PRESENTATION

Created: Saturday, 15 June 2013 Last Updated: Monday, 31 March 2014

PRESENTATION


 In presenting the Catechumenal Project, it seems convenient to include some events of the specifc, personal and community story that made it possible. It may be useful for many people. Paul VI said it: At the end, is there any other way to announce the Gospel that to communicate to other the own faith experience? (EN 46). Moreover, “it is good to give thanks to the Lord, to sing praises for his name, to proclaim his love in the morning, his faithfulness in the night” (Ps 92)

First Steps

We sing it in the community: “I was called from my mother's womb; I had nothing to do with it” … I was born at Aldeaseca de Arévalo in Avila province, on April 12th , 1944. For many years my father was a schoolteacher at Sinlabajos town. I am the second child of a family of six. Sometimes people have asked me: “Why did they give you the name of Jesus?” Without any doubt, my mother wished to offer me to the Lord, being her first son. So, she did it with the intention that I would become a priest. And it worked. My mother was a deep believer. For her, God was near, between the pots and pans, like St. Theresa of Avila said. In one occasion, a neighbour died and she commented: "Lucky he"! When she saw my surprised expression, she added: "Now he is with God". When it was needed she would consult, without any doubt, with a very well experienced priest, such as Fr. Germán Mártil, from the Diocesan Workers from Salamanca.
My mother died of a brain embolism, on February 8, 1956, when she was 40 years old. I was 11. The last time I saw her alive was when she said good-bye to me as I went of to Arenas de San Pedro Seminary in September 17, 1955. It was the worst news that I could receive. When I saw her dead, I had the impression that she was not there, that it was not she. I returned to the Seminary at the end of February. At night, before going to sleep I prayed to the Lord. It has been fulfilled, but in a different way that I was expecting. And I cannot say that I was disappointed. If the Lord says that “the dead rise” and that “they are like angels” (Lk 20, 36), I can say that in many occasions I counted with her mysterious presence. As an angel of the Lord, she has been leading my steps.
She left us with her own handwriting  this prayer, a blessing of St. Francis of Asis: “May the Lord bless you and keep you. + May the Lord let his face shine on you. +May the Lord look kindly on you and give you his peace. + May the Lord give you his holy blessing. – Amen.”. The prayer is in the Bible (Nm 6, 22 – 26)
 Since the 1958-59 academic year, I have the Bible in my hands. Something new was coming up in the Church. Testimonies of conversions arrived at the Seminary from the new Christianity courses. Richard Lombardi announced all around that a Better World was necessary. In October 28th, 1958, the radio announced to the world the election of a new Pope. And they made the right choice:  a man called John who was sent from God.


 A Pentecost present

The change that age of maturity meant for me a full revision of everything, including my education. As St. Paul says: “when I was a child, I talked as a child, thought as a child, reasoned as a child; when I became a man, I put aside childish things.” (1 Co 13, 11). Modern philosophy, which I was starting to study, led me to accept the limits of human reason, when trying to solve the great questions of existence: What can I know? What should I do? What can I expect?
It was the second of June, 1963, the Pentecost feast. I was then 19 years old and I was studying the third year of Philosophy at the Pontifical University of Salamanca. I was living at San Carlos Students Residence. Even with some limits, one could feel there a renovation and free atmosphere that you could not feel in other seminaries. Vatican Council II was in full development. The afternoon of that day one of my college mates, Jose Antonio del Rio,  asked me to go with him to the Diocesan Workers. My answer was yes. By the way, one cousin of mine, Gerardo, was living there and I had not seen him for a long time. My cousin was not there that afternoon. But a university classmate, Aurelio Ortín, now deacon in Barcelona, was there. I do not remember neither how nor why, Aurelio started to tell us the story of his life. And also he told us about his father, a schoolteacher who had to emigrate to Buenos Aires. It was a vivid story of faith, exodus, and vocation. Outside it was raining, and thundering, a strong storm was pouring down. The radio was spreading the news of Pope John XXIII’s agony.
I returned to Saint Charles College with the feeling that that evening I had been guided mysteriously, effectively and significantly. Nothing had happened by chance. Everything made sense. Years later a great professor of the Gregorian University of Rome defined that like this: "When the Word of God commands things, she creates them; when she commands men, she makes the Law; when she commands events, she leads history." Towards evening, already in my room, looking at the highest buildings of the town, symbol of the modern world, I could not do anything less than to exclaim: “This poor world of chances..!” From then on, this experience of faith, this present of Pentecost, has been a firm point of reference in my way, a light that has been  leading my steps.
At night I used to read the Bible. And many times it seemed to me to I had found the right passage. It became to me living Words. I especially remember some phrases: “Preaching the Gospel is no reason for me to boast; it is rather an obligation in which I am concerned. And woe to me if I do not preach it!”(1 Co 9, 16). And also: Forgetting what lies behind, I run towards what lies ahead, towards the calling of God in Christ Jesus”. And finally: “I will give them a shepherd who will pasture them”.(Ez 34, 23). By then I did not know the faces of those to whom I would be sent.

The fact of evolution


In Salamanca, I learned of Teilhard de Chardin’s work in a moment where the old vision of the word assumed by the scholastic philosophy, called "perennial philosophy", was giving unmistakable signs of expiration. Nevertheless, there was Teilhard de Chardin, wise man, prophet and mystic, who - facing difficulties and incomprehension – he was giving a new, evolutive, dynamic view of the world. Upon it I made my Philosophy thesis
It was liberation to be assured that evolution was neither opposed to faith nor, by itself, was a protection to any philosophy. It is a fact that one discovers by science. According to Teilhard, the “Galileo of the Cosmo genesis”, the minimum creed common to all evolutionists is this: there exists a “physical bond among all who are alive” and, by extension, “among all that is real” (The vision of the pass, Taurus, Madrid, 1962, 39 y 181)
As a paleontologist, Teilhard discovered with other colleagues in1929, the "sinanthropus pekinensis",  an “hominid specially old and primitive” (Man appearance, Taurus, Madrid, 1964, 85)
Teilhard, an intelligent man and a believer, considers illegitimate the schism that gradually, from the Renaissance, was separating Christianity from the modern world. In 1923, he already said: "I begin to think that there is a certain vision of the real world so narrow to some believers, as the world of Faith is closed to those who are not believers." (Trip letters, Taurus, Madrid, 1957, 35; see Vatican Council II, GS 59)
Teilhard, as a person and through his work, represents a decisive renovation that permits him to dialogue with the modern world. Religion itself becomes fertilized, enlarged. Teilhard has the merit of returning to Christianity its cosmological sense. But also, he offers to a dynamic world the light of Revelation.


Christ is the center


In a study circle, held in the Spanish College of Rome in the 1967-68 academic year, I was asked to explain the meaning of what is called, Omega point. Omega point, of a clear Apocalyptic flavour (Ap 1, 8), is the final center upon which all cosmic process converges. According to Teilhard, universe is evolutionarily centered. The direction of the evolutionary process is this: Cosmo genesis-biogenesis-anthropogenesis, that is, genesis off the world, of life and of man. But here is the problem: man – upon whom evolution became conscious - perceives his own finite being and that of the world itself. But, if nothing in itself is the future of evolution, does previous effort make any sense? This is the context in which my first essay was born, dealing with the Teilhard concept of death within the framework of a world in evolution. (Vida Nueva 26, 1968, 475 – 505)
Omega is the future that is awaiting an evolution that has become conscious, but has to face the “vertiginous and dark step” of death. Omega has to be, according to Teilhard, a “transcendent and personal” reality. Transcendent because it is the other side of everybody and every phenomenon. Personal, because - from the moment that the world has become personal – nothing can then make sense to him who is not supremely personal, from then on, neither reality can be superior, nor can attract him if it is not extremely relational,  no transcendent point could already center him (Human phenomenon, Taurus, Madrid, 1963, 37)
Omega is the key point of the Teilhard hypothesis. If Omega exists, then all can be explained. Also the death. Death is, then, a “step forward” to where one reaches the plenitude of Omega.
Advancing from below to above, that is, in the light of reason, one reaches only a hypothetical "unknown God" (Hch 17, 23) who is Omega. But changing the perspective and considering things from above to below, that is, at the light of Revelation, Omega is Christ, who fulfils, holds, sums up and reconciles all creation. (Col 1, 15 – 20 and Ef 1, 10): “In the world two summits do not fit, as in a circle two centres are not possible” (The divine means, Taurus, Madrid, 1963, 158)
In this way, Resurrected Christ has for Teilhard cosmic dimensions: "By the right of Resurrection you have occupied the key point of the total Center where everything is concentrated." (The hymn of the universe, Taurus; Madrid, 1960. 147) And also, "The star that the world is waiting for, not knowing yet how to pronounce his name, not understanding exactly his true transcendence, without being able to distinguish his most spiritual and divine rays, is without doubt the Christ himself who we are waiting for. (ib., 146) And finally: "Christ is loved like a person and he imposes himself like a world". (Ib., 162)


Victory against death


In a certain way, all Teilhard´s work is a great meditation about death, says Henri de Lubac in his book “Teilhard de Chardin religious thought” (Taurus, Madrid, 1967, 76). Death is "the sum and the consummation of all our limitations" (The divine means, 76), but it is also a “divine milieu” that leads to the plenitude of resurrection. (Ib., 168).  Resurrection is not, for Teilhard, a restoration of the present order of the world, a kind of paradise on earth, a return backwards, a reanimation of the corpse. As Saint Paul says: “When buried is a natural body, but it will be raised a spiritual body” (1 Co 15, 44), “for the order of this world is vanishing” (7, 31), when this tent that is our body collapses due to illness and death, God prepares us another tent “not made by human hand” (2 Co 5, 1). In Teilhard´s work a new concept of resurrection emerges, fruit of his believer’s and dynamic vision of the world. Let us see:
- With the death, something irreversible happens. There is something essential and something transient. Death, in order not to be already such a death, should allow "the most precious essence of our beings"  to filter through. (Human energy, Taurus, Madrid, 1963, 154)
- the death, step forward, places the world and the man in a transcendent state. It is "the natural condition of ecstasies beyond the sizes and frames of the visible universe". (ib., 168)
- One understands the resurrection as a fulfilment of our own personality in a transcending situation. This fulfilment is given to us through Christ, in whom we are made divine: a consummation of the “Christ genesis”, mystery and destiny of history, transfiguration of  the man and the world.
"The organic complex will be constituted like this: God and the World, the Fulfilment, mysterious reality that we cannot say to be more beautiful than God alone, since God can leave aside the world, but we can not think of it as absolutely secondary, because it would make creation incomprehensible, the Passion absurd and our efforts useless. And then the end will come. As an immense tide, the Being shall have dominated the trembling of the beings. In the bosom of a quieted Ocean, but in which every drop will be conscious of being itself, the extraordinary adventure of the world will end. The dream of every mystic will have found full and legitimate satisfaction. God will be all in everyone". (The future of man, Taurus, Madrid, 1964, 380 – 381; see The divine means, 129)

Teilhard died in New York, on April 10th , 1955, Resurrection Sunday. Three days before his death, he wrote in the last page of his diary a surprising summary of his entire thinking. “Universe is evolutionarily centered”,  “Christ is the Center”, and “the three verses” (1Co 15, 26-28), where it is said that “the last enemy to be destroyed is death, since Christ subjected everything under his feet.”
Shortly before his death, on March 15th, during a dinner in the French Consulate in New York, Teilhard said: I would like to die on Resurrection Sunday.
On his last day, in the morning, he attended a solemn Mass at St. Patrick Cathedral. In the afternoon he went to a concert. Afterwards, in a friends´ house, he showed satisfied of the "wonderful day" he had spent. While he was having tea, suddenly, he fell to the floor. They called a doctor, but he couldn’t do anything. He died right there: “On Resurrection Sunday!” He died due to the breaking of the coronary artery (see C. Cuenot, Pierre Teilhard de Chardin. His evolution great steps, Taurus, Madrid, 1967, 540 – 541)
His prayer was fulfilled: “My great prayer (I also say it for all those to whom I love) is to be able “to end well”; it is to say, `to seal´ with my death in one or another way, that for which I have always lived” (letter dated in New York, January the 8th, 1955). Certainly, Teilhard ended well, he sealed with his death that for which he always had lived.


Here I am


I became a priest on St. Joseph’s day, 1969, at the Spanish School of Rome, from the hands of the bishop of Tarazona , at that time, (later archbishop of Granada) Mr. José Méndez, accompanied by many priests (1 Tm 4, 14). The card of my priesthood said this: “through the imposition of hands for the service of the Church”. And also: “Sacrifices and offerings you did not desire, but a body you prepared for me.” (Hb 10, 5). Christ´s priesthood, not Leviticus but according to Melquisedec, was the model. At that moment, large seminaries, that had been recently built, were almost empty, The sociological image of the priest had fallen down and a new one was required.
As for me, I put myself at the service of the Church, of a renovated one, that couldn’t be other than a community. In the audience for the new priests, Paul VI, gave us as a present a copy of the Acts of the Apostles, written in Italian.  This was a significant detail: it was necessary to return to the Church of the first times, to the Church of the Acts of the Apostles. But the difficulties were enormous. One had to proceed step-by-step. And for many people, “it was not yet the right moment”. (Ag 1, 2)
Before this, I had studied Master of Arts (Philosophy and Humanities) at the Pontifical University of Salamanca (1960-65) and Theology at the Gregorian University of Rome (1965-1969). To complete my studies, looking for the relationship between theology and humanities, (II Vatican Council) I gained a degree in Psychology at the School of Psychology, (1969-1973), University of Madrid-Complutense, majoring in the Clinical side. At the same time I started to take my first steps in the pastoral field, giving priority to whatever had to do – in one way or another - with groups and communities.
In the first half of the year 1973, I considered the possibility of coming back to Avila, where I had started to collaborate with Groups of Doctrinal Training of the Theological Institute at the Seminary, and then in Permanent Education for Clergy. But diverse events would take me to change my plans.


Teaching the Word


The bishop of Avila was Mr. Maximino Romero de Lema who was also member of the Episcopal Teaching Commission and, before that, he had been Rector of the Holy Spirit Church of Madrid (1961-1968); this church was shut down by the Franco regime. Afterwards the people knew that Pope Paul VI wanted to appoint Mr. Maximino archbishop of Santiago but the former Head of State was opposed to it. The Pope said: “In this case, if he does not fit Spain, he can fit the Universal Church”. And he appointed him Secretary of the Roman Congregation of Clergy. In Avila, awaiting the new bishop, everything remained in a transitional situation.
Meanwhile, in several summer courses organized by the National Secretary for Catechesis, José Manuel Sanchez Cano figured as a theologian. He was then Director of the Theological Institute of Avila and, afterwards, Rector of the Pontifical University of Salamanca. In the end, José Manuel could not participate, and he proposed my name and, in this way, I began to collaborate with the Secretariat.
The first course was in Oviedo. But on July 11th , I had to come back urgently to Avila, because my father - who already had been operated on for a prostate problem - had now developed a lung embolism. When they called me, according to what doctors later told me - he had already entered a terminal stage clinically irreversible. They thought that he would die that same day, around two o’clock. The doctors could not explain how “he got better” just at “that very hour” (Mt 8, 13),  “about eleven o’clock”. Some days later the Course of Avila was held and I could fully participate. My father died that same day, the 11th of July, 31 years later.
At the beginning of the course 1973-74, the National Secretariat for Catechesis called me. They needed a theologian for the team in charge of writing the catechism that afterwards would be named “He is with you" (for youngsters from 11 to 14 years old).
The catechism broke some old patterns and we had to make, at the same time, a Doctrinal Guide, something like a protector shield. One morning, as I was preparing a subject for the Guide, I found a text of the Bible that caught very much my attention: “Have I not written for you thirty chapters with counsels and knowledge, to teach you truly how to give a dependable report to the one to whom I send you? I counted the subjects just written until that moment. Thirty as a total. I did not make the doctoral thesis as I had planned, but instead I made a synthesis of faith.
The approval and publication of the catechism He is with you was an event in the Spanish Church. (see Actualidad Catequética 81-82, 1977,7; also 79-80, 1976, 7-8) And the Doctrinal Guide has had during these years, very different uses: adult catechesis, school of catechism, writing catechisms and other catechumenal projects, training religion teachers… In 1982 they talked of a revision of catechism. Nevertheless, little by little they put it aside. In 1987 they did not publish it any more.
Afterwards, some other catechisms were written. Really, there is no method, no pedagogy, no catechistic instrument that could resolve the substantial problem of a catechesis for the consumer, to be available as a pastoral for the consumer; of a catechesis without a living and effective Word (Hb 4,12), without announcement, without a process, without commitment; in short, a catechism without a profound renewal of the Church.
The renewal implies an evangelization of the baptized, a new evangelization. Only like this, through the service of the Gospel, this open wound can be cured in the flank of the Church, a wound that can not be superficially cured. This was denounced by the prophets: “You treat the wounds of my people only on the surface.” (Jr 6,14).
After finishing the catechism (with their guides) and presented everywhere, in the 1977-1978 academic course I was transferred to the Department of Adult Catechesis. They gave me this commitment on September 3, 1978. I stayed there just for eight years, promoting an adult catechism of catechumenal inspiration.
In the first quarter of 1979, I published Spain, a mission country. A national confession was needed, recognition of the Spanish society ecclesiastical contradiction: “many are baptized, but few are evangelized.”
As the person responsible for Adult Catechism from 1978 to 1986, I was part of the Catechesis European Team. The final fruit of this collaboration it was the European book of catechesis “The beginning of the faith” (“Los comienzos de la fe”) that contains 25 years of catechistical experience in Europe.
From April 1975 we used the Doctrinal Guide at the service of the catechesis. Later on, with some updating, we published the Catechumenal Project in the National Secretariat of Catechesis. . We are now updating it in the Association.
In 1981, the Board of the IV Theresa Centennial asked me to prepare several catechesis about St. Theresa. The same thing happened in 1991 with St. John of the Cross Centennial but the Board did not publish it. The Association did it.
For many years (1985-2006) I have collaborated with the Pastoral Department of Health of the Episcopal Commission of Pastoral in the publication of catechesis that, in commemoration of the Sick´s Day, serve for the discovering of the mission of healing that has the Christian community. [51]
The 1st of June 1982, in the meeting of the European Team o Catechesis that takes place in Munich I participate with the paper “Global panoramic of adult’s catechesis today”. In 1985 the Episcopal Commission of Catechesis published the document “The catechist and his training”, to which I contributed. Rooted in the mission of Jesus and the Twelve, and connected to the living tradition of the Church, the catechist will produce abundant fruit in a world that is in need of God. The oldest definition of catechist is recuperated: “the one who instructs in the Word.” Later on, in the Congress of Catechists (April 7-13, 1986), I was asked to give a speech on “Vocation and mission of today’s catechist.”  
In October 1985, after personal and community discernment, I published in the Journal Vida Nueva, an article about John Paul I´s death. In the National Secretariat of Catechesis I was told not to say one word more about this matter if I wanted to remain there. I answered that I had  written this, following my conscience and I would continue – in one way or another – with this subject, although they would dismiss me, as they did the following summer. At the end of 1990, I published the book “Se pedirá cuenta”,(Reckoning shall be requested), about the death and figure of John Paul I. In 2002 the private edition and in 2005 the public edition of the “The day of reckoning. John Paul II under scrutiny”, came to light. In 2006 we published “Historic memory, crusade or madness?”, that carries out a revision of the Church’s position in the Civil War. In 2009 I published my book “John Paul I. Open case”, that completes and updates my investigation about the death and the figure of Pope Luciani, including the ecclesial that comes afterwards. The Italian edition of the book, in the centenary of the John Paul I birth, is under preparation.


The community of Ayala


 In the first half of 1973, I had started to collaborate with the parish of the Cristo de la Salud, (Christ of the Health) located in Madrid’s Ayala Street. The perspective of creating groups and constituting a community, in spite of foreseeable difficulties, led me to accept the proposal made by Fernando Salom, a priest from Valencia, who was collaborating with the parish and who had been appointed to another position. He was named superintendent of San Juan de la Ribera college.
It was evident that everywhere there was an dissatisfaction about conventional Christianity. Just after arriving, I presented to the parish priest, Fr. Ignacio Zulueta, the need of a catechumenate, a community. He told me that it could be possible for the next year; for the moment, he was thinking about meetings around the Bible and the Council: it could be the first step. I accepted. I was in charge of the Bible’s meetings (fortnightly). From there, the initial nucleus of the community was born.
It was a small group (8-10 persons), but it was open to renovation and change. And as that was not enough, we soon started meetings in Julian and Pilar home, on Sundays evening. We were looking into the lost Community of the Acts of the Apostles. Through there on the deep renovation of the Church, that - being old and sterile as Sara (Rm 4, 19) - she could be again fertile
With the new course, in a meeting of the pastoral team of the parish (to which Lorenzo Sánchez from Salamanca had incorporated), we decided to start a catechumenate,. The catechumenate followed, at first, the neo catechumenal approach. After the first catechesis, the community was founded, on December 8. We were a total of 42 persons. At first it was a positive experience. It was a step forward. Although with some reservations, it was necessary to advance further. In November, D. Ignacio was admitted in the old St. Peter’s Hospital for a prostate’s operation. "As soon as I get better I will go to the community" , he told me. He came, but he did it in a different mood, in that new dimension in which the Resurrected Lord lives . He died, January 25th, 1974.
In the first three months of 1975, we began to see the need of doing a revision of the adopted system: a total rejection of the neo catechumenal approach by the new parish priest, who was counsellor of the Christianity courses; dioceses aspiration to an autonomous catechumenate; some inconveniences derived from an external and inadequate  direction about the catechumenal group; a systematic closeness that suffocated the group; progressive diminution of the number of members; no possibility of incorporation to the group of new members who had initiated a vivid relationship with the group; a controversial interpretation of the catechumenate and it’s phases (among them, the pre-catechumenate); lack of adequate catechetical tools; an offer to open a catechumenal center at Tagaste Residence for university students… The revision was accepted by a majority, first within the responsible team, and then in the community.
From April 8th, after a month of tensions and some breaks, compensated by the arrival of new people, we started a new phase, following our own approach. The revision would take place, the community would stay open to new members (Hch 2, 47) and the pastoral orientation of the community would be defined within it. We were 30 people. From there on, the community started to grow.
At the same time, the new parish priest was establishing in his church a position that, in fact, excluded any kind of catechumenate. With this narrow horizon, the community was separated from the parish church, and linked to the vicarage like an autonomous community. For three months, we had our meetings in the Tagaste residence. At the end, while keeping the autonomy from the parish church, its priest gave us a place for meetings in the church basement. The mentioned autonomy allowed us to follow the catechumenal and community experience with total freedom, without any problem.
Since then, the direction of the community has been defining itself by an assiduous listening to the Word of God in the bottom of personal, social and ecclesiastical events. The actual faith experience of those who lead the catechumenate has been fundamental in developing it, little by little, into a community. It also has been the continuous revision of the path to follow, as well as the contact with other groups. We already had the synthesis of faith, which later on would lead to the catechumenal project, as well as other instruments, like C. Floristán´s catechumenate (PPC, Madrid, 1972) and Danielou-Du Charlat´s  (Studium, Madrid, 1975) The catechesis during the first centuries.
 On November 13th, 1997, St. Augustine’s birthday, we set up another community, Santa Maria de la Esperanza.  Edelmiro Mateo got in contact with us in the presentation of the catechism in the IV Vicarage.  Little by little, the parish and the district have been filling up with groups of the community.
In 1987 we constituted ourselves as an association, with ecclesiastical and civil approval, the Community of Ayala Association (Saliente St., 1). This has given ecclesiastical and civil support to the evangelization activity that we are developing. It also indicated the horizon in which the catechumenal process flows: associated to evangelize. At the end, the first communities have an associative structure.
All process of evangelization must verify the difference that exists between those who are called and those who, by their answer, are finally chosen. In fact, there are many who do not answer the call. Jesus said this: many are invited but few are chosen (Mt 22, 14).
At present, we are leading in Madrid about seventy groups in parishes, schools and homes; the Community of Ayala Association also reaches beyond Madrid. There is the The Puerto Association Community (Tenerife, Canary Islands), Association Community of the Word (Las Palmas, Canary Islands), The Association Con vosotros está  (Cordoba), and the groups of Avila, Barcelona, Cuenca, Guadalajara, León, Murcia, Pontevedra, Toledo, London…
 On December 30th , 1994, the Betesda Foundation was created for the integral development of the handicapped, with the support of the Community, as a fruit of the social dimension of the Gospel. The Foundation has the Belisana Residence for mentally handicapped, not gravely affected, (48 rooms), and also an occupational center and a workshop area (Belisana St., 22) The residence began to function in march 1999. The Foundation has also opened two guarded floors and another supervise one, with room for 17 people.
Betesda Foundation has built a new center in the Gran Vía de Hortaleza St., num. 27, with Residence (52 rooms) and occupational Center (150 posts), recently inaugurated.

Catechumenal Project
 During these years, we have been reviewing the Catechumenal Project. We have deleted some catechesis and we have added some others. Thus this a new draft  with accumulated experience and checked in many groups and communities is issued.
 This new version is published for the use of the Association, but not exclusively. The synthesis of faith is a work of the Church. Now as well as before, I have joined my efforts to those of many others. In fact, “I was going to water my plants, my flower bed I will drench: And suddenly this stream of mine became a river, then this river of mine, a sea.” (Sir 24, 31) Furthermore, the mission overflows the limits of place and time. And, it is true, we like very much to share such a perspective: “Thus do I send my teachings for the shining like dawn, to become known afar off. Thus do I pour out instruction like prophecy and bestow it on generation to come. Look not only for myself I became fatigued but also for those who have searched for it” (24, 32 – 34). It has been said beautifully: “In one of the old Egyptian pharaoh’s tombs a bunch of wheat grains was found. Someone took them up, planted and watered them. And, to the surprise of everybody, grains sprouted five thousand years later”. (A. de Mello). We do not know how far the seed can reach or when it will sprout. We have to seed, to water, to harvest, and to weed.
Like the first draft, this second one is open for comments, especially for those who can be considered as columns, to whom we again  present  the Gospel that we preach.
As then, we preach a Word that is fulfilled: Christ is with us and he displays for us the mystery of God: only one God and only one Lord. the mystery of man: the old man and the new man, and the mystery of the world: creation and new creation. As St. Paul says, we are made stewards of the Word to transmit the whole message (Col 1, 25). We are disciples, sent to make disciples. (Mt 28, 19). In spite of everything, we have this confidence: “I confirm my servant’s word and I make y messengers´ project a success. (Is 44, 26)
To talk about the catechumenal project is to talk about stages, objectives, and means or instruments (subjects or catechesis, clues for meetings).
The first stage is the first evangelization or pre-catechumenate. One attempts to achieve the first communication of the experience of faith, a living communication done by present witnesses. Faith experience is like a seed ready to grow. First it is sown, then it grows and finally produces fruit. The parable of the sewer says it to us in a formidable and summarized manner (Mk 4, 1 – 20). The sewer sows the seed in the field. The seed is the Word of God, and the field is the world. As in the new-born Church, despite the diversity of circumstances and people, there are some constants that are repeated, and happen, in a germinal stage, in the first evangelization.
The second stage is the catechumenal process itself or catechumenate. The catechumenate is an evangelization process. It is growth and development of the sowing carried out during the first evangelization. One tries a basic initiation into the Gospel’s experience. For that, the catechumenal process takes on life itself in depth, in the light of the word of God
The third stage is the end of the catechumenate. The Gospel talks to us about sowing and growth, but also about fruits, harvest and weeding (Mk 4, 3 - 9.  26 – 29; Jn 4, 35 foll.; Lk 22, 31)The catechumenal process concludes with the maturity of faith’s experience, which includes - among other things - these constants: present recognition of Jesus as the Lord, and conversion (fundamental) to the Gospel’s values. All of this is a matter of time, longer or shorter depending on each case.
We use the catechumenal project with freedom, depending on what we see as necessary or convenient and how it serves the fundamental purposes, “doing as the head of a household who brings out from his storeroom both the new and the old” (Mt 13, 52)
Jesús López Sáez
Madrid, July 11th, 2012                               (Last update, Thursday, 21st, March 2013)