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Why Catholic? – A Journey through the Catechism

By Bishop Michael Pfeifer, OMI, Bishop of San Angelo, TX

Our diocese continues the journey of faith sharing in small Christian communities through the latest RENEW International process, Why Catholic? Journey through the Catechism/¿Por qué ser católico? El Catecismo como Camino. The focus this year is the fourth pillar of the Catechism, Christian Prayer truly Deepening my Experience with God. Why Catholic? is a process to truly deepen one’s relationship with Christ.

Since the beginning of the process, Why Catholic? Journey through the Catechism/¿Por qué ser católico? Has impacted family life in our diocese in many positive ways. Hundreds of families have benefited from the opportunities to learn and practice their personal faith with a small community who supports and challenges them to grow. This learning experience continues to be done in familiar and simple settings like family homes or at parishes where people meet and share their experiences of God through the joys and struggles of their life.

A tremendous benefit of Why Catholic? Journey through the Catechism/¿Por qué ser católico? is that so many people have come to own as adults the faith they leaned as children. Many have told us of how they were unable to articulate their beliefs or their experiences with the Church to their children or friends. Now they feel confident in sharing what and why they believe. Why Catholic? Journey through the Catechism/¿Por qué ser católico? has strengthened the understanding that they belong to a world-wide Church that is alive and growing. Small community members report back that they are more involved with their parish and surrounding community because they feel more connected and have a deeper feeling of ownership and pride.

Many groups, especially in Latino communities, meet year-round because they see the many benefits it offers them. In the experience of participating in a small Christian community, they recognize an increased sense of belonging to a church that is nurturing them and their families, an increase in their knowledge of the faith and the Church, mutual support and spiritual enrichment. This happens most intensely where pastors are directly involved in the process with the people. Some pastors have reported that they sense their homilies have improved because of the faith sharing in their small Christian community.

Ultimately, faith sharing unites communities and families. It enables people to grow, learn and live their faith and move it to action. Why not start your own small Christian community and make that difference in your own family. There are many parishes still participating this year. Just email dosaoef@aol.com or call (325) 651-7500 and ask to speak with the Office of Education and Formation.

RENEW International, the diocese’s partner in bringing Why Catholic? Journey through the Catechism/¿Por qué ser católico? to parishes, is a Catholic ministry organization that fosters spiritual renewal in the Catholic tradition by empowering individuals and communities to encounter God in everyday life, deepen and share faith, and connect faith with action. Their website can be found at www.renewintl.org To know how to truly be an active, loving Catholic, take part in Why Catholic?/¿Por qué ser católico?.

This article originally appeared the the West Texas Angelus, the Catholic newspaper of the Diocese of San Angelo, and is used with permission.

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