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A lifelong journey – July 12, 2009

A lifelong journey – July 12, 2009 PDF Print E-mail
“Called to be Catholic” must not be allowed to remain just a catch phrase. The third and final in a series of brochures, Called to Be Catholic: Rediscovering the Vocation, which summarises the Archbishop’s Catholic News column of March 29, invites Catholics to enter into the richness of their call.

The brochure states: “To respond to the vocation to be Catholic, we must consider the foundational issues of Baptism and Confirmation which lead to the completion of initiation in Eucharist where we are nourished for our journey.”

A great deal of time and pastoral effort is spent on specific vocations – marriage, religious life and the priesthood. But writes the Archbishop: “Only when we seriously commit ourselves to being Catholic can we begin to think about specific vocations in the Church and find the clarity of motivation to respond to the three priorities of the Synod.”

The Archbishop calls on the Synod Implementation Team (SIT), in consultation with the pertinent departments of the Archdiocese and the theologians who serve the Archdiocese to assist parents, schools, parishes and retreat houses in developing reflection programmes on the vocation to be Catholic, which flows from the Catholic understanding of Baptism and Confirmation.

Often a gap exists between infant baptism and confirmation and then between confirmation and the next level of commitment, if there is a next level of commitment.

Both the Catechetical Office and the Evangelisation Commission have made great strides in addressing the issue of adult catechesis and formation, however, the challenge remains: “Too many people do not reflect sufficiently on the meaning and the long-term implications of being baptised and being confirmed,” the Archbishop says.

Baptism is the first sacrament of initiation and incorporates us into the Church and into the mystery of Christ. The Church can help people become more aware of the meaning and implications of Baptism by urging lifelong catechesis and formation.

Confirmation, the second sacrament of initiation, has had a long history. Although the rite itself and its theological understanding have varied over the centuries, the “post-baptismal laying on of hands” has been consistent in the Catholic tradition and is understood as perpetuating the grace of Pentecost in the Church.

To assist those who must live their confirmation, the Church prescribes a lifelong commitment to growth and development in prayer, pastoral involvement, personal study and reflection on the Faith.

Last Updated on Thursday, 26 November 2009 13:56