AMERICA/PARAGUAY - Continue to evangelize and catechize even more in this very difficult situation

Tuesday, 2 February 2021 coronavirus   catechism   catechists   local churches  

Asuncion (Agenzia Fides) - "Initiation and education in the faith through the accompaniment of new generations of Christians so that they live this faith is one of the primary activities of the Church. We thank you all for your efforts during 2020, which posed a great challenge to all of us. For this year 2021, we must prepare to continue to evangelize and catechize even more in the context of this very difficult situation which affects us". This is the exhortation that the National Coordination of Catechesis (CNC) of the Episcopal Conference of Paraguay addresses to catechists, offering some guidelines for the pastoral year 2021 which is about to begin in the country.
The situation is different from Diocese to Diocese, as it differs between urban areas and the rural world. As such, the document invites us to take into account the two modalities of catechetical activity, in digital and face-to-face mode, in particular with the wish to return as quickly as possible to face-to-face meetings. "We must constantly animate adults, families, young people and children, especially during this exceptional time. The Church cannot feel free from communion among believers in the Lord". This is the aim of these indications which invite catechists and those in charge to hold periodic meetings, even in digital mode, not to lose contact with their interlocutors through the telephone or social networks and relationships with families.
With regard to catechetical meetings in presence, it is recommended to observe the health rules established by the authorities. It is best to carry out the meetings in the open air or in very large and ventilated places. It is necessary to use disinfectant gel and face masks, social distancing, as well as make reduced numbers of people at meetings ...
In this situation, the CNC urges catechists: "We must educate ourselves and get out of digital illiteracy to fully enter digital culture. We must always prepare ourselves more to make good use of telematic means such as Zoom, WhatsApp, Facebook… ". The CNC will offer a training course in digital means. It is also recommended in some places to prefer simpler means, such as messaging, telephone. In addition, the audio and video produced must be short and offer opportunities for interaction.
"Taking into account that the pandemic is not yet over and that many things affect us and make us suffer, let us open registrations for catechesis in a digital, animated, attractive form despite the situation", recommends the CNC, which reiterates: "We have so many adults whom we must animate and strengthen in their encounter with Jesus Christ, so that they have the strength to guide children and young people, to support the elderly. All need to be initiated into the life of faith. Let’s be creative, let’s involve adults. If at times the doctrinal part is less strong in these times, it is time to give emphasis to prayer, the life of charity and works of mercy as an integral part of catechesis". (SL) (Agenzia Fides, 2/2/2021)