Excerpts from Fr Erbin Fernandez’s address

‘We as catechists are entrusted with the tender minds of our children and youth. We must make sure we echo the faith of the Church and not our interpretations of that Faith. This is why the Catechism of the Catholic Church is our chief resource.

This is also why for this year we are focusing on the Liturgical Year as the locus within which Christ teaches.

As catechists we learn the craft of drawing from the various liturgical seasons to mark time and help the young person become conscious of a journey they take in life that moves upward and outward towards their divine destiny called Parousia.

We re-introduce to our young people Catholic culture made up of such elements as Eucharistic adoration, Ignation contemplation, lectio divina, liturgical music etc. With this foundation established, we challenge teenagers towards engaging society more critically especially in the areas of morality and justice.

All this requires that a catechist practise a strong sacramental life, regular reception of the sacraments, and dedicates sufficient time to prayer, study and reflection.

This is why on Catechetical Sunday we commission catechists and bless parents in their respective responsibilities of passing on the Faith.

Parents are affirmed in their key role of offering a natural catechesis of daily practices at home that help communicate the religious and human dimension of our Catholic faith.

However parish catechists are commissioned because they have to be specially prepared to offer a systematic and doctrinal catechesis that covers the essentials of the Faith upon which the parents build up the Faith of their child.

As long as you are passing on Creedal faith in a parish setting, whether you function from a parish or home setting, whether you teach special needs children or are a Good Shepherd catechist, you need to be formally trained in the Craft of Catechesis which is the primary work of the Catechetical Office (CO).

In this new year, the CO hopes to collaborate with other ministries and offices of the archdiocese like the Youth Office, Family Life Society, and SCCs (Small Christian Communities) in promoting a more unified effort in catechesis that will address the entire life span of our faith community from pre-adolescence to old age.’

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