Mentors for the New Evangelization (Discussion 3)

Sr. Johanna - Smaller Thanks for coming back for another installment of our Mentors for the New Evangelization book discussion. We love hearing from you if you are reading along. If you’re not reading the book currently, feel free to bookmark these posts and come back to them whenever you pick up Sr. Johanna’s great book! (In case you’re catching up, here are links to Discussion 1 and Discussion 2.)

We began our discussion talking about the point from the General Directory for Catechesis (summarized on p. 73 – 74), where it described the catechists role as “cultivating the soil.” How did that strike you? Practically speaking, how do you do that?
This really impacted everyone present at our discussion. This task of catechesis requires humility and sacrifice, to always keep in mind that we are cultivating the soil, so that Jesus can take root deeply in the hearts of His people. Some of the concrete steps we talked about included loving our students, making sure to make the catechetical experience about much more than just teaching facts (which we sometimes misinterpret at the seeds themselves) and aiming all of our actions towards both understanding of content and conversion.

In the chapter on St. Mother Theodore Guerin, one of the main themes was divine providence. How can we help young people grow in their understanding of and reliance on divine providence?
From their earliest ages, we can teach young people about trust and why we can have the most trust in God. We can also teach the youth how to pray for what the Lord wants, especially in the context of the Our Father. Also, we can seek the blessing in everything, as Sr. Johanna reminded us. It is possible to thank God ahead of time, knowing that God’s will can come from unfortunate circumstances.

What did it mean for Bl. Junipero Serra to “Always go forward and never go back!”? What can this mean in your own life?
For Bl. Serra, he understood that there was so much work to be done, as well as a great deal of hope in the mission. He faithfully and prayerfully did his work to the best of his ability, and then he moved on. He was so available to the promptings of the Lord and His will. Personally (from Lindsay’s perspective), I was reminded that there is a lot of joy in knowing that the Lord is not nearly finished with my life. What has been accomplished and done for His will in my 20s may be entirely different than what he does with me in my 30s… or 50s… or beyond. Bl. Serra was not “young” when the Lord called him to some of his greatest work. I need to pray for continued openness to the Lord’s plan in the long term in my life!

What else did you take away from these inspiring chapters?
Jenna and Seminarian John both shared about an increased awareness in their missionary calling. Literally, we are the ones who bring Christ the people of our parishes and that we encounter throughout our days. We must be authentic witnesses to them. Also, the group chatted about how in all things (and through the inspiring lives led by each of these saints) we need to be ourselves and let the Lord use us as he created and graced us. We have so many reasons to be confident in His plan for our lives. Thanks for checking in. We’d love to hear the answers you all have to these questions as you read along! The next book discussion will take place on Monday, November 24th at 1:30pm at the Bishop O’Connor Center. You are more than welcome to join us!

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