Havana, October 18, 2020.
A: Parish priests, leaders of Christian communities, catechesis coordinators and catechists.
DE: The Archdiocesan Catechesis Commission.
SUBJECT: START OF THE CATECHETICAL YEAR 2020-2021
Dear Brothers: After 24 March, the country’s authorities suspended activities in all areas, such as preventive measures in the face of the spread of the new Covid 19; catechesis in our communities has been affected since that date, without having been able to end the catechetical year.
As is tradition in the Cuban Church, the beginning of the catechetical year is to be carried out after the National Festival of Ntra. Ms. de la Caridad del Cobre. Given the epidemiological situation we are in, this made it impossible to restart on the usual date.
The archdiocesan commission has decided:
Officially initiate catechesis in all catechistic centers of the archdiocese,
November 7, 2020; even though we know that there are a certain number of centres in different places that have started to have their activity before this date due to the favorable situation they presented around the Covid.
Please note that for the onset of catechesis, the hygienic sanitary measures established by the authorities must be met
Catechesis sessions are encouraged to shorten their duration to 30 or 40 minutes, and it is recommended that they be conducted in open, large and ventilated spaces, which must be hygienized, and where physical distance is guaranteed as a safety measure. Recalling, moreover, that the use of a mask is mandatory and that agglomerations are avoided at the entrance and exit of parish halls or temples.
Groups, no more than eight children, will also be reduced and the number of catechists will be expanded where they are likely to. This would be an opportunity to invite young people, because as we know, many of our catechists are elderly people, a population at risk in the face of this pandemic, so we thought that it is highly recommended, to ask for the collaboration of young people in catechesis.
Given the inertia of a long day of inactivity, we recognize that changes are not without difficulties, shocks due to the shortages of materials and media that we have but are sure of the enormous potential that our catechists have. We therefore propose that we be able to develop initiatives that can help make our catechesis a place of personal encounter with Jesus to respond to the challenges and challenges of these times.
Today, Pope Francis’ words must resonate incessantly: “I invite everyone to be bold and creative in this task of rethenting the objectives, structures, style and methods of evangelization in the communities themselves” (EG33).
From the archdiocesan commission of catechesis you will be informed of the different decisions that will be taken in relation to this situation.
May this restart of the Catechetical Year be an occasion for all of us to continue to discover the merciful God who is given to us as a gift every day in the Eucharist, adapting to these new circumstances imposed on us by the pandemic, as proof of our fidelity to vocation as catechists of these times.
He greets you in Christ,
Eloy Ricardo Dominguez
Archdiocesan Catechesis Coordinator