The challenge posed by lay catechists’ poverty to their effectiveness in evangelization in the light of redemptoris missio in Kasanga Parish, Kasese Catholic Diocese
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It is true the Bishop is primarily the agent of Evangelization; this becomes very vivid when he has a very good team of coworkers, like the priests, Nuns, religious brothers and Catechists. Right back from the early missionary evangelization in Uganda, Lay Catechists have been seen as playing a very big role in the history and development of the Catholic Church. During the time of the missionaries, they acted as translators and guiders for the missionary priests. This shows how central the lay catechists are in the effective evangelization. In our modern time, in the crisis of lack of enough priests, most lay catechists spend most of their time with the lay faithful; they are pastoral agents who are down to the people in times of joy and sorrow. In other words, they are the representatives of the Bishops and priests in the churches which they lead. It is very sad to observe that unfortunately, most of the lay catechists in Kasanga parish and for sure majority of the rural lay catechists in Uganda lack finances to support them in their mission and also their families. Most of them are family holders and with lots of family needs. This is a very big challenge that they face in the ministry alongside other secondary challenges like little education, family challenges like domestic violence among others; Hence making their work of helping the bishops and priests in the work of Evangelization very hard. Certainly, God has given us full potential to work and be happy people especially in his vine yard. Lay catechists need enlightenment to make them realize this reality of the world, to realize that a catechist can also drive his/ her own car. This is the reason for this research work. Throughout the whole six chapters of this work, therefore, the researcher attempts to unveil why some of the lay catechists have perpetually be considered as very poor people. He highlights the dangers of this bad identity of lay catechists on evangelization and the effects that come from it. He goes ahead to put some of the attempts that should be done to avoid this wrong connotation on the agents of Evangelization in order to make it very effective in Kasanga Parish. In this research, the researcher bears in mind questions like: is financial empowerment of the lay Catechists indispensable for the effective evangelization? Secondly, what is level of poverty among the lay catechists? Thirdly, what should be done and which way should it be in order to empower catechists financially? This research report (entitled; The challenge posed by lay catechists’ poverty to their effectiveness in Evangelization in the light of Redemptoris Missio in Kasanga Parish, Kasese Diocese) is indeed a piece of work attempting to put forward some answers to the above questions in the study. The answers were acquired by the researcher from the respondents through survey design alongside quantitative and qualitative inquiries conducted using various tools as showed in the third chapter of this research report. I used survey design because it can infer to a large population with limited errors. It also enhances accuracy in measurement. It also enables quick statistical analysis, and comparison of data. However, qualitative paradigm was also used since the study focuses on the quality of evangelization of Lay Catechist in their different local churches. This quality is to be arrived at by means of an analysis of the various variables which the researcher will find out. Equally, the indicators of effectiveness of Lay Catechists are quantifiable; this will make us also use the quantitative paradigm. This will be visible in the stage of data analysis and presentation where the figures and diagrams will be used to show the accuracy of the information got from the research. Among the top solutions that the researcher recommends to eradicate poverty among the Catechists is first and foremost helping them to identify their potentiality to empower themselves and overcoming inferiority complex through being given adequate formation and training both economically, morally, physically, academically and socially before they are commissioned to go out and do the work of Jesus. Secondly, they should be facilitated in their daily living with much emphasis on their fair remuneration by the Christians. Thirdly, organizing workshops/talks given by Catechists who have managed to fight this challenge of poverty. The research observed that such standard may not be easy to achieve but is it essential for effective Evangelization in this capitalistic situation.