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The following is a list of baptisms which are considered valid, as both water (pouring, sprinkling, or immersing the one baptized) and the Trinitarian formula (“I baptize you in the name of the Father, and of the Son, and of the Holy Spirit”) are used. Also, the minister must intend to do what the Church does when baptizing. Read more
You are the light that enlightens others. This was the theme of the annual retreat for the catechists. The day of recollection was held on the 11 February at St. Patrick’s, La Rochelle. Around 400 catechists came from different parts of the Archdiocese to nourish their hearts with a spiritual food at the beginning of the catechetical year.
The recollection day was facilitated by Fr Boniface D’Souza and Sr Tarsycja Groblica. Fr Boniface referring to the theme of the day said: Being a catechist begins with Christ. You must look at Christ. You must seek Christ and love Christ. And when you have light of Christ within yourself and when you know Him, automatically you are able to pass the light of faith to others. You start to shine with the light of Christ to others not even knowing about it. Melyne from Eldorado Park said that it was very important for her to hear this message. I am the light and I have the light. My light needs to shine to other people’s lives. We are like a candle to light other ‘candles’ –she said. Read more
Mass was said by outgoing vicar, Fr Peter Doherty and his successor, Fr Boniface D’Souza.
In his homily, Fr Boniface said, “Catechists have a great responsibility in the building of faith life.
Their role as faith builders is very important because they begin from the grassroot level, sowing the seed of faith in the hearts of children.
“They must be proud and happy of what they are doing because one day they will see the fruit of their hard labour.
“They must be responsible and committed catechists and must be ready to sacrifice many things to carry on their work effectively.
Fr Peter, who is retiring, congratulated his successor saying it had been a pleasure working with him over the years.
Catechists who religiously attended the My Catholic Faith and Rite of Christian Initiation of Adults (RCIA) sessions were given certificates.
Head of Catechetical Department Sr Tarsycja Groblica extended her gratitude to catechists for their commitment and sacrifices in ensuring that the faith is passed on to others.
“The department hopes to give out more certificates next year,” she said. Fr Boniface thanked Fr Peter for having been a good shepherd. Following his meeting with deanery coordinators earlier in the morning, he said they were all going to work together as catechists. He encouraged all catechists to attend the yearly retreat which is scheduled to take place on 11 February at St Patrick’s, La Rochelle.
Sacraments are an outward sign of an inward grace instituted by Christ, he said. The seven sacraments of the church are baptism, confirmation, Holy Eucharist/communion, penance/reconciliation/confession, anointing of the sick, holy matrimony/marriage and holy orders/priesthood.
“In addition to the seven, I would like to add two other sacraments – Jesus – because the seven sacraments flow from Him – and the church because it dispenses sacraments,” said Fr Paul.
Symbols of the sacrament of baptism are water, oil of chrism, oil of catechumens and paschal candle.
Sacraments make us better Christians. They were instituted by Jesus and are meant to bring us back to God, he said.
It is important to be able to give a scripture verse when talking about sacraments, Fr Paul said. All sacraments can be found in the Bible. One might not find the terminology as we know it, however, when you read John 6 where Jesus says: ‘This is my body… this is my blood. …’, the church came up with the term Eucharist to make it easier for people. When we refer to the Eucharist everybody knows what we are talking about.
Sacraments can be clustered into three groups:
-Sacraments of initiation: baptism, Eucharist and confession
– Sacraments of healing: reconciliation and anointing of the sick
– Sacraments of service: holy orders and marriage
Only a bishop can administer all seven sacraments because he has the fullness of priesthood. A priest can administer six save for priesthood/holy orders.
A deacon can only administer the sacraments of baptism and marriage.
Teaching catechesis is a labour of love, he said.
Fr Paul took the opportunity to thank and commend catechists for being “our hands and feet”.
“We know you are not paid, however, without you, our faith would not be handed down from generation to generation. I came to know Jesus and what sacraments are through a catechist. Keep up the good work,” he said.
Mass was said by Bishop Duncan Tsoke, Catechetical Department Vicar, Fr Peter Doherty and Fr Phuti Makgabo.
The bishop thanked the catechists saying: “We appreciate the zeal and devotion with which you carry out the important task of instructing others, helping parents raise their children in the faith, teaching what Jesus taught.”
Fr Lawrence Ndlovu delivered the keynote address titled: ‘The Year of Mercy: A meeting at the Courtyard of the Gentiles’. The phrase, Courtyard of the Gentiles, refers to 19/20 BC when King Herod reconstructed the Temple in Jerusalem.
He created areas that were reserved for the people of Israel. Then he made a space which all were allowed to enter. People would gather and ask questions about God and responses were given respectfully and with compassion.
The Year of Mercy is, for the creation of this space, this Courtyard, he said.
“The role of a catechist is to make sacraments accessible to all those who seek them. It is not to identify who is worthy but to ensure that they are worthy.
“By doing this, you will be taking the person who is in the courtyard enquiring and inviting them in. Work tirelessly to bring them into the fold,” he concluded.
Head of the Catechetical Department, Sr Tarsyja Groblica, said Jesus is in the Blessed Sacrament every day of the week in all churches around the world, yet we reserve visiting him to Sundays.
Paul Faller from the Catholic Institute of Education, presented a session on ‘Meditation in the Word of God for children’.
“Human beings are made up of body, soul and spirit. Meditation has a profound effect on these aspects,” he said.
There were various sessions on how to prepare for engaging and creative classes. Special Religious Development’s (SPRED) topic was The Year of Mercy in SPRED programme.
Christian Dance Fellowship of South Africa taught participants how to praise and give thanks to God using one’s body. Sandra Petronio and Stanley Rangan shared on how to use scrap paper creatively.
Sunday, September 25, 2016
I AM A CATECHIST
“Who are catechists? They are people who keep the memory of God alive; they keep it alive in themselves and they are able to revive it in others.”
(Holy Mass on the Occasion of the ‘Day for Catechists’ during the Year of Faith, Homily of Holy Father, Pope Francis, September 29, 2013)
On September 25th 2016, Pope Francis will celebrate with Catechists around the world the Jubilee for Catechists. We invite you to celebrate this occasion within your Diocese.
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