One hundred and sixty catechists and facilitators gathered for a four-day retreat to experience the power of the Holy Spirit that can animate the work of catechesis.

Participants of a recent “Kerygma Retreat” were encouraged to open themselves to daily conversion to Christ and to keep journeying with Him through their struggles and difficulties.

More than 160 children’s, youth and RCIA catechists and facilitators from 23 parishes gathered at the Catholic Spirituality Centre (CSC) from April 28-May 1 for the first of such retreats.

“Kerygma” is the Greek word for ‘to proclaim’, referring to the first and essential preaching of the Good News of Jesus.

According to catechetical director Fr Erbin Fernandez, the aim of these retreats is for catechists to experience the power of the Holy Spirit that can animate the work of catechesis for the New Evangelisation.

Organised by the Office for Catechesis in collaboration with CSC and led by Fr Erbin Fernandez, who is also CSC director, the retreat centred on the account of the disciples’ journey to Emmaus, in particular Luke 24:30-31: “Now while He was with them at table, He took the bread and said the blessing; then He broke it and handed it to them. And their eyes were opened and they recognised Him.”

Participants had time for Eucharistic adoration and to celebrate the Sacraments of Reconciliation and the Eucharist.

Volunteers from CSC also assisted Fr Erbin in praying over participants for inner healing and a greater outpouring of the Holy Spirit in their lives.

On the final day of the retreat, Fr Erbin challenged participants to live out the PASCHAL Disciplines (see below) in their own lives as well as in community. These disciplines, Fr emphasised, would bring their catechetical service to life.


One hundred and sixty catechists and facilitators gathered for a four-day retreat to experience the power of the Holy Spirit that can animate the work of catechesis.

Participants brainstormed in small groups the ways they could bring these disciplines into their catechetical ministries.

Ideas included meeting regularly for fellowship, checking in with each other, reflecting on the Word of God, interceding for each other and finding a partner to hold themselves accountable to regularly.

Ms Amanda Tan, a children’s catechist, said she found the retreat very insightful as she realised that Christianity is about walking every day with Jesus and not about blindly going through rituals.

“If we don’t walk with God, we cannot catechise properly as we can’t give anything we don’t have,” she said. “It is also important to have a community with fellow catechists as faith is not a private affair.”

The next Kerygma Retreat for catechists is scheduled for Oct 19-22. For more information, call 6858-3011 or email This email address is being protected from spambots. You need JavaScript enabled to view it.

The PASCHAL Disciplines

- Prayer. (Philippians 4:6, Colossians 4:2, Psalm 145:18, Ephesians 6:18, Romans 1:9-10)

- Accountability. (Proverbs 27:7-17, James 1:19, James 5:16, Matthew 7:1-2, 1 Corinthians 12, Galatians 6:1-2, Hebrews 10:24).
Between prayer and sacraments is accountability. Prayer and sacraments without accountability become static. Bear one another’s burdens, hold one another accountable.

- Sacraments. (Catechism of the Catholic Church #1479)

- Conversion. (Isaiah 55:7, Mark 1:15, Romans 12:2, Philippians 2:12-13). At the centre of it all is conversion.

- Holistic spirituality. (1 Peter 1:13-16)

- Awareness. (Psalm 51:3, Psalm 139:7-8, 1 Corinthians 6:19, Acts 17:28, Ephesians 6:12). Between holistic spirituality and love unto death is awareness – awareness of the Holy Spirit. Know the importance of yielding to the Spirit.

- Love unto death. (Philippians 2:5-7, Galatians 2:20)


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