These past couple of weeks, the Catechetical ministry has been busy with various camps, formations and activities for their Catechism students. The ministry organised a one-day stay-in camp for the First Holy Communion students at the Formation Hall from 4-5 November 2017, with the theme ‘Christ Our Joy’. There were 24 English-speaking students and 3 Tamil-speaking students at the camp, which was facilitated by Sister Mary David, FDCC. This camp prepared the students for their first Sacrament of Reconciliation, which will take place on Saturday, 25 November 2017. The students will celebrate their Sacrament of First Holy Communion on 26 November 2017, which is also the Solemnity of Christ the King.
On Saturday, 11 November 2017, the ministry hosted a formation at the Formation Hall entitled ‘I Am Special’ for the teenage catechism students. Several Catechism teachers and youth from the Church of the Visitation, Seremban, led by Peter Tee, facilitated the formation for our teenagers. There were about 57 youth present that day, and it was amazing to watch them present and participate in the activities and discussions. I know most of them since the days when I was ministering in Seremban, as they were my catechism students and it was fascinating to watch them embrace their sessions. They have really grown in their knowledge of God.
The next day, 12 November 2017, there was another formation for the primary school catechism students on the Eucharist. This formation was facilitated by Tomson Scaria, and it was held after the Sunday morning Mass, from 10.30am to 5.30pm. The session ended with the exposition of the Blessed Sacrament and Benediction.
My special thanks goes out to the catechetical coordinators and teachers who prepared for the camp and formations with great enthusiasm and dedication. It truly is an exceptional closing to their Catechetical Year 2017.
The Holy Father, Pope Francis, declared 19 November 2017 as the First World Day of the Poor with the theme ‘Let us love, not with words but with deeds’. He suggested that all Christian communities find ways to “create moments of encounter” with the poor. In conjunction with that, St. Joseph’s Church will celebrate World Day of the Poor, as well as our Parish Family Day. Our catechism students will have the opportunity to mingle with the poor children and their families, in our Church compound. There will be raffle draws, games, a jumble sale and live bands performing throughout the day and it promises to be a fun time for everyone. These two celebrations mark the end of our three-year (2015-2017) faith journey with the vision ‘Towards Strengthening Our Faith Community.”
There are so many heart-breaking stories of poverty and hopelessness in our community, and as a fitting ending to their faith education for the year 2017, the World Day of the Poor will bring a kind of exposure to our catechism students, as they share their day with them. This celebration will help our children hear the voice of the poor and the marginalised. I am sure this experience will become an eye-opener for our catechism children, as they learn and share their day with these children. It is also a step forward for them to set a way of life in reaching out to the needy in the future.
Fr. George Packiasamy