Page 6 - Coordinator's Handbook
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The meaning of the Liturgy andthe Sacraments. Students develop the habit of reflecting upon Jesus’ teachings in the Gospels, learnhow to participate in the Eucharist, learn the signs and meanings of the Sacraments, and grow in “active, conscious genuine participation in the liturgy of the Church” (NDC 60). Moral formation in Jesus Christ. Walking in Jesus’ footsteps means living out his commandments, sermon on the mount, and personal example. With the Weeklies, students develop the habit of reflecting on their lives in the light of the Gospel and opening themselves to lifelong transformation into Christ (NDC 61).Praying with Christ. The Weeklies aim to help students turn to God, their Father, as Jesus does in his life—praying in adoration, praise, thanksgiving, petition, and awe (NDC 61).Living in community and participating actively in the life and mission of the Church. The Weeklies regard the class as a community that listens, shares, forgives, and learns together andacts on concern for the poor in social justice projects in school and parish (NDC 62).A missionary spirit that prepares the faithful to be present as Christians in society. The Weeklies involve young people in ways to live Jesus’ beatitudes in society, respect other religions, and work for the common good (NDC 62).The first four tasks identify what the Catechism of the Catholic Church names as its four sustaining pillars:● Believing (creed),● Celebrating (sacraments), ● Living (morality),● Praying (prayer).The last two tasks aim to involve young people in parish and school Christian community. Through their proclamation of the Gospel andinstruction in the Catholic faith, the Pflaum Gospel Weeklies seek to sow God’s Word in new generations and to stir young hearts to the cause of justice and to preferential option and service to the poor as the Catechism of the Catholic Church challenges catechesis to do (CCC #2448).The Pflaum Gospel Weeklies educate students in the faith firstby beginning where they are—by focusing on their lived experiences at whatever their levels of development. The Weeklies strive to listen to students, their everyday experiences, and their experiences of God, and then to share the experiences of faith found in the Word of God in the Gospels and in the Church’s Sacred Tradition.Second, the Weeklies emphasize liturgical catechesis, which flows toward the liturgy and from the liturgy. “Catechesis precedes Liturgy and springs from it,” the National Directory for Catechesis observes (NDC 110). Faith builds within the worshiping community as learning and celebrating join in unfolding the mystery of Christ, Gospel, and Sacrament throughout the liturgical year. “Liturgical catechesis aims to initiate people into the mystery of Christ ... by proceeding from visible to invisible, from the sign to the thing signified, from the ‘sacraments’ to the ‘mysteries’” (NDC 111).Third, the Pflaum Gospel Weeklies’ liturgical approach to catechesis is community building.It is rooted in the understandingthat “the proclamation of the word transcends the mere communication of information and becomes a community-building celebration of God’s saving mystery” (Lectionary for Masses with Children #50). To that communal end, the Weeklies call young people to hear Jesus speaking, healing, and reaching out to each one of them in word and sacrament.From the first days after Jesus’ resurrection, Christians have gathered, remembered, retold, andreflected on Jesus, his teachings, his actions, his prayer, and his work for justice. Jesus’ earliest followers lived these Gospel stories before they handed them on. They used Jesus’ own stories and the stories of eyewitnesses about him to struggle with their conflicts and reflect on their unfolding mission.The Gospels which we proclaim each Sunday and which form the center of every Pflaum Gospel Weeklies come to us from the earliest Christian communities. The Gospels hand on stories already planted and reaped in two generations of Jesus’ followers before they were written down. Mark’s Gospel, the first to be written, dates from about A.D. 70, forty years, ortwo generations, after Jesus’ death and resurrection.However, the Gospels and the other 69 Old and New Testament books remain but black ink on yellowing paper if present communities of Christians do not read, hear, interpret, and do God’s Word. Like musical scores, the scriptures must be performed. Like seed, the Gospels must be planted to yield.The Pflaum Gospel Weeklies draw young people into active conversation with Jesus in the Gospels and with each other. They prepare young people in Catholic schools and parishes to participate in parish worship. They draw students into lifelong conversation around the Sunday table of God’s Word, where the Church serves the food of insight and transformation, of Christian identity, truth, and purpose.The Pflaum Gospel Weeklies link liturgy and life with the Church’s Sacred Tradition, its Creeds, moral teaching, social justice principles,and prayer practices. “Faith must be known, celebrated, lived, and expressed in prayer” (NDC 60).6

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