Keeping all these things in our hearts….
By Sister M. Regina
This weekend we Sisters are not at Saint Mary’s because we are attending the Marian Catechist Consecration Weekend at the Shrine of Our Lady of Guadalupe in La Crosse, Wisconsin. This week, I would like to tell you about the Marian Catechist Apostolate. The Marian Catechist Apostolate was founded by the Servant of God Father John A. Hardon, S.J. The Apostolate had its roots in a request which Saint Teresa of Calcutta made to Father Hardon, namely, that he help her to prepare her Sisters to evangelize the poorest of the poor. Father Hardon gave classes to the Missionaries of Charity and these classes were the basis for the Marian Catechist Apostolate.
The purpose of the Marian Catechist Apostolate is to form catechists, both spiritually and doctrinally, for the teaching of the Catholic faith. The formation of Marian Catechists has two components corresponding to the twofold purpose: it is both doctrinal and spiritual. The doctrinal formation consists of four levels of courses which a person takes, beginning with the Basic Catholic Catechism Course, written by Father John A. Hardon. The courses are intended to be studied at home, at one’s own place, without any requirements with regard to timing. The courses are relatively brief but very rich in content. It is sometimes helpful to organize study or discussion groups, in which the material studied is discussed. We hope to begin such a study group at Saint Mary’s Parish in the Fall. Anyone may study the materials provided for the doctrinal formation of Marian Catechists, without being obliged to become a Marian Catechist.
The spiritual formation of the Marian Catechist consists in fidelity to the spiritual practices prescribed for Marian Catechists and the making of a thirty day at-home Ignatian retreat.
The doctrinal and spiritual formation of Marian Catechists culminate in the Solemn Consecrated to the Sacred Heart of Jesus through the Immaculate Heart of Mary. The act of consecration is renewed each year and is a source of grace for the catechist. In making the consecration, one makes a commitment to be faithful for one year to the spiritual practices of the Marian Catechist, to continue to study the faith, and to perform some type of catechetical or apostolic service.
If you are interested in learning more about the Marian Catechist Apostolate, please see their website at: www.MarianCatechist.com. If you are interested in joining a study group which will study the Basic Catholic Catechism Course, please contact Sister M. Regina ([email protected]).