Catechists gather to reflect on finding the living Jesus today

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WARWICK — November has been designated Religious Education Month by the 12 New England Dioceses to celebrate religious education and show appreciation for all parish catechetical leaders and catechists.

As part of the celebration, the Diocesan Office of Religious Education and PREP (Professional Religious Educators of Providence) co-sponsored a Night of Reflection on November 15 at St. Gregory Parish, Warwick. The theme of the event was “Discovering the Living Christ.”

The reflection was led by St. Dorothy Sister Dorothy Schwarz, Director of Religious Education at St. Augustine Parish, Providence.

More than 100 catechists from 24 parishes attended the program. Sister Schwarz stressed that everything in the universe has a message for us if we look at creation with the eyes of faith. She added that faith helps us to see beyond reality and that if we are to find God today, we must look at the people whom God has placed in our lives. Christ has no body but ours – our lips, eyes, arms, and legs. Christ reminds us in Matthew 25 that whatever we do to the least of his brothers and sisters we do to him. She highlighted these ways to find the Risen Christ: silence in a noisy world; more community building; prayer (talking with and listening to God); witnessing to the Gospel; and receiving the Sacraments, the most important being the Eucharist, which provides food for our spiritual journey.

The participants’ reactions were positive and affirming. Marie Femino from St. Robert Bellarmine Parish, Johnston, recommended that Sister Schwarz should have her own blog on the Internet so that people can talk and share with her. Nurys Audette from St. Patrick Parish, Providence, remarked, “In the midst of our busy lives, we get distracted; we need to refocus and keep the eyes of faith.”

Liz Neubauer of St. Paul Parish, Cranston, summed up the night with these words, “We are the presence of Jesus for everyone, and they are the presence of Christ for us.”

The evening closed with prayer and a reception.