CATECHETICAL MANAGER: REV. FR. EPHRAIM MULENGA
The Catechetical Commission of the Catholic Diocese of Ndola is centered on faith formation and nurturing among the people of God. It falls under the pastoral department of the Diocese. The Department is directly involved in directing and monitoring all faith related programs in the Diocese. The commission is coordinated by the Catechetical Manager of the Diocese with the assistance of four Diocesan Catechetical Executives and four executive members from each deanery.
Currently the commission has put its focus on the following areas;
- Faith formation programs through teaching and radio programs.
- Printing of teaching/learning materials.
- Monitoring the running programs of the diocese.
- Harmonization of what is taught in the diocese.
i. To develop Catechetical guidelines and to provide quality training and formation of Catechists and Animators.
ii. To ensure that Priests actively participate in the formation process of Catechumens.
iii. To adequately fund the Commission to meet its operational needs.
iv. To ensure that Catechetical Centres becomes operational
PRESENTATION FROM THE CATECHETICAL OFFICE TO THE YOUTHS
ON THE ROLE OF THE YOUTHS IN THE HANDING DOWN OF FAITH
For us to understand the current status of the Catechetical operations in Ndola Diocese, we need to take a snap shot of the different activities that have been carried out at different epochs of time.
This will help us to address the current challenges that we are going through in order to plan for the future. It is against this background that our presentation is segmented into three parts namely;
- Where we are coming from
- Where we are
- Where we intend to go
These three stages will help us to evaluate and plan for our activities effectively.
Modernity has presented to us the challenge of new technological language and methods of teaching. Young ones are now exposed to computers, WhatsApp, Facebook, and other means of communication. It has also presented to us religious pluralism, secularism, relativism and atheistic tendencies. This consequently demands a better way of packaging our content, which is the Word of God.
(A) WHERE ARE WE COMING FROM?
We are coming from the background where;
The Catholic Church had almost the monopoly of worship with few competitors around.
Faith was transmitted by the lay faithful with simple theology and things worked.
People were not exposed to as much information as there is now. So they depended on the Catholic Church for the truth. (E.g. Icengelo)
Traditional methods of teaching were used e.g. gathering under a tree to share faith.
Assessments were only given at the end of the course, when someone was about to receive a sacrament.
Catechizers would sometimes teach without any reference book but from experience and no planning at all.
Where are we?
Mainly Priests are still not very much involved in the handing down of faith (Catechesis).
Catechetical programs are poorly funded as opposed to the parish projects.
Mainly Catechizers are not motivated especially by Priests.
Records are still a preserve of the Catechizers and Priests only come in to test the children without even knowing what learners have covered.
Some Catechizers and Priests are including learners on the lists of those to receive the sacraments even if they have not met the requirements.
There is generally poor record keeping and poor monitoring of programs in the Parishes.
Teaching of catechesis is still under the whims of the lay faithful although Priest/Deacons are the experts of theology.
There is no youth involvement in the teaching of Catechesis.
WORKS THAT ARE UNDERWAY/PLANS (where we are going)
Publication of manuals in all the fields of Catechesis.
Harmonization of what is taught in the diocese. (Creation of syllabi)
Emphasis on planning and record keeping. This includes;
Carding system to curb short cuts in administering of sacraments. (Ref.)
Conducting of formation workshops and seminars.
We have put up structures at the Diocese and in nine deaneries, except one where we have a challenge with communication, but the issue has been taken care of.
CHALLENGES FACED BY THE CATECHETICAL DEPARTMENT IN THE DIOCESE
Lack of editors and translators of materials.
Limited resources to adequately fund all the Catechetical programs, but the situation is progressively getting better as we receive money from the Catholic Men’s Organization.
Poor communication in the Diocese.
Spirit of indifference by some stake holders especially some priests
As a department, we believe that we can still work together to evangelize to all the frontiers of the Diocese.
BY REV FR EPHRAIM MULENGA MAPULANGA – MANAGER CATECHETICAL COMMISSION.