Pope Francis says “Catechist are people who keep the memory of God alive: They keep it
alive in themselves and they are able to revive it in others.
To keep that memory of God every Catechist needs to be rejuvenated into the formation and experience of faith. The NBCLC always takes initiative to ignite that flame of faith through the workshop in Catechesis which was conducted from 19-05-2023 to 26-05- 2023. There were 18 participants 4 Laity and 14 religious sisters.
On the 18th evening all the participants entered the portals of NBCLC with great enthusiasm and felt the spirit of Indianization through the buildings Names and the surroundings. A warm welcome was given by the administrative staff.
On the 19th The Director of NBCLC Fr. John Baptist warmly welcomed all the participants followed by an inspiring prayer and lighting of the lamp All of us felt at home. Sr. Introduced the resource person Fr.Maria Anand SDB to the group. The topic of the day was – identity; called to be catechist (Laity and religious) and their role in the mission of the church. He asked the participants to reflect on the role of a catechist, stressing on the knowledge of the pillars of Catechism. 1-Creed 2-Sacraments 3-Commandments 4-Prayer He also brought out the spirituality of the catechist, and also the context of New Evangelization and synodality. He did a good job and clarified our many doubts on the particular topic. His knowledge on the role of Catechesis commendable.
On the 20th and 21st we were privileged to have an eminent speaker and a renowned catechist Fr. Gilbert Choondal SDB. He took us to the wonder world of the content of catechesis. He began the class by asking a question – why do we need Catechism? He explained in detail about the four pillars Catechesis with lots of examples and with the help of vedios of real life examples. He explained the 12 points approved for India for the liturgical changes and also showed the liturgical mistakes. We commit during the Holy Eucharist. It was an eye opener for all of us. Through the word game he also made us aware of the importance to notice how we need to be watchful. In an explicit way father brought before us the CCC, CCCC, you cat and do cat – the history of it, the people who were responsible in bringing those books out, special concern to the Youth. Over all Father helped us to know and also to answer the question he posed before us.
On the 22nd it was a day of fun, learning and dance. Fr.George chinnappa SDB. An enthusiastic zealous priest began the class with activities to make us aware of show we concentrate and to do what Jesus tells us to do. Through the drawing of a clock he made us to learn how important time is and also the appointments that we have with people. He made us share with our partners about our mother, father and some person who stood y us in our difficult moments. By showing the video clipping he inspired each one of us. We danced during the session. Through various activities he taught us the purpose of catechism.
It is to know Christ
It is to live Christ
It is to proclaim Christ
We were happy to know that Fr. Chinnappa is one of the members to prepare the New Catechism text book in Tamil Nadu for UKG – 5 grade. These books brings about the methodology, which include the pillars of catechesis and also the involvement of parents, students and the teachers. Father explained 1 unit of the lesson which includes dance, message, content, activities, Home Work, assessment which will help the students, parents and can bring transformation in the families and the church. The sessions of Father was filled with fun, dance, learning. We learnt how to make the catechism class lively through these methods.
On the 22nd night we were introduced to Fr.Sagaya Belix, who asked us to draw something and through a game he made use understand the way we can bring Jesus alive through art. The next day we had the privilege to attend the mass. Where he used the pop-up art to bring out the message of the Gospel. It was a new learning for us the next day, at the morning session he started with the Art for creative teaching. The next day we were taught the paper art. In order to make the classes interesting he gave us the basics of art forms – like drawing lines, circles etc. How to make human beings, animals etc using papers. Then we were sent into groups to create pluckcard on the gospel passage 3D models using the colour papers and coming out with any event in the life of Jesus. He also showed us how to make pop-up cards. Through these activities Father helped us to make our classes more creative we also watched the video of his sermon’s along with painting the risen Christ with the help of fire. The image of Devasayam was an excellent work of art. Through his classes we came to know how we can use art to catechise students and also to bring healing in the lives of people. We were taken up by his motto "His heart to shine in my art".
On the 24th once again Fr. Gilbert introduced the method – Media in catechism. He made us understand how to communicate faith through songs, media, art, magic, movies, quiz and games, in catechesis. He also quoted from cannon law-779. What does the church say on using media for catechesis. He displayed lots of songs, where we were able to learn – one minute bible, the names of the Apostles through songs. Father conducted Bible quize, Bible jumble, Riddles, scripture Dyads, Scripture trades, and scripture tetrads and also gave prizes for the winners. He also showed how to take classes using the pluck cards very effectively through a model lesson and also through videos. He made the classes enjoyable through visuals and games answering our doubts.
On the 25th we were privileged to have a religious sister – Sr. Maria salesian sister coming up with a topic Message and method Environmental catechesis – A demand of time sister began the classes with can activity which made us acknowledge god as the greatest creator, who has made all things beautiful. Through the video clipping we understood how environment and catechesis go hand in hand. Sister came up with 4 questions:-
- What is environmental catechesis?
- Why environmental Catechesis is important?
- How do we carry out EC?
- Presentation on EC?
Sister highlighted the crisis the environment is undergoing like climate change, energy, water etc. For the question on how do we carry out E.C Sister brought out the video on the movie – "Letter" which is connected to the encyclical – "Laudato see" After showing us the videos on what is done worldwide to address the issues of environmental crisis and also the meeting held in Rome with the 4 youth selected for this purpose. We were sent for group discussion with the questions. The group presented their response to the class in some practical ways to combat the problem of environment. Some actions to be undertaken were placed such as clean a beach, shop sustainably, try a zero waste life style, travel sustainably etc. Through sisters class we understood how important is is to be aware of the things. Which go on in our world and also to create awareness to the students and building in them the dutifulness to nurture and care for the mother earth. Sister also played some action song related to the nature which we can teach the students.
On the 26th Fr. Gilbert gave us a class on the topic – Catechism through gospel magic. He explained that Gospel magic is meant for children, because they enjoy the sense of wonder and mystery. This is to get attention from the Children. He also shared his experience of how he came in touch with the magic through a paster A Gospel magic trainer. He told us the difference between magic and miracle. As he was talking he did a magic. He explained to us what is gospel magic? It is a use of magic tricks and illusions to promote Christian messages. The patron of saint of gospel magic is Don Bosco. He answered for the question on what is magic. It is an art, greek word magic – It is a combination of science and Arsthetics. The types of magic .
- Close up 2. Class room magic 3. Stage illusions 4. Mentalism 5. Ventriloquisms. Father also shared why we need gospel magic. Fr. Performed a magic for 1 st Holy communion children. _ A small booklet – My life. He also told us about the warning of the gospel magic. It is not black magic G.M is not miracle. He also performed magic on Holy trinity – through different coloured candles. Through this class we understood that the small magic will help children to wonder and learn more about Jesus.
On the whole these 6 days classes were very informative inspiring and enjoyable. We learnt a lot of things by doing and also we became small children and wondered every bit of the course. The resource persons were very enthusiastic, lively, zealous. We learnt a lot from their very life. The whole atmosphere of NBCLC co-operated for our spiritual growth. The staff of NBCLC also inspired us with their dutifulness. Thank you for all your support and guide.