“He Thirsts For You” – 2019 Evangelization And Catechetics Conference Encourages Transformative Encounters With Jesus Christ

By Lisa Polk

The CCCB hosted the 2019 National Conference of Evangelization and Catechesis in Ottawa, from April 4th to 6th. The last time a national conference was held was in 2004. Western Canada was well represented with a number of delegates from the Western Conference of Catholic Religious Educators (WCCRE) in attendance. Representatives from almost every diocese in the West and North were also in attendance. Our Director of Pastoral Services, Lisa Polk, and Fr. John Weckend were proud to be able to represent the Archdiocese of Regina.

The theme of the conference, He Thirsts for You, focused on the Samaritan woman’s encounter with Jesus at the well. An image of this significant Gospel parable was generously provided by a Saskatchewan artist, Gisele Bauche.

Featured speakers, Dr. Josephine Lombardi, Fr. Ron Rolheiser (also Saskatchewan born), and Bishop William McGrattan spoke of the hope and healing that Jesus brought to the Samaritan woman at the well and our need to facilitate that encounter of healing for others. As a person transformed by her encounter with Jesus, the Samaritan woman became an enthusiastic evangelizer, not able to keep her experience of healing to herself.

The conference provided a great reminder to attendees that, as Christians, we are all called to journey personally with others, and introduce them to an encounter with Jesus Christ, before catechesis can even begin.

The Pastoral Services department of the Archdiocese of Regina exists, in part, to assist parishes in developing evangelization and catechetical approaches in our parish communities that foster transformative encounters with Jesus Christ. Parishes or Deaneries wanting to offer a workshop on evangelization and catechesis are invited to contact Director of Pastoral Services, Lisa Polk at the Archdiocese of Regina Pastoral Office.

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