He said that some young people may not be inclined to follow one who teaches the faith, but they readily follow one who comes to them as a witness for the faith.
Later, the Keynote speaker drove the point home even further. She asked an important question of each person in the audience. Why are you Catholic? There are many faiths out there. Why be Catholic?
She said that each one who strives to share the faith must have an answer to this question. Moreover, the students in our classrooms must know how we answer this question. It is not enough for them to know that we are Catholic. They must know why we are Catholic.
And really, doesn't that make sense? If the faith is really important to us - and especially if we wear the hat "religion teacher" or "catechist", then shouldn't we have a really good reason for being Catholic? And if we have a really good reason for being Catholic, shouldn't we share it with those entrusted to us?
If someone asked you the question, "So why be Catholic when you can be anything - or nothing at all?
What would you say?
What do I say? First, I ask if they want the sixty second answer or the sixty minute one. Usually, they say the short version, please. Ah, that is easy. The Catholic Church is the only Christian Church that can trace her heritage all the way back to Jesus Christ, in an unbroken line of apostolic succession. And she fulfills the 4 marks of the Church. She is one (fully united), she is holy, she is Catholic, and she is apostolic. Oh . . . and of course, this is where we encounter Our Eucharistic Lord. That's why I'm Catholic. If you want to know how I came to these conclusions, that'll take about an hour. Suffice it to say that I am Catholic by Grace - a million little pieces of grace.