First Saturday Meetings for Marian Catechists
By Theresa Ann Knothe
International Coordinator of the Marian Catechist Apostolate
It is the desire of our International Director, Raymond Leo Cardinal Burke, that Marian Catechists meet on a regular basis to be a source of unity, inspiration, and encouragement for each other. Monthly gatherings should be kept very simple and very prayerful. The basic format should include Holy Mass (usually one that is already established at the parish), recitation of the Holy Rosary, and an audio-visual presentation by Father Hardon or another presentation of some aspect of our Catholic Faith. A social or an informal discussion of the presentation could follow the presentation.
First Saturday meetings are the ideal, as they correspond with our Marian focus and Our Lady’s request at Fatima to practice the First Saturday Devotion. Understandably, this will not be possible for every area, and so, the selection of an alternate day is acceptable. Possible alternatives include First Fridays, in honor of the Sacred Heart of Jesus; the Thursdays before First Fridays, identified with Saint Margaret Mary Alacoque’s preparation for First Fridays; and Wednesdays, identified with Saint Joseph. However, any day can be a remembrance of Our Lord and His Holy Mother. The most important thing is to meet regularly.
These regular meetings do not require the mandatory attendance of every Marian Catechist in the area. Meetings are meant to be a spiritual oasis for those who are able to fit them into their already busy schedules. Start small. Do not worry if there are only a few people. Trust that those in attendance are meant to be there.
Do keep in mind that, whenever Marian Catechists gather, there should be a unified attitude of gratitude, charity, humility, hope and joy. There is no place for arrogance or spiritual pride. By the grace of Divine Providence, we have the gift of the Catholic Faith, and the ability to share this Faith with others. Our meetings should not become gripe sessions or opportunities to vent our anger about current problems in the Church. Our legitimate personal complaints should be brought up through the proper channels, discreetly, and always with charity. Marian Catechist meetings are not the time and place to solve the problems of the Church. People should be edified, not scandalized, if they attend a Marian Catechist meeting. Remember, our goal is to unify, and to be a source of inspiration and encouragement to fellow Marian Catechists.