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 In his keynote address, Father Mike Manning, SVD, challenged the catechists to reflect on the characteristics of Jesus’s ministry and how they can emulate it in their role as catechists. 

 “If you want to be a catechist, then you’ve got to make sure that the love of God is at the forefront,” Father Manning said. “The most important reality for us Catholics is accepting the fact that God loves you, despite your shortcomings and your sins.”

 He invited them to be compassionate, attentive and open, showing the youth that God is love. 

 “Once we accept God’s love, then we are moved to go to Mass, to pray the rosary and do everything else. If the door is opened then you go.”

 Laura Lopez, pastoral coordinator at Our Lady of Perpetual Help in Indio, spoke on the role faith plays in life during her keynote address to the Spanish speaking participants. 

 Following the keynote addresses, participants attended three workshop sessions. Sessions were available in English and Spanish and covered a myriad topics, including practical techniques, spiritual enrichment and topics related to the Year of Faith.

 “This has helped me learn more about my faith, which will help in creating lesson plans,” said Dolores Cerda, a parishioner at St. Charles Borromeo, Bloomington. “It has really opened new horizons for me.”

 The San Bernardino and High Desert Vicariates offered their Catechist Day on Aug. 24 at Holy Family Parish, Hesperia. Low Desert parishes held their Catechist Day on Sept. 7 at Sacred Heart Parish, Palm Desert. Catechist Day for the Hemet Vicariate will be held on Oct. 4 at St. Christopher Parish, Moreno Valley.