OCEANIA/TAHITI - Summer schools for young and adult lay Catholics in Polynesia: culture, catechesis and all round religious formation

Friday, 15 July 2005

Papeete (Fides Service) - At the beginning of July the annual Summer schools for lay formation promoted by the diocese of Papeete reopened. “We have six of these schools in the diocese, a good number for a modest area like ours”, said Bishop Hubert Coppenrath who cares for a flock of 90,000 Catholics gathered in 55 parishes. “The first Summer school opened in 1970; a few years later the Tahiti School for Catechetics was opened and after the Diocesan Synod in 1989 three more schools were opened one in French, one in the local language and one for young people. The most recent is a school of relgious music open to children, young people and adults”.
The local language is used increasingly and this for the Bishop is a motive for satisfaction. “It is a sign of progressive inculturation of the Church because local priests and religious who give the lessons and animate the meetings.”
These annual schools offer courses of four weeks. The period is short but it serves to give guidance, develop talents and discover hidden potential, to encourage reflection for activities in parishes and associations and assisting with pastoral work during the rest of the year.
“The purpose of the schools is to form lay Catholics and lead them to be more active in Church life”, the Bishop said, adding that the formation of the laity must be ongoing and updated so that lay Catholics may be authentic witnesses of Christ in their families and in society and to serve the Church in activities of catechesis, liturgy and charity.
(PA) (Agenzia Fides 15/7/2005 righe 22 parole 227)