Last Sunday we had three visiting priests (Frs. Moses Rayappan, John Kelvin and Damien Pereira) from the Diocese of Melaka-Johor. They stopped over at my parish house for a night on the way to Cameron Highlands for their annual retreat. They celebrated the weekend Masses with us in our parish. They will be returning this weekend and will probably spend a night again at my place before they return to their respective parishes. It is always a welcome change to have our local brother priests celebrating the Eucharistic celebration for us.
Last Sunday, which was the first Sunday of the month, as usual we had the Children’s liturgy in our parish. I took the opportunity to spend time at the children’s liturgy both in Tamil (7 am) and English (9 am). I was happy to see our students’ participation and their interaction in the liturgy of the word. During the liturgy of the word they watched a video clip on Saint Teresa of Kolkata. Things are getting better in our children’s liturgy because they themselves take part in the liturgy. My prayer and hope is that our children will be meaningfully engaged for a good first half of the Mass from time to time and the message of Christ comes alive in them in a very touching way.
I still expect one thing from the parents of the Catechism students. I need your cooperation. There are only about 50% of students who are really attending the Children’s liturgy. I wonder where the other 50% of catechism students are? Why are they not participating in the children’s liturgy? Are we dragging our children to Church? Why are our children not coming to Church? Why is our congregation dwindling during the Sunday Masses?
Parents, your own spiritual life has to play an important role in being a model to your children. You have a moral obligation to ensure your children attend Catechism class and participate at the weekend Masses as well as the children’s liturgy on the first week of the month. If we fail in ensuring this, then we may be incapable of ensuring their faith formation.
Our children should be in involved in all the liturgical celebrations and church activities including the camps and formations. The Catechetical team always organises camps and retreats either in Tamil or English during every school term holidays. The catechism teachers play their role by ensuring that our children pray together, read the scripture and are involved in good works. They are trying their level best to help our young people grow in their faith and to make them active in the life of the Church. We need the commitment from the parents to make the life of Christ and His Church a part of their life in the future.
On my part I just want to make God and the Church an important part of their life. I pray and hope that their participation in the life of the Church will make a great impact as they grow older and accept this faith in Christ as their own and will one day enhance their own spiritual life.
May we all work together to make the faith education more meaningful for our children.
Fr. George Packiasamy.