By: Rose R. Gamier
Catechists are called to a ministry…a vocation…a call
Who is a catechist? This was beautifully explained last Sunday, July 30, 2017, at a workshop held at the Mount Carmel Cathedral CCD office. A total of 29 participants – some CCD coordinators and new volunteer catechists came to the said gathering. It started with a prayer by Sr. Narcisa Penaredonda, Religious Coordinator for San Vicente Parish. The workshop by organized by the Diocesan Office of Religious Education.
Sr. Nina Caccam, coordinator of the Religious Education Program of the Diocese provided the talk explaining the mandate that all catechists must carry out based on the gospel from Saint Matthew when Jesus said: “Go, therefore, and make disciples of all nations, baptizing them in the name of the Father, and of the Son, and of the Holy Spirit, and teaching them to obey everything that I have commanded you.* And remember, I am with you always, until the end of the age.” Mt. 28:19-20
Catechists are called by God and the parish to teach, to echo the words of God, to sound forth the Good News, to resound the message of hope and salvation – planting the seeds and awakening them in the hearts of children. They are volunteers who have answered the call, mindful of their own limitations but hopeful that God will equip them for His greater purpose.
In order to submit one’s self to this ministry, it is important to go back and answer the question, who is the catechist? Sr. Nina gave three descriptions:
First, the catechists are grounded on love. They should experience how to be loved so they can love in return. Second, they should have a passionate prayer life. Because a prayerful catechist is God’s joyful messenger. Finally, a catechist is a teacher and a learner. Knowing the content to be taught and being able to impart that to the students being taught is important. Likewise, one must be a living witness because those that are taught will not only be listening, they will be watching. “As a learner, one should keep an open mind, to discover new things especially in matters of faith. Using various methods and new technology, adapting to the pace of the digital world, and tapping on different platforms such as the social media, will help in spreading the word of God to a much broader audience.”
The workshop would definitely help new volunteers as they take on the challenge of being catechists come October 2017. Sr. Nina also explained the CCD Registration policy and guide in filling out the form. She also reminded the participants on the next sessions which would be conducted per cluster. Before they parted, Sr. Narcy asked the catechists to read the gospel, reflect and develop a prayerful habit.