CATHOLIC NEWS OF THE WEEK . Saturday, 20 October 2018

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A time to welcome

As in past years at the Easter Vigil celebration, some thousands of adults are set to receive the sacraments of baptism, confirmation and the Eucharist.

Their official welcome from the diocese begins during Lent as they join their godparents and catechists in a final preparation programme and are welcomed during Sunday Masses.

As a Church community this is something to give thanks for and we should also thank the many people who walked with them during their preparation period.

The catechumenate is an important process, which gives an opportunity to delve into faith to encounter God.

In 1963, the Constitution on the Sacred Liturgy of Vatican II was promulgated. In the same year, the Hong Kong Diocesan Catechetical Centre was launched. The centre was part of the post-Vatican II reform especially in the area of catechesis.

Its mission is to provide a space for the formation of people, as well as support Sunday schools with resources.

Over the past years, all parishes have been supported by those who have been through its programme.

In 1972, the Vatican promulgated the Rite of Christian Initiation of Adults to revive the catechumenate for adults. The Catechetical Centre issued a book entitled, Moving forward with Christ in 1978 and began the process of establishing the rite as a regular feature.

In collaboration with the Liturgy Commission, the centre implemented the four stages of the Christian Initiation of Adults: the period of evangelisation and pre-catechumenate, the catechumenate, the purification and enlightenment, and the post-baptismal catechesis.

Since then, the programmes run by all parishes within the diocese have observed these stages.

Today, catechumens are able to discover the faith with the help of a well-planned and comprehensive adult catechumenate under the guidance of a group of well-trained catechists and facilitators.

At the Easter Vigil, when we see the joy of being baptised, we must ask if we really do welcome the new members of our communities,

To accompany them as their companions is extremely important, as is reflecting on and examining our own identity as Christians.

We have a major part to play in supporting the newly baptised. 

 

Maybe a decision to reflect on our own lives more and be determined to learn from Christ would be a good Easter resolution. SE