CATECHIZING - A Ministry & A Vocation


This year, the course CATECHIZING – a Ministry and a Vocation was conducted from 17-24 May, 2019. A total of 32 participants attended the course. The participants included religious sisters belonging to various congregations, Lay persons, a Priest, a diocesan seminarian and canossian brothers. The catechetical seminar was very well planned with each day being allotted to a specific topic, with expert resource persons enlightening the group. Each day was unique and interesting. On the first day, Fr. Joy Pulikan, sdb initiated us into the course by emphasizing on ‘The call to be Catechists in the mission of the Church.’ Day 2 was a day of learning various prayer methods to be used in catechesis. Fr. Sagaya John explained the methods and also guided us in practicing some methods in our morning and evening prayer time during the course. On day 3, Fr. Joy Pulikan, sdb taught about the methodology to follow in preparing a catechism class. His dynamic and informative presentation interspersed with abundant humor was a live example of the methodology to be followed in a class. Day 4 was all about responding to the demand of the time and equipping oneself to give environmental catechesis. Fr. Lumnesh SJ enlightened on us on this much ignored topic. Fr. Michael Gonslaes made us all come out of our comfort zones and put our acting shoes on. Drama in Catechesis was truly a learning experience for us and the highpoint of the day was the liturgical celebration so intricately planned, indeed a unique prayerful experience. On Day 6 we had Fr. Dumingo explaining to us on the importance of Word of God in Catechesis and Sr. Virginia, sab taking us through Jesus’ teaching methodology. Both resource persons shared their rich content combined with their personal experiences. Day 7 with Fr. George Chinnapan, sdb was filled with live models of experiential learning. The dynamics used by Fr. George got the group truly interested in learning about Media in Catechesis and its inevitable demand to be used for catechesis. On the final day, Fr. Sagaya John illumined us on the Documents of the Church for Catechesis where he introduced us to CCC, Compendium of CCC and You Cat. The 8 day course was indeed a fruitful learning experience. Interacting and learning from each other, enjoying various recreational activities, the beautiful liturgy throughout the course, spiritual movies, the serene ambience of the campus, the cheerful and always helpful staff, helped us in experiencing a truly holistic and integrated spirituality.

"If any of you lacks wisdom, you should ask God, who gives generously to all without finding fault, and it will be given to you." James 1:5

Our first day's session by Fr. Joy Pullikan, began with a thought provoking question – What is our purpose in life?

The life that God himself breathed into us was a manifestation of his divine love for us. So our main purpose is to love him with all our heart and soul and surrender it to him with complete faith. It is believed that there was only a void before the creation and God's word existed in it. Catechesis is an understanding of this word and resounding it from his beloved creation.

A catechist has manifold tasks at hand which include
1. Catechesis – It is the proclamation of the good news to baptized people so as to nourish, strengthen and deepen their faith.

2. Evangelisation – To initiate faith formation in people who were not baptized.

3. Pre-Evangelisation – It is a kind of indirect evangelization where proclamation of the Good news is focused on people who pose a threat to the very ethos of Christianity.

4. Re-Evangelisation – It is proclamation of good news to people who were baptized but lost faith in their journey of life.

5. New-Evangelisation – It involves proclamation of good news to one and all using newer methods, tools, situations and technology.

In all the aforesaid processes of evangelisation, re-evangelisation seemed to be a Herculean task as the number increased everyday due to secularization in the western countries.

"Whatever you ask the Lord in Prayer, believing you shall receive."
This is one of the favorite mantra for life and it has been strengthened more by the book "Secret" by Rhonda Byrne. The book reveals the experience of the power of prayer in the cosmos. The methods of praying were beautifully explained in one of the sessions by Fr. Sagaya John. The very simple prayer i.e., the Jesus Prayer can be very meaningful in teaching little children how to pray. The repetition of the prayer instills in them, the power of the Almighty.

The Lord's prayer "Our Father" capsules in itself, four aspects of our everyday life---- give what we need, forgive what wrong we do, keep us away from temptation and above all keep all evils at bay. We came to know about the changes to Lord's Prayer and Gloria of Italian missal by Pope Francis. Our catechism classes became more lively and interesting when we applied the Iconic prayer method. Lectio-Divina allowed us to introspect our personal conviction to do more for the church, charity and society at large.

An awareness to take care of the living planet was beautifully brought out through scripture readings. The Genesis tells us that whatever God created was good. But due to man's excessive greed, his creation is on the verge of destruction. Connectivity to nature should be one of the focus of catechizing.

A catechist should also be upto date with the technology of the generation. A judicious use of media along with textual lessons was of utmost importance.

On the last day of the session, we were informed about documents of the church. An Indian mass was celebrated by Fr. Sagaya John at the Chapel.

The session not only enriched our thoughts but also gave a deeper understanding of our religion. As lay persons we became aware of the fact that the Holy Bible has to be read on a daily basis, understand the meaning of God's word and apply it to overcome our present day trials and tribulations of life. It also taught us to make our catechism lessons more lively and interesting.





























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