This week Father Zehren has given me an opportunity to write to you about one of the best things I have done to renew and strengthen my Catholic faith and my relationship with God.
Spring of 2010 Father Ulrick interviewed me for the position Director of Religious Education & Youth Ministry and he made the decision to hire me starting in July 2010. Part of his decision included me applying to the Archbishop Harry J. Flynn Catechetical Institute to begin classes in September 2010 with the class of Saint Elizabeth Ann Seton (we were the third class to start in this new program). I had never read the Catechism of the Catholic Church cover to cover and began my journey, to say the least, a little apprehensive. I had so much to learn about our beautiful Catholic faith so that I could confidently share that new-found knowledge with the children of Nativity of Mary.
From the first day of class I was so moved and impressed with the quality of teachers that lead this program each week. You can see and feel their love of God coming through them with their inspiring and passionate words. You get a chance to meet hundreds of people who also want to learn more about our amazing Catholic faith. Even today when I attend Archdiocesan events I run into people that I met and studied with from the Catechetical Institute. It is so much fun to see how they have grown closer to God and it helps me to truly feel a part of the Archdiocese of St. Paul & Minneapolis.
The first pillar dives deep into The Profession of Faith which is our faith in miniature and now when I read The Creed at weekly Mass I do so with conviction and tremendous love for our Catholic faith. The second pillar is an in-depth study of The Celebration of the Christian Mystery (Sacraments). We enter this Catholic faith through the Sacraments and I now fully know and understand the power of each Sacrament and I get to share these amazing gifts with the children of Nativity of Mary. The third pillar is Life in Christ. This is where we get to learn about the Beatitudes, Man’s Freedom, Morality, the Virtues, Sin, Social Life, Social Justice, Moral Law, Grace, The Church, Mother Mary and lastly the Ten Commandments. This pillar helped me so much to understand how to live an authentic life one with compassion and love for my neighbor. These lessons are where I grew the most during my faith journey. The fourth and last pillar is Christian Prayer. You get to learn about prayers of Blessings and Adoration, Petition, Intercession, Thanksgiving and Praise. I was taught about Vocal Prayer, Meditation Prayer, Contemplative Prayer and Lectio Divina, but not only were we taught about these prayers, we got time to practice each method of prayer….how cool is it to go to school and get to pray….totally amazing!! Then to end your two year class, you get to study the Our Father line by line and how this God given prayer fulfills every need in our daily lives.
I was asked in the beginning to take this class and now as I look back, I see how blessed I am to have been a part of this beautiful study of our Catholic faith. I graduated from the Catechetical Institute in May 2012.
Please think about attending the Catechetical Institute because I know it will change your life just has it has beautifully and spiritually changed mine. Please see in this week’s bulletin more information about the Catechetical Institute.
Come discover the plan that will transform your work, your marriage, your family, your community….your life!!
Peace be with all of you,
Cinthia Biros Director of Sacraments & Adult Faith Formation