“The Church will have to initiate everyone—priests, religious and laity—into this ‘art of accompaniment’ which teaches us to remove our sandals before the sacred ground of the other (cf. Ex 3:5).”
The Good News of Accompaniment
The parish must provide experienced missionary disciples who can accompany those who are returning to the Church and guide them throughout their journey. In accompanying others, the disciple possesses a love for others and the Church by being welcoming and hospitable. The disciple must be willing to walk with others, share the Good News, and help others grow in their faith and live in solidarity with others. Reconciliation offers the experience of God’s grace and mercy. Catechesis should include formation on the Creed, the seven sacraments, the moral and social teachings of the Church, prayer based on the kerygma, and missionary discipleship.
This formation should utilize the Catechism of the Catholic Church, the United States Catholic Catechism for Adults, and the Compendium of the Social Doctrine of the Church.
Questions for Reflection:
- In what ways am I accompanied on my journey of faith? Who accompanies me and my family?
- How do I accompany others on their journey of faith?
- Do we plan parish activities keeping the art of accompaniment in mind?
- What opportunities for accompaniment are offered in support of the faith of parishioners? What areas can be improved?
Next week: What does it mean to accompany?