Maronite Catechesis Workshop - Atlanta.

By Cecilia Romero

St Joseph Church of Atlanta, GA held its first Maronite Catechetical Workshop on Labor Day weekend, Sept 2 and 3, 2012. Sister Marla Marie Lucas was our guest catechtical presenter who guided the three session workshop over two days. Experienced and new catechists of different generations from our church were present. Sister Marla Marie's main theme was based on scripture: " Go and Make Disciples " Mat 28: 19 - 20. During the talks, Sister reminded us to take confidence since the catechetical program is God's program. She began the workshop with an excellent video/song about the impact that catechists make on their students. Sister then talked about the mission and journey of faith with emphasis of the roles of the catechists, the pastor, the families and the children. Sister gave us valuable Maronite information and resources to use for the program. She also spent time teaching us the six tasks of catechesis: promoting knowledge of the faith, liturgical education, moral formation, teaching to pray, building up our Maronite Christian communities and missionary initiative. In Sunday's session, Sister Marla Marie offered a presentation on praying with children. The session ended with the catechists praying before the tabernacle. Then each catechist was presented with a certificate by Deacon Bob Calabrese. On behalf of all the catechists and our Pastor Fr. Dominique Hanna, we gratefully thank Sister Marla Marie for her presentations which are invaluable sources of information that will help guide us to be more effective catechists to our children. It is our hope that Sister Marla Marie can give a future regional Maronite catechesis workshop in the southeast area.

MYO Atlanta - Lock In Retreat
At the MYO-MYA Lock-in held September 2nd to September 3rd Sr. Therese Maria gave an interactive presentation titled “Thirsty? Come to the Life-giving Well”  to forty young people at St. Joseph’s parish hall. The afternoon session included: an opening ice-breaker “balloon pop”, a PowerPoint, prayer from the psalms, reflective questions, singing, group sharing, trivia questions, prizes and Scripture activities.
Sr. Therese Maria reflects, “On the whole, I felt that the group responded positively to the presentation as they asked great questions, listened attentively and contributed well in the group sharing. The objective of the talk was to help young people to discover their deep need and thirst for God, and how they can quench their thirst for true love and communion by developing and nurturing an intimate friendship with Jesus, the eternal thirst-quencher! I gave them five tips to help them to do this in their daily lives. Here they are:
1. Pray every day and live in God loving presence each moment.
2. Read and live the Word of God and ask the Holy Spirit to enlighten you.
3. Read the inspiring lives of the saints especially our Maronite saints.
4. Go to Divine Liturgy each Sunday and be present to the awesomeness of what is happening.
5. Go to Confession regularly and receive the gift of Jesus’ merciful love & forgiveness.”