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“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

, the

United States Catholic Catechism for Adults


and the

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

personal encounter

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

who feel

alienated from the Church. A sense of welcome is fostered by