Summer series offers chance to ‘walk in the light’

Often when we hear the word summer we think of a period of time when one may embark on a vacation or journey. The season also evokes in our mind a “slow down” period, a time to enjoy nature and the outside, and a time to reflect on God’s creation. Thus, the Office of African American Ministries invites the people of God to sojourn with them through a summer enrichment session titled “Walk in the Light.” These sessions provide an educational and spiritual journey, exploring a specific topic through the lens of an African-American Catholic perspective. In doing so, reflection and discussion is provided, sharing insights, history and culture from African-American Catholic leaders.

This summer series encourages catechists and those who serve in the evangelization ministries to slow down a bit and reflect on these ministries and to gain new insights to strengthen their ministries. Others who seek personal enrichment also participate, growing in our understanding that “God is light and in him there is no darkness at all” (1 John 1:5).

The upcoming series will take place on three consecutive Wednesdays; July 30, Aug. 6 and Aug. 13 from 6:30-8:30 p.m. The location is St. Ambrose Rectory, which is air conditioned at 4502 Park Heights Ave. in West Baltimore (21215).

Topics to be explored include the following:

The first session, “Make Me a Blessing,” is a discussion of catechesis within the church’s mission of evangelization. Dr. Kirk P. Gaddy will explore the relationship between catechesis and evangelization, emphasizing the missionary spirit of both ministries. Additionally, some insights from Scripture will be discussed.

Led by Father Donald A. Sterling, the second session, “Come and Go With Me to My Father’s House,” provides an exploration of the Order of Mass and a discussion on sacred art. Its subtitle is “Catechesis and the Worshiping Community.”

Session Three, “God Bless Them Who Have Their Own,” is a methodology workshop discussing an Africentric catechetical formula. Come and experience the mission and tasks of creating lessons that factor both our Catholicity and culture. Sharon H. Winchester will lead this session.

The intentional discussion on culture has relevancy and importance. The church’s teachings in “Gaudium et Spes” (Pastoral Constitution on the Church in the Modern World) recognizes human beings as cultural persons. Thus, human life cannot be separated from its cultural expression. With missionary fervor, Pope Pius X challenged pastoral and catechetical leaders that “when you propose Scripture to a people, do it in a way which grafts the culture.”

In “Ad Gentes” (Decree on Missionary Activity of the Church), the Vatican II Council fathers stated, “If the church is to be in a position to offer all men (human beings) the mystery of salvation and life brought by God, then it must implant itself among all these (cultural) groups in the same way that Christ by his incarnation committed himself to the particular social and cultural circumstances of the men among whom he lived. … From the start, the Christian community should be so organized that it is able to provide for its own needs as far as possible. … This community of the faithful, endowed with cultural riches of its own nation, must be deeply rooted in the people; families imbued with the spirit of the Gospel should flourish and be helped with suitable schools; groups and associations should be set up so that the spirit of the lay apostolate might pervade the whole society” (Vatican II: The Conciliar and Post-Conciliar Documents).

It is my hope that both the faith and our culture be caught in a profound way through the “Walk in the Light” series. It’s a spiritual journey filled with many blessings! Come join us and hitch your caboose to the right train this summer.

For more information call 410-625-8472.

Therese Wilson Favors is the director of the Office of African American Catholic Ministries.

Catholic Review

The Catholic Review is the official publication of the Archdiocese of Baltimore.