Teachings are the way in which the Priest is present in the cell
ROLE OF THE TEACHING
The teaching is one of the most important components of the cell meeting. It is the way in which the pastor (parish priest) can be present amongst his people. It is an opportunity to provide instruction, to prompt reflection and to inspire missionary activity. It is critical to the creation and ongoing formation of missionary disciples within the Parish community.
After the teaching has been delivered, the cell meeting continues with a time of discussion where the members talk about how the teaching has affected them personally and how they are going to respond to it in their lives. So it can be helpful for the priest's teaching to conclude with one or two questions or thoughts for reflection arising from the teaching. This helps the discussion amongst the cell members to remain focused on the theme of the teaching.
PRACTICAL GUIDANCE ON THE PREPARATION OF A CELL TEACHING
A teaching should ideally last 5-12 minutes, although there is some variation between priests and to some extent it may be dependent on the theme chosen. A longer teaching can be accommodated but may impact upon the timings of the other cell moments and may present a challenge for the cell leader to ensure the meeting finishes on time.
There are some different models but most involve the preparation of a written text or alternatively an audio or video recording of the teaching that can be distributed to the cell leaders to be read or played at their cell meetings. A suitably technologically-minded cell member could exercise their gifts to support the priest in the recording of the teaching if they have not themselves been gifted in this way.
The cell leaders or executive cell/core group can support the priest in identifying potential themes for future teaching based on the pastoral and spiritual needs of the cell members and from items in the discussion arising from the teaching.
TIME COMMITMENT FOR THE PRIEST
Whilst it does take some time and regular commitment to prepare the teaching for each meeting, it is time well-invested. Cell members often cite it as one of their favourite moments of the cell meeting and comment on the tremendous spiritual growth that arises from the priest's teaching.
We know from experience that the commitment to prepare and provide a regular teaching amongst the multitude of other pastoral responsibilities is a concern for many priests. With the kind permission of the priests concerned we have included some of the teachings below to serve as examples or inspiration in the preparation of cell teaching. Some Parishes that have been operating PECS for a number of years have developed an extensive bank of teachings from the priest which can be re-visited according to pastoral needs and seasons to reduce the time burden on a priest. Potentially the repository of teachings below could be used by another Parish Cell System from time to time to support the priest in balancing his time commitments.
SAMPLE CELL TEACHINGS
Below we include some sample cell teachings courtesy of Father Victor Vella and Father John Moloney
**Please note that during the COVID-19 pandemic both Fr Victor and Fr John have used their YouTube channels to host sermons or live streamed mass. Sample cell teachings can still be found but you may need to scroll back to earlier videos to find cell teachings**
See more of Fr Victor Vella's PECS teachings on his YouTube channel playlist Fr Victor Vella PECs Teachings
See more of Fr John Moloney's PECS teachings on his YouTube channel StAntonysFG UK