CDM Penang faith sharers commissioned

The Faith Sharers comprising of Catholic Education Committee (CEC) teachers and facilitators of CLOW (Children’s Liturgy of the Word) began the year by pledging their time and commitment towards their min- istries at the 9.00am Mass at the Church of Divine Mercy (CDM).

Jan 18, 2019

By Dr Ivan Filmer
The Faith Sharers comprising of Catholic Education Committee (CEC) teachers and facilitators of CLOW (Children’s Liturgy of the Word) began the year by pledging their time and commitment towards their min- istries at the 9.00am Mass at the Church of Divine Mercy (CDM). Each received a small note pad containing religious sayings.

This year the CEC is most blessed to have at least two faith sharers for each of the classes ranging from PreSchool to Form 5. At the meeting on the Satur- day prior to this, we were most privileged to have Fr Johnson J. Fernandez. Fr Johnson had just retired from the Church of Divine Mercy parish in Singapore and was taking a short break here in Penang.

He had served in the Catholic Education Division in the Arch- diocese of Singapore. Those pre- sent were very happy to ask Fr Johnson how his parish tackled some of the basic problems that each church persistently faces in this ministry. He spoke most elo- quently of his 48 years as a priest. He explained the programme his church uses for Confirmation, the use of stories as a sharing of per- sonal experience to engage the children and some programmes carried out in Singapore eg. FIRE (Families Integrated Religious Education).

He advised giving a more in- clusive and integrated religious retreat for the children where each ministry of the church was given a 20 minute slot to explain how they carried out their work. He emphasised that the children’s Catholic education should not be just confined to CEC. The other parishioners in church should be able to recognise the children by name. Those at the meeting seemed unconvinced until he mentioned that they had over a thousand children at catechism each Sunday compared to just 200+ at CDM.

He also explained a novel way in which the parish recruited new faith sharers. Fr Johnson remind- ed those present that the word “catechist” means “echoing” the Word of God. As faith sharers, we need to hear and know the Word of God before we can even begin to echo it. When we share the Word of God we learn not only by ourselves but also from those we teach. He also stressed the importance for faith sharers to go for formation. Even though he had only a short time with us, everyone felt most blessed by his sharing.

There were some changes in store for the children at CEC this year. They were asked to iden- tify a classmate to be their guard- ian angel who would answer for them if they miss class or need help. In addition, all secondary students are to join in least one church ministry. Students that miss classes will have to ask their parents to teach them the lesson. To help them, teachers will loan out the textbook and a guide for the lesson will be posted on the CDM website.

An introduction of meditation for all classes will be started as an alternative form of prayer. With God’s grace, the CEC at CDM began its successful first day of catechism with 219 students. The children responded well to meditation. They said they expe- rienced calmness and one even said she was in heaven.

Total Comments:0

Name
Email
Comments