I remember how happy and excited I was when I was asked to be a catechist and leave my role as a catechist assistant. I was about 18 years old then and boy did I have tons to learn.The curriculum was set up to teach a variety of things but, since it was a sacramental preparation class, I was told to have the kids memorize prayers and recite the rosary. They were to be tested in order to see if they were ready to receive the sacrament.
Of course I was new at this very immature in my faith, more than now, so I took on the task. Looking back now on my own journey as a Catholic and Catechist I know that, yes, prayers are very important but my relationship with Jesus is much more important!
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The relationship I have with him is what is going to make my faith stronger and to understand that he is fully present in the Eucharist! Amazingly, he allows me, a sinner, to receive him and becomes a part of my spirit. That is very powerful, something don't want to take for granted.
I only taught that class one year and instead joined the choir. Six years later or so, I went back and taught kindergarten, left again and recently have been a catechist for almost four years now in a new parish.
This experience has been totally different for me because I myself am not the person I was back then. Over the years, I lost my way and returned to my faith on fire! So, I don’t teach my faith anymore: I share my love for Jesus and Mary and the gift of my faith.
I share of the ways I talk to Jesus and how he is always there no matter what the situation might be. This last Sunday, we had our last class of the year. I decided to sit in a circle and ask these five- and six-year-old disciples to share one thing they learned this year.
To my surprise they said things like, “that Jesus loves us”, “ Jesus died for us”, “Saint Jerome”, and on and on they went. I am not going to lie; I was touched and happy. I pray that maybe this idea about knowing Jesus will keep them Catholic. I pray that these little ones will continue to love Jesus the way I do every day!
Copyright 2017 Elizabeth Desiderato