2015-09-23 10:26:00

India's Latin-rite Church discusses catechetics

The Latin-rite Catholic Church of India began a 3-day seminar in Chennai on Tuesday to discuss how best to implement the recently-published National Catechetical Directory at the ‎national, regional and diocesan levels. Some 98 delegates including bishops, priests, ‎religious and lay faithful, from all over India are participating in the September 22-24 seminar at the Salesian ‎Provincial House in Chennai.  The meeting has been organized by the Commission for ‎Catechetics of the Conference of Catholic Bishops of India (CCBI).

The National Catechetical Directory, released on February 3, during CCBI’s 27th Plenary Assembly in Bangalore, is deemed as a great achievement for the Church in India.   For those involved in the catechetical ministry, the ‎Latin-rite bishops’ conference provides inputs on the content of the Directory and aims to arrive at recommendations on its implementation in the ‎national, regional and diocesan level.‎ 

“Let us accept and own ‎wholeheartedly the comprehensive, wide opened, contextualized Directory to bring the ‎message of salvation in every corner of our living,” said Bishop Vincent Barwa of Simdega, a member of ‎the Commission for Catechetics, at the inaugural session of the seminar.  He urged the participants to “be ‎transformed first that we may be able to fulfil the mission of catechesis and evangelization ‎entrusted to each of us by virtue of our baptismal call.”‎  Bishop Antony Devotta of Trichy, former chairman of the Commission ‎CCBI Commission for Catechetics, called upon the participants to “look ‎at the Directory as an opportunity to rededicate themselves and the catechists to the ‎catechetical ministry and to create in all the faithful a renewed passion for catechesis.”‎  Another member of the Commission, Bishop James Thoppil of Kohima noted that the Directory that contains norms, principles, ‎directives and guidelines for effective and orderly catechesis, was a useful text for orienting ‎faith formation in the Indian context.  ‎

Delivering the key-note address on the first day of the seminar, Father Raphael Jayapalan, ‎the Provincial of the Salesian Province Chennai and former executive secretary of CCBI ‎Commission for Catechetics enumerated the process of formulating the National Catechetical ‎Directory and insisted that catechetical renewal remains essential for a vibrant church. He ‎said, “the National Catechetical Directory, Fostering the Faith of a Pilgrim People, is an ‎important milestone in the history of Catechetics in India, to re-mould and promote an ‎adequate understanding of the science of Catechesis and to evolve a catechetical process that ‎hopefully would lead to a renewed understanding of catechesis.”‎

In the course of the three day seminar all six parts of the Directory will be studied ‎extensively. Commission Executive Secretary, Fr Laurence Culas, Salesian Sr. ‎Terese Joseph and Salesian Fr. Gilbert Choondal are resource persons to help participants arrive at a consensus on implementing the contents of the Directory in their ‎respective areas.  Salesian Fr. Antony Christy is the local coordinator of the national seminar.‎

India’s Catholic Church is a communion of three ritual Churches: the Latin, the Syro-Malabar and the ‎Syro-Malankara, both eastern rites, which together make up the Catholic Bishops Conference of India (CBCI), the apex body of ‎the Church in the country.  (Source: CCBI)

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