Dear European Catechists of the Good Shepherd,
Christmas blessings to you all!
In August, 2016, the International Board of the Catechesis of the Good Shepherd (the “Giunta”) met in Bogota, Colombia. Among the many things we discussed was the amazing growth of our work in Europe, as well as some of the challenges that had come to our attention, particularly in European countries where there is no established association. (Only Italy and Germany have an association, with representation on the International Consiglio.)
We recognized the need for greater communication and mutual support among European catechists, as well as greater consistency in formation standards and practices, in accordance with the guidelines of the International Consiglio, which was created in 1996 by Sofia, Gianna and representatives from the countries where an association had been established, the main purpose of which is to be a “sign of unity”.
With this need in mind, I will be representing the Giunta in offering a catechists’ retreat/reflection gathering for all European catechists, hosted by U.K. catechists.
Friday March 3rd (registration at 4 pm) till Sunday 5th 4h30 pm
at Aylesford Priory - The Friars, a beautiful retreat centre which was the site of the first Carmelite foundation outside the Holy Land in the XIII century
Kent ME20 7BX
From its inception, the International Consiglio, always opened its gatherings with a reflection by Sofia on the amazing “network of friendships” we experience in this work because of our shared focus on the joyful relationship the child has with God. And, before considering any “new business”, we always spent a goodly amount of time “remembering” who we are as catechists of the Good Shepherd and the particular identity we share, as reflected in the Characteristics of the Catechesis, which we had worked on together over several years. Therefore, the first part of our March, 2017 gathering will be devoted to this same focus, and all catechists are encouraged to attend.
The retreat portion of our gathering will be followed by a time to establish an initial organization of European catechists, until such time as individual countries might form their own association, with representation on the International Consiglio. All catechists are welcomed at this meeting, but formation leaders and those in various CGS leadership positions are particularly encouraged to attend.
This meeting will take place all day on Sunday 5th of March till 4.30 at Aylesford Priory.
We regret that the relatively “short notice” of this invitation might make it very difficult for you to attend, but we are praying that many of you will find a way to join us.
With joyful anticipation of our time together and the possibility of stronger bonds among us,
Member of the International Board of the Catechesis of the Good Shepherd
Please contact the UK hosting team if you would like to participate!
Costs per person for the retreat:
Full board and accommodation at Aylesford Friday till Sunday 4h30
- Single room GBP 193
- Shared room GBP 179
Day only (including Friday supper, Saturday lunch and supper and Sunday lunch)
- GBP 121
- If you are not staying for supper we will adjust the rate accordingly (1 meal = GBP 8,50)
These costs include GBP 40 per person to cover Rebekah Rojcewicz’s flights and expenses.
 Should you wish to stay at Aylesford Sunday night as well please let us know.