Tag Archives: catechists

280 catechists attend biennial retreat and conference

Group sharing, Catechists retreat and conference, 31 Aug – 2 Sept 2017, Tatal Retreat Centre Keningau.

KENINGAU – Two hundred and eighty catechists attended the biennial retreat and conference on 31 Aug-2 Sept 2017 at the Tatal Retreat Centre here.

In his talk, Bishop Cornelius Piong, episcopal president of the Malaysian Catechetical Commission, told the participants in no uncertain terms that “Christ is the source of our joy especially in our service as a catechist.  Therefore, we need to strengthen our spiritual life by having a close relationship with Christ, and be faithful in our prayer life in spite of all the challenges in the world.”

The theme chosen “Christ our Joy” was based on the theme for Catechetical Sunday 2017.

The retreat cum conference is organised once in two years by the KK Archdiocesan Catechetical Commission for the spiritual renewal and recommitment of all catechists in the archdiocese.  The retreat also serves to instil a spirit of unity and good relations among the catechists who come from the different parishes in the archdiocese.

Accompanying the participants were Franciscan Sister Dariah Ajap, head of the commission, and Father Nicholas Stephen, spiritual adviser.

The retreat kicked off with Opening Mass presided by Bishop Piong.  Besides assisting the catechists to reflect on the theme, he also led the Eucharistic Adoration in the evening.

Father Rudolf Joannes of Keningau Diocese facilitated the inputs on the second day, in which he challenged the catechists to reflect on themselves, their uniqueness, strengths and limitations.  He helped them to discover how they could improve themselves, their families and communities as a whole.  The reflection enlightened and inspired the participants as they listened, and identified solutions to the numerous problems relating to their pastoral ministry as catechists.

In conjunction with the universal celebration of the 100th anniversary of the Apparitions of Our Lady of Fatima this year, Fr Stephen shared on the role of Mother Mary in the salvation history, and screened a video of the centenary celebration.

In the evening, Fr Stephen organised a rosary procession carrying the statue of Our Lady of Fatima from the retreat centre to the chapel at kg Tuarid, Tatal.   About 500 Catholic faithful in the vicinity of the kampung joined in the procession.  It took another two hours to walk back to the retreat centre.

On the third and last day, Fr Stephen presented the pastoral thrust of the archdiocese – Go Inward, Go Smaller, Go Outward to counter the challenges of globalisation, secularisation and Islamisation faced by the families and church today.  This was followed by parish-based group sharing to discuss these issues and to plan concrete actions to counter these challenges within a year’s time frame.

The retreat concluded with the commissioning of the catechists. – catecomkk@yahoo.com

50 attend half-day faith formation for catechists

SANDAKAN -Fifty catechists attended a half-day faith formation on 19 Aug 2017 at the St Mary’s Cathedral Parish conference room here.

The participants – Sunday School teachers and RCIA facilitators – came from St Peter Sungai Manila, St Mark and St Mary.

Franciscan Sister Martina James, Catechetical Commission chairperson, facilitated the sessions.

There were three sessions (1) General Directory of the Catechism of the Catholic Church (CCC); (2) Methodology and Structure – catechism, structure, time frame; (3) 4 Pillars of the CCC  (a) The Profession of Faith (Creed);  (b) The Celebration of the Christian Mystery (Sacraments); (c) Life in Christ (Commandments); and (d) Christian Prayer (Our Father).

After the input on methodology and structure, the participants were divided into language groups to discuss and share on the subject.  A report was presented at the end of the session. – newsupdatedospo.blogspot.my

Over 25 participants attend inaugural BM catechists training course

One of the participants receives his certificate of attendance from Abp Wong, flanked by Fr Yasun (L) and Fr Stephen (R).

BUNDU TUHAN – Over 25 participants attended the inaugural BM training courses f0r catechists at the Bundu Tuhan Retreat Centre here in June 2017.

Twenty-nine catechists attended Level 1 (June 12-July 7) while 27 enrolled in Level 2 (July 9-21).

The two courses were organised jointly by the Archdiocesan Catechetical Commission and the Persatuan Katekis (PEKA).

Previous courses were conducted in English under the late Jesuit Father Peter Kim in the 1990s.

Father Nicholas Stephen, spiritual adviser of the commission, officially launched the course in the stead of Archbishop John Wong.

Franciscan Sister Dariah Ajap said the training programme was held because there is a felt need to have trained and well-equipped catechists in the archdiocese, not only to preside at services in the absence of a priest but also to be prayer leaders on various occasions.

To address the need, Abp Wong tasked the Catechetical Commission to organise and facilitate the training, with the involvement of priests, religious and lay leaders as speakers.

Topics covered during the course include Scriptures, Church and her documents, Prayer and Worship/Liturgy, Catechetics, Leadership, Spirituality and Vocation of Catechists, Missiology,  and practicum in the chapel outstations.

Level 3 has been scheduled for Sept 8-24 at the same venue for those who have taken Levels 1 and 2 and for those who are parish catechists.

At the end of the course, Abp Wong presented the certificates of attendance to the participants.

At the closing Mass, the archbishop reminded the participants to constantly read the Word of God, receive the Sacraments frequently, obey the commandments always, and to preach the Good News to all through their life witness.

The Jul 21 closing event was also an opportunity for the attendees to witness the launching of  Father Bruno Yasun’s “Pengenalan Alkitab” (Introduction to the Bible)  by the archbishop. The book is available for sale now.

All catechists who have attended the course will continue their services in their respective parishes. For the newly trained catechists, their parish priests will be the ones to give them their  assignments. – catecomkk

 

Ten things every catechist needs to hear

Malaysia will be celebrating Catechetical Sunday on January 22 instead of on a Sunday nearest to September 17.  Below is a list of ten things all catechists – our unsung heroes/heroines – need to hear:

1. You have a vocation.
Serving as a catechist is more than a form of volunteerism; it is a vocation. You have been called by God through his Church to do the wonderful work that you are doing. Please know that this is one of the ways that God is calling you to grow closer to him as a disciple of Jesus.

2. Not just anyone can do what you do.
Not just any warm body can be a catechist. Ask your coordinator; they have very high standards for who they invite. You are a unique person with unique gifts!

3. You’re making a difference.
Serving as a catechist can be frustrating at times, and you may wonder if you are making a difference and really touching the lives of those you teach. Please know that you are indeed making a difference. You are the people who are offering an invitation to a deeper relationship with God and a way of life that places God at the centre of everything we do.

4. You don’t have to teach the whole Catechism of the Catholic Church in every lesson.
You are under great pressure to make sure that those you teach are faith-literate. Don’t make the mistake, however, of trying to cram too much into every lesson. You’re better off choosing one big idea and teaching it really well.

5. Prayer is one of the four pillars.
Don’t shortchange prayer because you feel you need as much time as possible to teach doctrine. Prayer is one of the four pillars of our faith, along with the Creed, Sacraments, and Morality. Without prayer, the other three pillars are simply concepts. With prayer, all four pillars become a way of living in a relationship with the Living God.

6. You don’t teach a subject; you facilitate an encounter.
Jesus is not a subject. He is a Person. A Living Person. You’re not teaching about Jesus; you are facilitating an encounter with Jesus.

7. Your sessions should resemble the Mass more than class.
The most effective way to facilitate an encounter with Jesus is to create a climate of prayer. If we truly believe that Jesus is present with us, we must allow him to speak to us. The Church uses a language of mystery — sign, symbol, and ritual — to facilitate this mysterious encounter with Christ. Consider all of the ways that you can incorporate this language of mystery into your sessions. Faith formation should not feel like an experience of going to school for another class.

8. Use technology.
Kids today are digital natives, while many catechists are digital immigrants. We need to do all we can to learn more about technology and the digital world if we are to communicate with the current and future generations who live in this reality and rely on it for the majority of their information.

9. Fun is not the goal; engagement is.
Don’t fall into the trap of trying to make your lessons fun. That’s not the goal. The goal is to be engaging. We can have fun and do activities that are fun, but only as long as the goal of engaging learners with the Gospel is being achieved.

10. Show joy.
Pope Francis famously said, in his Apostolic Exhortation Evangelii Gaudium, that “Christians must not be sourpusses!” This is even more true for catechists! We have to express to those we teach that the Gospel of Jesus Christ is a message that has transformed our lives for the better and has brought us great joy — not flippant giddiness — but a deep-down gladness that nothing can take away from us. — catechistsjourney.loyolapress.com/

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