At the launch of her eighth book in the series – A leaders’ guide to Baptism, Confirmation, Eucharist and Reconciliation – Kathy said when she began the series nearly 10 years ago, she deliberately chose a title that reflected her view that “becoming Catholic” happened over time.
As a teacher in the post-Vatican II era, she was also very conscious of the need to see parents as the primary and ongoing educators in the faith of their children.
Through engaging with parents and children in the sacrament preparation program, she had cause to reflect on her own family and what it meant to continue to grow into her Catholic faith.
“Family is a place where we feel at home, where we are loved and nurtured, where we forge relationships and we pick up the values of our parents,” she said.
“In our family, which was an ordinary family, we learnt the values of being engaged in our Church, in growing together as family, sharing the highs, the lows, the griefs, the anxieties, the joys and the hopes.”
With a large number of her family in the audience at the launch, Kathy dedicated the series to “our parents”.
“They worked long and hard to give us a wonderful environment where we just experienced Church, community, faith and family, but they also gave us the capacity to use what they provided for us through a Catholic education,” she said.
“They did their best to provide us with opportunities and we’ve now run with that in different ways in our lives.”
Kathy said she also learnt about the importance of family and working together in her parish life and through the Dominican Sisters who educated her. From them she learned the importance of being able to reflect on her faith and to share her reflections with others. She paid tribute to the Missionaries of the Sacred Heart at Flinders Park-Hindmarsh parish with whom she has had the privilege to work in partnership over the past ten years and she spoke also of the deep love of Church of the diocesan priests she had worked alongside in parishes.
Kathy said the Leaders’ guide was directed towards teachers in Catholic schools, parish catechists, parents and pastoral associates, all of whom played a significant role in the religious education and sacrament preparation of young people.
It drew heavily from the Scriptures, retelling stories in a way that is relevant to children and often appealing to adults as well.