and has saved us because of his immense love for us. He helps us step apart, to become holy and whole as his beloved followers. We rejoice that death could not hold him. “They saw the cloths lying there…and they believed.” Do you also believe? Is your heart singing with joy because of this marvelous event? “Let us allow the joyful awe of Easter Sunday to radiate in our thoughts, gazes, attitudes, gestures and words.” (Pope Francis, Easter should last all week, including in your Bible reading, Catholic News Service, April 21, 2014)

Happy 50 days of Easter!!! 

Maria G. Covarrubias is the Director of the Office of Catechetical Ministry for the Diocese of San Bernardino.

 

By Maria G. Covarrubias

 As we continue in the joy of the Easter Season, we see many signs of life, faith and hope around us. Many children, youth and adults in our Catholic parishes of the Diocese of San Bernardino have received sacraments for the first time. Some completed their Christian Initiation in the Easter Vigil. During May, a large number of children and youth received Reconciliation and First Communion; many youth and adults have received Confirmation around the Pentecost celebration. What a joy-filled season!

Read more: Sacraments and Mystagogy

By Maria Covarrubias

 Have you ever wondered how an unbaptized adult or child over seven years old becomes Catholic? How people from other faiths are received into full communion with the Catholic Church? Most of our parishes provide the Rite of Christian Initiation of Adults, commonly called RCIA. The RCIA process is open to unbaptized adults and children over seven years old as well as for baptized people from other denominations who wish to enter the Catholic Church. The RCIA process includes four stages as well as specific rituals that mark those stages within the Christian Initiation, in accord with the restoration of the integral catechumenate decreed by the Second Vatican Council. 

Read more: Christian Initiation is wonderful tradition in our Church

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