Faith Formation Leaders in the Mason City and New Hampton areas provided their catechists with an in-service on Sunday, August 27. All were invited to share in a simple meal and time for visiting at Holy Family church hall in Mason City. After the meal, everyone went into the church and listened as Father Gary Mayer explained the importance of attending Mass with our community of faith and the significance and meaning of various parts of a church building.
This was followed by a presentation that compared the Mass (our Eucharistic meal) to a family meal. As each comparison was made (altar/table, altar cloth/tablecloth, candles and crucifix/candles and centerpiece, corporal/placemat, etc.) the tables were set for their particular meal. As catechists listened, they learned (or were reminded of) the official name of items used during the Mass. Perhaps they heard a comparison or two that they hadn’t known before.
After this comparison, Father Brian Dellaert vested for Mass. As he put on each piece of clothing, he explained what it was called and its purpose. The color of vestments was also explained.
Next, all were involved in a joyful celebration of Mass. Father stopped at certain parts of the Mass to give an explanation of what was happening, where that part of the Mass comes from, or the meaning of that part. Father’s homily also helped catechists to better understand our Mass. The family table was left setting near the altar as a reminder of how our family meals have a connection to the Mass.
In the dismissal near the end of Mass, Deacon Mike Ward explained how we had been nourished with the Word of God and the Body of Christ to go out and continue the mission of Jesus by sharing God’s love with all we meet.
At the end, participants were given an opportunity to ask questions or to ask for further explanation of something they had heard.
A pamphlet, entitled Frequently Asked questions About The Mass, which is available from Our Sunday Visitor, was given to those attending as a quick referral to some of the things that were brought to their attention during the evening.
It is hoped that catechists deepened their own understanding of the Mass, and that they can share some of their learning during the year with the students they teach.