The Faith Enrichment Conference is a biannual event that serves the English-speaking Catholic community of Montreal. This conference is generously supported by Pillars Trust Fund, and this year, funding was also provided by the North American Forum on the Catechumenate. Traditionally, the Faith Enrichment Conference is an opportunity for parish catechetical leaders and catechists to come together. This year’s event, held Oct. 18-19, was open, for the first time, to all parish teams and families as well.
The conference began Friday afternoon with about 20 parishes gathering at St. Ignatius of Loyola Parish, to begin a conversation on “daring to dream” of new ways to evangelize and catechize all who knock on our doors and those who have yet to reach out to us. Gathered together as the Church of Montreal we experienced an atmosphere of collegiality, aware that Jesus has given us a mission and that we are all implicated in that mission.
We heard the message that “working together” is a process that stretches us beyond our expectations and that each and every one of is undergoing a divine renovation. We imagined ourselves as a living house where God is at work rebuilding what we thought was a nice little cottage, but God is in fact building a palace, where he himself intends to live. (C. S. Lewis)
Friday evening we witnessed a production by Gruppo Jobel, an international Art for Earth Group. It was a surprising production, simple and inspirational. As one participant at the conference put it, “A very creative way to integrate the Bible, Pope Francis’ message, video, dance, singing and the audience, to remind us that we are all serving witnesses.”
Gruppo Jobel led two workshops on Saturday: one for families and one for catechists. In their unconventional style they took us out of our comfort zones and helped us to begin to think outside the box when it comes to catechesis.
Our keynote speaker Fr. Larry Léger spoke in a clear and captivating way giving us concrete examples and tools to live our faith as baptized people claimed for Jesus Christ. His workshops were engaging and meaningful with practical handouts to take back to our parishes.
We were also introduced to Christian Meditation, Come Follow Me, a biblical base approach to catechesis that follows the liturgical year and Christian Music which were appreciated by all.
Archbishop Lépine closed our conference, sending us out with powerful words of encouragement and blessing to continue our work with the conviction that we are never alone.
Please find here the conference video recap