Rosa AbadWhat the Lord transmits to you cannot be silenced".

The Vatican celebration of the Third Sunday of the Word of God, instituted by Pope Francis on September 30, 2019, will feature several new features this year, including the institution of the first ministers of the Catechesis.

Maria José Atienza-January 22, 2022-Reading time: 3 minutes
rosa abad

Rosa Abad with the Cardinal Archbishop of Madrid in a recent meeting

"I can only give thanks to God, in capital letters", is how Rosa Abad responds to Omnes. This graduate, librarian by profession and catechist by vocation, will receive, on Word Sunday, the ministry of catechist established through the publication of the Apostolic Letter in the form of Motu Proprio Antiquum Ministeriumon May 10, 2021.

Together with her will be instituted with this ministry two lay people from the Apostolic Vicariate of Yurimaguas (Peru), two faithful from Brazil who are already involved in the formation of catechists, and a woman from Kumasi (Ghana). Also, the President of the Centro Oratori Romani, founded by catechist Arnaldo Canepa and a layman from Łódź. Although they will not be present due to current health restrictions, two other faithful from the Democratic Republic of Congo and Uganda will also receive this ministry.

Catechesis never ends

"Receiving the Ministry is an immense joy and a great responsibility for me", Rosa Abad emphasizes, "He knows where this new path will lead me. My answer is: Lord, here I am, may Your will be done".

Catechesis today has a central place in the life of the Church. Not in vain, there are thousands of catechists throughout the world who carry out an irreplaceable mission in the transmission and deepening of the faith. As Rosa points out, catechesis is not a task with set times.

"Catechesis is life", Rosa Abad points out, because "the relationship with God never ends, the more you know the more you want to know and the more you still have to learn". "When you let God into your life it is incredible how everything changes without moving anything" she continues, "God never disappoints, just for that reason alone it is worth opening the door and letting ourselves be led by Him".

Rosa Abad has been a catechist for 10 years in the Parish of Cristo de la Victoria in Madrid. Very involved in catechesis, as her pastor, Alfredo Jiménez, points out, she is a member of the Team of Experts of the Catechesis Delegation of the Archbishopric of Madrid, and a member of the Spanish Association of Catechists (AECA), as highlighted in the weekly magazine of the Madrid archdiocese, Alfa & Omega.

"Apostles on mission".  

During the rite, the new catechetical ministers will receive a cross, a reproduction of the pastoral cross used first by St. Paul VI and then by St. John Paul II, as a reminder of the missionary character of the service they are about to administer.

This missionary character of catechesis is key for Abad. "Everything that the Lord transmits to you cannot be silenced, so you have to give it a voice", stresses this laywoman from Madrid, "we have to be apostles in mission".

In the hands of all

With the institution of this ministry of catechist and the opening of the ministries of Lector and Acolyte to women, the Church is focusing on these millions of lay faithful who are the lifeblood of the Church in the world.

In this regard, in fact, the Pontifical Council for Promoting the New Evangelization highlights "the multitude of lay people who have participated directly in spreading the Gospel through catechetical instruction is innumerable. Men and women animated by a great faith and authentic witnesses of holiness who, in some cases, have also been founders of Churches, even to the point of giving their lives".

The lay men and women, like Rosa Abad, who receive these ministries are a sign that "the future of the Church is in the hands of all" as Abad points out, "we are all One and no one should feel excluded, it is our job to make the Church the House of all".

This future planet, for Rosa Abad, has some key challenges: "We have to bring the Word of God without complexes. We have to make the traditional coexist with new technologies without fear. As Pope Francis says 'God is waiting for us in man'. We just have to let him know so that he can fill him with his love".

The Vatican celebration

This year's Word of God Sunday events will be presided over by Pope Francis in St. Peter's Basilica.

The Holy Eucharist will begin at 9:30 a.m. with limited seating capacity due to health regulations in force.

During the celebration, the Holy Father will present to the participants a volume containing a commentary by the Fathers of the Church on chapters 4 and 5 of the Gospel of Luke, "in order to revive the responsibility that believers have in the knowledge of Sacred Scripture and to keep it alive through a work of ongoing transmission and understanding".

Two moments will be particularly significant on this day. For the first time, the ministry of Lector and Acolyte will also be conferred on the laity, and finally, the Holy Father will perform the rite by which the ministry of catechist will be conferred on the lay faithful, women and men, already established through the publication of the Apostolic Letter in the form of Motu Proprio Antiquum Ministerium.

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