Catechists of the Catholic Children on Fire for Christ (CCFC) Programme of the Eastern Vicariate, gathered at the St Francis Church, Sangre Grande to take part in a one-day training session on Friday, March 30.
Vera Allen, CCFC coordinator for the Vicariate organised the event,which was conducted by Deborah De Rosia, directress of the programme, ably assisted by her dynamic team.
The day kicked off with praise and worship followed by Sr.Deborah’s address to the participants on the mandate given to her by our former Archbishop, Reverend Edward Gilbert CSsR., not only to teach the faith, but to evangelise our Catholic children who attend Government schools. The need therefore arose, to train catechists to be the best evangelists.
In keeping with her mandate, Sr Deborah certainly did a wonderful job in placing her valuable knowledge at the disposal of fellow catechists. A number of teaching strategies and methods were brilliantly demonstrated. Emphasis was placed on getting to know our students from the very first day of the school year: with an entire period being focused on getting to know each child by his/her name.
Sr Deborah did not hold back when stressing the importance of lesson planning and effective time and classroom management. She also suggested that rewards be used as incentives, not only for good class participation, but even for attendance at Religious Instruction classes. She noted that rewards need not only be material things but can take the form of recognition and praise.
The use of different instructional media and modes of delivery were discussed with drama being the most popular of the day. It was pointed out that drama enhances effective communication, engenders respect for the opinions of others and improves socialising skills, creativity and self-expression. Participants were given the opportunity to witness how drama can be used to successfully transmit any message. They were given three scripture texts –“The Woman at the well”, “Dry Bones” and “Pentecost” to come up with their own modern day contemporary version of these scriptures. The skits developed exhibited creativity at its best.
To ensure that catechists are armed with the tools needed to be the best evangelists they can be, Sr Deborah compiled a comprehensive package for each catechist that included lesson plans, suggested teaching aids, and even appropriate songs for each lesson.
At the end of the day, all catechists had only resounding praise for this much desired training. Inspiring, edifying, eye-opening and uplifting were some of the adjectives used to describe the day.
On behalf of all the participants of the day, we want to sincerely thank Sr Deborah and all those responsible for making this a fruitful day; truly worth giving up our holiday for. – Katherine Ramdass, participant