Helping to make a difference in young students’ lives

A recent SRE Celebration Day recognised the work of student catechists who share their faith with Catholic children in state primary schools.
Bishop Vincent commended all SRE teachers on their hard work and enthusiasm. Image: Diocese of Parramatta.

By Princess Pacleb and Marielle Dominguez, Catholic Outlook, December 2016

There is something heart-warming about walking into a classroom full of gleaming faces, full of hope and happiness.

As student catechists, we are not just teaching younger students about the compelling Word of God, but making a difference in these students’ lives. The knowledge gained from these lessons has deeply impacted us and will always remain with us.

On 4 November 2016, St Clare’s Catholic High School hosted a Special Religious Education (SRE) Celebration Day that recognised the works of many young students in secondary schools and how they are spreading the Word of God to their local state primary schools.

We were joined by representatives from Delany College, St Columba’s Catholic College, Loyola Senior High School, Catholic Youth Parramatta, Bishop Vincent Long OFM Conv and Cecilia Zammit, the Director of the Confraternity of Christian Doctrine (CCD).

The day was filled with many people opening their hearts to God with songs, games, and speeches about being a catechist. It was a very enjoyable and encouraging day.

We are sure everyone had been inspired in some way, either by the catechists’ overwhelming passion for spreading the Word of God or by the positive reaction of the public primary school students, who constantly wanted to learn more about Scripture.

Most of these students had no prior exposure to the Christian faith besides the SRE classes, so it was a truly wonderful opportunity for catechists and their students to strengthen their love for God.

During the day, Sr Rosie Drum MGL taught us a song called Waves of Mercy that was accompanied by actions. The line “Every move I make, I make in you” complements the real meaning of what it is to be a catechist.

Bishop Vincent Long OFM Conv also paid a visit to commend all SRE teachers on their hard work and enthusiasm.

Looking back on the year, we, along with many others, can confidently say that participating in catechetics has enriched our faith and sense of belonging towards others and our catechist team.

In our classes, we were able to learn from the students and were reminded of how far we have come. Through craft, prayer and song, we were able to connect with all the students, despite our age differences.

All of this would not have been possible without Catholic Education Diocese of Parramatta and the Confraternity of Christian Doctrine, which enabled student catechists to share their knowledge and experiences with the younger generation.

The catechist experience can be compared to the party game Pass the Parcel, wherein each layer reveals a new gift of happiness and knowledge that is cherished.

Every Wednesday in our Scripture classes we continue to unwrap this gift and discover more about our faith.

In the words of Mother Teresa: “I’m a little pencil in the hand of a writing God, who is sending a love letter to the world.”

To find out more about the ministry of the CCD, click here.

Princess Pacleb and Marielle Dominguez are Year 10 student catechists in the Diocese of Parramatta.

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