Catechists play an important role in a person’s life

Eighty catechists were commissioned at St Michael’s Church (SMC), at the two morning Masses on Jan 27, which is Catechetical Sunday.

Feb 15, 2019

IPOH: Eighty catechists were commissioned at St Michael’s Church (SMC), at the two morning Masses on Jan 27, which is Catechetical Sunday.

They comprised 28 from the English-speaking group and 52 from the Chinese-speaking group, who were commissioned at the English and Mandarin Masses respectively.

With lit candles in hand, the catechists underwent the rite of commissioning of faith formators after Holy Communion, and received a special blessing from SMC parish priest, Fr Anthony Liew.

The Catechists comprise teachers from the Sunday school, Children’s Liturgy of the Word, and the RCIA (Rite of Christian Initiation for Adults).

Fr Anthony Liew said catechists and faith formators play an important role in a person’s life as they impart the faith and knowledge of God to their charges, with love and care. Parents are the first catechists of their children, since they are with them everyday, and should help nurture their Catholic faith.

“Many parents place importance on education and tuition instead of bringing their children to catechism. What is the point of being successful in life when you are not able to know God and help others? Our catechists volunteer their time and effort to help our children but have we not often criticised them?, he asked.

“Think about the faith you have, which was handed down to you by your parents, and about the Father in heaven who gave you these children.”

He stressed the importance of a strong faith being part and parcel of a child’s life. When children grow up and leave home and are challenged by the hardships or troubles of life, they would know how to turn to God and surrender everything in prayer.

Many parents are overprotective of their children but when they are not around, the children will not know who to turn to, if they do not have a strong faith life, he added.

He cited his own experience of feeling lonely and helpless when he went away for further studies. “That was the time I started to journey in my Catholic faith. At home, I always felt familiar in the surroundings of the church, and all this familiarity was the fruit of my parents hearts’ in bringing me to church every Sunday and to attend catechism.

“That was when the church became a home for me, when I was away, and so that was my refuge. I could ask the priests for advice and help anytime I had troubles,” he said.

He was grateful to his catechism teachers because their love for their students gave him hope. “I knew then that this (the church) is where I can turn to.

“The theme for this year’s Catechetical Sunday is Christ, Our Mission. The readings speak about proclaiming the good news, and there are many today who are poor spiritually, imprisoned mentally and blinded by their own convictions.

“Some are stressed out, and there are sad cases of suicides among young people who are unable to take the difficult challenges of their life and fail to turn to God. Are you willing to help others, and to be sent to bring Christ to them, especially to our children?” he asked.

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