NORTH ARABIAN VICARIATE, OCTOBER 1, 2013: Friday, 20 September, 2013, was indeed a day to remember. It was the first day of Catechism at, St. Thérèse of the Child Jesus, for year 2013 - 14. The parish considers children an important part of the parish and thus celebrate the 8.30 a.m. mass every Friday, especially for them. The mass is a wonderful way of teaching the children about Jesus and ways of getting closer to him. As the children entered the Church, they were warmly welcomed and guided by their teachers and volunteers.
The holy mass commenced with the sound of angelic voices of children from the choir of 'Saints Joachim and Anne', conducted by Gregory Pereira, a Catechist. It was amazing to see around 40 children of different age groups sing out praises and glory to God. Surely, the choir woke up most of the sleepy little ones!
The celebrant of the holy mass was the Catechetical Director - Vicariate of Northern Arabia, Fr. Franco Pereira. An appropriate homily on Mother Mary being the first Catechist and on discipleship, enlightened us on the requirements that Jesus asks of those who want to follow him.
The Word of God is not merely read during the liturgy, it is proclaimed. Credit for all the wonderful 'children' lectors goes out to the teachers who faithfully train the young lectors to effectively proclaim God's word with conviction and clarity.
Post Communion, the class leaders, group team leaders and sacrament class leaders were presented with their job profiles. All the catechists were then invited to take the pledge of commitment and special blessings. Fr. Franco Pereira inducted the catechism teachers and blessed them.
The school looked like a sea of children, all in smiles, rushing around to find their new class. Parents of first timers waited anxiously outside the class rooms. A special thanks to the volunteers who made prior arrangements to place lists at the entrance of each class, making it easy for children to find their classes.
Parents, at the baptism of their children had made a promise to bring their child up in faith. To lend a helping hand the parish has around 98 catechists, who through proper training, teach the Good News of Jesus to around 1,700 children so that they learn to respond to God in faith, prayer and love. Children from the age group of 6 to 16 years, attend class every Friday.
Various exciting activities held in the classroom make children look forward to attending Catechism classes, week after week. Thanks to the team of 15 dedicated volunteers, who help in directing and controlling traffic and see that the safety of the children is ensured.
The catechists as well as the children are thankful to the parish priest Fr. Blany Pinto and the experienced core committee, for guiding and helping enrich the faith in children and for inspiring the catechists to continue their great work.