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The largest class of master catechists graduates in Clifton

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Sixty-eight master catechists from several parishes received their certification May 9 at St. Andrew the Apostle Church in Clifton. Father Paul F. deLadurantaye, secretary for religious education and sacred liturgy, was the celebrant and homilist at the ceremony.

Concelebrating were Father Brian G. Bashista, pastor of St. Elizabeth Ann Seton Church in Lake Ridge; Atonement Father Francis Eldridge, pastor of Christ the Redeemer Church in Sterling; and Father Michael G. Taylor, pastor of Corpus Christi Church in South Riding.

The Master Catechist Training Program, which began in 1991, is sponsored by the Office of Catechetics and is supported by diocesan parishes, which enroll candidates for this specialized training in catechist formation.

This graduating class was the largest since the program started. “They want to know the plan of God, the story of salvation and want to know the faith and pass it on,” said Father deLadurantaye. “That is what we are supposed to be about. I think the more people hear about the program the more interested they are.”

Father deLadurantaye said in his homily that the Lord has called the master catechists to be heralds and witnesses of hope in the midst of the world. “Each one of us in a particular way those who have completed their formation as master catechists,” he said. “Be witnesses in your own parish.”

“Count on these graduates to assist you, pastors, in bringing the Good News to others,” said Father deLadurantaye. “Help them respond to the call of Jesus Christ to live lives of faith.”

Linda McKay teaches religious education at St. Theresa Church in Ashburn.

“(Becoming a master catechist) was about learning more, finding what I can do better, what I can do more of or not do when I’m teaching,” she said. “Everything we learned, if you peel the layers back, it always ended with divine love.”

D’Annie Cruz considers the program a calling. “It’s a special learning experience,” she said. “It’s like a confirmation class with a lot of power and meaning.” 


© Arlington Catholic Herald 2018