“The Church will have to initiate everyone—priests, religious and laity—
into this ‘art of
accompaniment’ which teaches us to remove our sandals
before the sacred ground of the other (cf. Ex 3:5).”
The Good News of Accompaniment
The parish must provide experienced missionary disciples who can accom-
pany those who are returning
to the Church and guide them throughout
their journey. In accompanying others, the disciple possesses a love
others and the Church by being welcoming and hospitable. The disciple
must be willing to walk with others,
share the Good News, and help others
grow in their faith and live in solidarity with others. Reconciliation offers
the experience of God’s grace and mercy. Catechesis should include forma-
tion on the Creed, the seven
sacraments, the moral and social teachings
of the Church, prayer based on the
, and missionary discipleship.
This formation should utilize the
Catechism of the Catholic Church
United States Catholic Catechism for Adults
Compendium of the
Social Doctrine of the Church
Questions for Reflection:
In what ways am I accompanied on my journey of faith? Who accompanies
me and my family?
How do I accompany others on their journey of faith?
Do we plan parish activities keeping the art of accompaniment in mind?
What opportunities for accompaniment are offered in support of the faith of
parishioners? What areas can be improved?
The Church in the United States is a community of faith that is composed
of members of many
different cultures. Respect, understanding, and open-
ness to this diversity is key to assisting all in having a
with Christ and growing as missionary disciples. True hospitality extends
to all members
of the community: new and established parishioners, espe-
cially children and youth, young adults, the newly married and parents,
the divorced or widowed, immigrants, those seeking assistance, and those
alienated from the Church. A sense of welcome is fostered by