He said to them, “Let the little children come to me, and do not hinder them, for the kingdom of heaven belongs to such as these.”
For the latest information on registration and class timings, please click here
The Catechist’s mission is to be Christ like to the children, and to share the intimate love of God with them. They emulate the Good Shepherd, guiding them on their road of formation and bringing them to God. Along the journey, catechists help to prepare children to receive the Sacraments. These include preparation for Sacraments of Reconciliation, First Holy Communion and Confirmation. The Sacraments are a visible sign of God’s grace, and reveal how close God is to His children, and how immense His desire is for a personal relationship with them. The Catechists help their children to see this truth, and receive it in their hearts as they grow in faith through the years.
Catechists also stay connected with parents and encourage them on their vocation as their child’s primary Catechist. Talks are held for parents to understand the spiritual needs of their children, and learn how best they can support them on their unique journeys.
Prayer camps are held for the secondary Levels 7-9 youths, which is when preparation for the Sacrament of Confirmation moves into full swing. Here, they experience the presence of God outside of their typical classrooms and are introduced to elements of praise and worship, different prayer methods, community bonding and personal reflection. It is when the youths are away from distractions and their routines that they can fully focus on Christ.
“It is very rewarding. In journeying with the youth, we too are forming ourselves for the Lord. We learn from the youth sharing’s and likewise they learn from us. We are called to merely plant the seeds and watch them grow. Many sacrifices are made. Many of us keep coming back because we see the fruits or are ourselves the fruits. You can give without loving, but you cannot love without giving.”
-Cassandra Fernandez L9 Catechist
If you feel the calling to impart the love of God and His teachings to children or youth or even as a Catechist Assistant (Parent Volunteer), please do contact the catechist office @ 6481 0036 or e-mail us at firstname.lastname@example.org
Details regarding registration dates for Catechism 2021 can be found here. If your child is a new student, please bring your child’s baptism cert on the day of registration.
A Father’s Reflection
by Richard Tan
This year, I celebrate my 15th year as a father.
As a father, I know that I have to provide for my children – the basics of food, shelter, education, material needs. But I also know they need more than that. Especially when they encounter challenges in life, like when they get rejected by their friends, having self-doubt, or when they are lost in life. These are moments where no amount of material goods can help, where the world as we know it does not have all the answers, or worse, the wrong answers.
This is where I believe our Faith comes in. But as a convert coming from a family of non-believers, when Sarah was born, and Brendan 3 years later, I struggled to answer this question: “How can I hand on our Faith to my children?” I remember picking up a book on Christian Fatherhood, but found it hard to practice what’s in it (probably didn’t try hard enough), and left it as that. And then the demands of the world caught up with me – work, deadlines, obligations etc.
Faith took a back seat at home, and I ‘outsourced’ faith formation of my children largely to the Church, the Sunday mass and catechism. I thank God for being so patient with me. He kept on nudging me, reminding me, and planting seeds of hunger in me to know more about our Faith. Sometimes after mass, I would get this feeling “there’s got to be more about our faith than attending weekly mass…” And I started getting curious about what my children were learning at catechism. I would ask them but they would always not share much. In Sarah’s FHC year, I attended the parent formation sessions. I remember enjoying the catechetical process, and started being drawn to the pedagogy.
Then came the recruitment sketch that the catechists put up with the children at the end of that year. They had these adorable kids having a conversation about how sad they were that some sessions might have to close because there weren’t enough catechists, and handed out hand-drawn bookmarks with the words “Will you be my catechist?” I felt the nudge, a combination of responsibility (I should do my part) and calling (here’s my chance to do something for God), and responded. That was 6 years ago.
God really works in amazing ways and He knows what’s best for us! I thought God wanted me to serve Him by catechising to the children, little did I expect that it was a journey for my own spiritual transformation! I learnt so much about the rich treasures of our Church, the meaning behind the different parts of our mass, our sacraments, Kingdom parables in the bible, the virtues – the more I learnt, the more I discovered how little I know, and the more I’m drawn to our faith. It has also changed me as a parent.
I set up a little sacred space at home where we can pray as a family, or just to spend some quiet time with God. Sharing of bible stories became more a part of our family life, and I found it easier to talk about our faith at home – to share God’s teachings, as well as to discuss the struggles we have with our faith. I have also grown to become more prayerful. There’s this one incident, when Sarah really got on my nerves and I was just about to ‘give it to her and show her who’s boss!”. I took a deep breath, and instead of reacting the way I would normally do, I surrendered to God and prayed. And the words just came to me to help us reconcile our differences, and turned a potentially explosive encounter, to a moment that actually brought us closer together.
Sarah is 15 this year, and while they say teenage years are typically crazy for parenting, I praise and thank God for the closeness I feel with my girl and how she is sharing more with me than she ever did when she was in primary school. I pray that we will always place God at the centre of our family, and experience the fruits of His grace in our lives. Sarah is already asking how she can be a catechist, and before COVID, she helped out as a youth volunteer at some of the L3 sessions.
One of my prayers is for my children to be active in the Church community, to be around other faith filled youths – so much better than hanging out on social media! Brendan is getting more curious about our faith, he will sometimes ask really interesting questions, like : “Dad, why can’t Christians and Catholics be the same?” And I told him, we are! We all believe in God and in Jesus, we just practice our faith a little differently.
I am very grateful he is asking questions and seeking answers about our Faith. As Archbishop William reminds us, we are called to be parents, and “Parents are the primary catechist”. Catechesis is about passing on our faith. We cannot hand on something we don’t have. If it’s just head knowledge, the children can read from the Bible or the internet; they don’t need us. What they need from us, is to be witnesses of our faith. A 10 year old child that I catechise gave this great definition of witnessing. She said “Oh, witnessing is about showing evidence.” How true, it’s about showing evidence of God in our lives, our homes! I pray that the Holy Spirit continue to guide us as parents, to be the primary formators of faith and to be evidence of God to our children. Happy Father’s Day and God bless!