One of our greatest strength for understanding and hanging on our faith is the Catechism. It is the heart of our Catholic Church. Our weekly Catechism classes for children started last Sunday, 7 January 2018 with registration and briefing. Both the Tamil and English session students gathered at Dewan Monsignor Thomas after the Sunday Eucharist, for a silent Adoration in front of the Blessed Sacrament.
Last year, I would say that almost 80% of our parish children attended the Catechism classes as well as participated in the weekend camps and other activities. The Catechetical ministry has also started catechism classes for three special needs children, with the assistance of the Eagle’s Wing ministry. Each Catechism teacher plays an important role, diligently using the brief time they have each week, to educate our children in their moral and faith life.
Puspa Rakini has been appointed the new Catechetical Coordinator for 2018, replacing Michelle Wong, who has completed her three-year term (2014-2017). Michelle has been a wonderful coordinator – hard working and passionate in her duty, and we are certain that Puspa will continue the good work with just as much commitment, enthusiasm and dedication.
We have also appointed a few new catechism teachers this year, and we understand that they are actively practicing their faith and are in good standing with the Catholic Church. We remember to pray for all these catechism teachers – that they may have the passion for guiding our young ones in their faith, and sharing the love of Christ with them. If any of you are interested in joining our Catechetical Team, please contact Puspa, and we will train and guide you accordingly.
The Catechism programme in Tamil and English is conducted for an hour and a half every Sunday. Our Catechetical ministry’s goal is to teach our children about God, to educate them about the love of Christ, to prepare them for Sacraments and to shape them to live a life worthy of Christ. This programme is a lifelong faith formation for our children, which will promote their growth in faith and their participation in Church life.
Parents have the first responsibility for faith education and need to be good examples when living out their lives. They need to raise their children as faithful practicing Catholics, and be responsible for their children’s moral and religious education. In turn, this will prepare them for the Sacraments of Initiation – Baptism, Holy Communion and Confirmation. Parents must assist their children in prayer as well as their participation in Church life. They are a guide to the discernment of their children’s vocation in life and as we nourish and develop their faith, they then grow more lively within our families and society.
How many parents will say that the first priority for our children is catechism and second is secular education? Parents, I encourage you to make a daily commitment to God by practicing the gift of faith and making every effort an example for our children, “Train the Young in the way they should go; even when old, they will not swerve from it,” (Proverbs 22:6). So parents, you are the first influence on your children, so be a great role model for them. God bless you!
Fr. George Packiasamy