On Sunday, 5 January 2020, Catechism for the year 2020 resumed in most parishes. In our Parish of St. Joseph, faith education session for our catechism children commenced with a 30-minute adoration of the Blessed Sacrament, followed by Benediction at Dewan Monsignor Anthony Thomas after the 9.00 am mass. Following this, we had the renewal of commitment and commissioning of our catechists and RCIA facilitators for the year 2020. The commissioning for catechists, parents and students is usually carried out on Catechetical Sunday, which falls on the 3rd Sunday of January. However, for the past two years, in our Parish, we have carried out the commissioning on the first Sunday of the year, – on the day of registration for catechism classes and a special blessing given to all of them before the registration. The commissioning is conducted at this time instead of during a weekend mass as all catechists, facilitators, parents and students are present at the hall.
On behalf of the catechists, I would like to thank all of you once again, especially the parents of our catechism students for recommitting to sending your children regularly and faithfully to catechism classes. As primary faith educators, I hope you take on your role seriously and act responsibly through your words and actions within the community and at home. We also expect parents to send children to their classes early so that the kids will have time to settle in. Send your children to class with warm smiles and trace their foreheads with the Sign of the Cross before leaving them at their respective classes. If possible, greet the other children and teachers too with a smile as well because after all, we are one parish community, one family.
The same goes for the children – you too have your role to play in your faith formation. Last Sunday, you renewed your commitment with your parents and teachers. First and foremost, you promised to be present and punctual for your classes. Punctuality is a habit of doing things at the right time and it is a key to success in your studies and in your life. If you are punctual and disciplined students, you will earn the respect, acceptance and admiration of your peers, teachers as well as your parents. I want you to be present on time so that you will not miss any part of the lesson.
I was happy to see all the catechists, facilitators, parents and students come forward to renew their commitment once again. I am sure that there will be many challenges ahead, but let us stand firm together in our faith in Christ and make a real, lasting impact in our own lives as we grow in holistic spirituality. The start of a new year is a good time for us to reflect on how Jesus grew in wisdom, in age, in stature, in maturity, in favour with God and people, (cf. Luke 2:52), so that one day when we meet the Lord, we will hear Him say, “Well done, good and faithful servant,” (Matt 25:23).
This year, our Parish will be more focused on the spiritual growth of every individual. For the first quarter of the year, we have prepared an Alpha programme for adults who want to dive deeper into their Catholic faith. This programme will be a tool for you to become evangelisers. It is a series of sessions over 9 consecutive Saturdays and a weekend away from the Parish. I hope you will make use of this opportunity to deepen your faith as you continue to commit yourselves into New Evangelisation. We encourage every member of our Parish to participate. May our spiritual formations and faith education help us to grow stronger in our Catholic faith and in our lives through prayer, scripture reading, Holy Eucharist and fellowship with one another (cf. Acts 2:42).
Rev. Fr. George Packiasamy