September is Catechetical month. During this month catechists are honoured and celebrated for their contribution in passing on the faith.
Saturday, September 8, saw the coming together of all catechists of the Suburban Vicariate at the St Charles Parish Centre in Tunapuna. Fifty-seven catechists assembled from 9:00 a.m. LouiseZamora– Vicarate Catechetical Co-ordinator warmly welcomed all. After registration, we began with a spirited praise, worship and prayer session led bySt Charlesparish priest, Fr Reginald Hezekiah. Keynote speaker, Fr John Theodore, CSSp delivered a powerful discourse on the theme –The Importance of the Blessed Virgin Mary in our Lives, September 8 being the feast of the birth of the Blessed Mother.
Fr Theodore spoke about Mary being known for wanting God’s will. “She draws back the curtain so that Jesus can be at the centre of the stage”. He quoted several scripture passages and pointed out some of the miracles performed by Jesus. Fr Theodore also informed us of the powerful nature of the Holy Rosary. He urged us to say the Rosary daily. Mary is very powerful against Satan and Satan’s weakness is his pride. Therefore our own power against Satan is our humility.
A question and answer session followed Fr Theodore’s presentation. After a break, catechists assembled in four groups. Each group was given a question to discuss based on the feature address. A presenter from each group shared the findings of the group. This was very inspiring.
This event provided spiritual food for reflection and spiritual growth for all catechists present. –
Lynette King-Taitt, Catechetical Co-ordinator, St Joseph Parish
On September 16, 107 catechists of the Northern Vicariate attended a retreat “FAITH” at Emmaus Retreat Centre. Presenter was Bernadette Gopaul-Ramkhalawan of the Archdiocesan Catechetical Office.
Below are some comments on the retreat:
“The retreat on ‘Faith’ was well worth the time and effort and mostly the faith journey walk. It brought me back through all my joys and disappointments in life. It was only in this session I was able to seriously see my past hurts more clearly and how they have drawn me closer to God and the Church and also how to pray for healing for myself and others, as some of these hurts have stifled me in certain areas of my life… Believe me when I say the morning session of Sunday’s retreat was exactly what I needed at this point in my life.”
“What touched me about the retreat was the constant acknowledgement of the young people present and the affirmation of them by the senior catechists. When I invited them to come along with me, they were, all 13 of them, very hesitant, because they did not think that they would have fitted in comfortably in a retreat with older folks. They were pleasantly surprised.”
“I liked the topic ‘FAITH’, which is very important to us as catechists, if we are to share God’s word and the mystery of God to our candidates, to go into a deeper and deeper journey into the mystery of God.
The facilitator was very articulate in her delivery. The exercises were well received by all.
On receiving my folder and having read the scriptural passage received from Matthew 9:22 really sold me on faith, (The Mystery, Wonder, Awe) having been ill with pains in my left leg for over three weeks. …I could not believe what I read, when I shared this with my friend we both got emotional. I had to share with the entire group.
NOTE: I was exceptionally pleased to see so many youths in attendance, so I believe that our Catholic Faith is in good hands, we the adults just have to continue to encourage and nurture their enthusiasm.”
“By faith the Church was called to go in the power of the Spirit to the lost. To deliver captives and to preach good news, in every corner of the earth” This is one of the lines from our theme song for that day. Honestly, as a young catechist I attended this retreat with no tangible expectations. I attended without knowing what God had in store for those of us gathered at Emmaus. It was a powerful and unexpected experience, and definitely for me. The retreat was centred on faith and what that meant to each of us present. We walked through our faith journeys, and reflected on the ways in which we prayed. Was my prayer life about asking God for things alone? Was my faith life about walking with God, being attuned to God’s voice and responding to God’s invitation to me? These were important areas in our lives as catechists we can sometimes overlook.”
“It was really good to be able to respond to Jesus’ invitation to ‘Come away…all by yourselves and rest for awhile,’ at the peaceful Emmaus Centre.
It was truly a retreat with a difference as it employed all our senses as we examined ourselves and sought to enter into a deeper relationship with our God. We cannot share the Faith if we do not nourish and live it. It is a dynamic, lifelong journey. Faith in God changes everything.”
Bernadette stressed at the end that the work of the retreat must continue if faith and the relationship with God is to grow ever deeper.