(In reference to "Parishes should use audio visual equipment to teach catechism" (CN, Feb 5).)

In 2000 the Catechetical Office recommended textbook series Walking by Faith for children in parishes at primary level. It has been in use at most parishes since then and the new series Call to Faith (CtF) was introduced only in 2006. The new series puts together the latest thinking on catechesis, the current trends in education and offers excellent online support for catechists, students and parents. There is also better integration of prayer and Scripture to the children's lives. When the CtF series is used and taught properly the children should not feel that catechism "reminds them of school".

In its negotiations with the publisher the Catechetical Office was mindful of the costs involved. It also suggested to the catechist coordinators various ways of minimizing costs in making the switch to CtF. Some parishes not using the Walking by Faith series in 2006 donated its textbooks and Catechist Guidebooks to parishes using it, thereby ensuring little wastage.

Many catechists do rely quite heavily the use of multi media during catechism but not all parishes have the luxury of installing audio visual equipment in every catechism classroom. Moreover catechists have to remember that the use of the latest technology should not distract the children from the message of the Good News. In making visits to parishes, the coordinators at SPI found that generally, catechists are eager to be trained but are sometimes bound by constraints due to work, family and other ministry obligations.

The Catechetical Office assures parents and children that no child should be in want of a textbook because of financial reasons. Arrangements can be made with your parish priest.

Susanna Huang

Coordinator for Parish Catechesis (children)

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