Singapore (Agenzia Fides) - Catechumens, children, students of a catechism class "should see Christ in their catechists. The important thing is your encounter with Christ": as Agenzia Fides learns, this was a message Archbishop of Singapore Goh shared with more than 300 catechists who gathered to welcome the new catechetical year with the traditional meeting held in recent days at the Catholic Archdiocesan Education Center.
The theme of the 2018 Catechetical Year, said Fr. Erbin Fernandez, head of the catechetical office, is "Living as missionary disciples". "Many catechists worry about the catechetical syllabus, he said that actually, the catechists themselves are the syllabus: their faith and personal encounter with Christ represent the best syllabus". "If catechumens see Christ in their catechists and the faith is presented in a way that makes it more attractive than what the world offers, then those who are catechised will want to share the faith with their friends and families", he said. But, for this to happen, Fr. Erbin stressed, "catechists must first live what they preach and encounter Christ for themselves through prayer and the sacraments".
Archbishop William Goh reminded catechists that their goal "is not to give catechumens a certificate for completing their catechetical syllabus, but to make them Spirit-filled missionary disciples of Jesus", accompanying them in a "deep relationship with Jesus". If this does not happen, "catechesis has failed", he remarked. Without having lived "a profound encounter with Christ, catechists will not be able to proclaim the saving love of Christ to others", Goh continued. "It is essential - he noted - that catechists deepen that encounter with ongoing formation so that they grow in maturity as evangelisers and catechists ".
Archbishop Goh outlined the process of forming catechumens "into missionary disciples": First, help the person to encounter Jesus; help the person to discover who she/he is in Christ; help the person to "reach out to others" in turn". Catechists need to get to know their catechumens personally and Archbishop Goh expressed his hope for smaller groups in catechesis. (PA) (Agenzia Fides, 24/1/2018)