The Prelature of Chota in Peru has its own special “recipe” for its mission outreach on the slopes of the Andes: 60 percent love, 20 percent work and effort, ten percent imagination, five percent experience, five percent patience. All of this, seasoned with humour, is placed in the fiery oven of the Sacred Heart of Jesus and then served up with great generosity.
The “Recipe” for the
Kingdom of Christ: one of
the five volumes to be printed.
This is a recipe that works. It can be found in the “Instructions for the Training of Christian Leaders in the Service of the Gospel.” Since these courses began almost 50 years ago, around 1,900 “chefs” – or catechists to be precise – have used this recipe to prepare the Catholic faithful for eternal life. Most of the catechists are farmers. They travel to remote, isolated villages where it is rare for priests to be able to visit. The 300,000 or so Catholics of the prelature benefit from their work, especially those who cannot read, including children, who make up a good third of the
population, and also those adults who are illiterate as they were not able to attend school (about one in five). It is for all of these people that the catechists undertake a training course, involving a total of six five-day sessions, during which they learn how to conduct a Liturgy of the Word, how God intervenes in human history, how to pray, what the Sacraments are, and how to read and understand the Bible. Catechists have to work their way through five course books, but it is well worth the effort, because it makes these farmers into co-workers in what the Introduction to the course describes as “the greatest project in the world – the Kingdom of Jesus Christ.” And the intro continues: to be a co-worker in this Kingdom is “the greatest honour that we can be given.”
The prelature has revised and re-edited the course materials, so the teaching material for the courses and the books that the catechists take with them to the villages and remote parishes must be reprinted. 33,000 copies are needed. But despite their love and hard work, the cost far exceeds the meagre financial resources of this impoverished prelature. So we have promised a subsidy of AUD$13,800 towards the printing costs, so that the “recipe” for the mission can continue to provide food for the faithful.
Main Feature Image: Catechist Course in Peru. Copyright: Aid to the Church in Need.
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