CATECHISTS AND Sunday school teachers have been told to live exemplary lives worthy of emulation in order to make the faith which they teach truly impactful.
V. Rev. Fr Macarius Olatunji, vocation director, was speaking at a seminar on Saturday 25 August at the Jubilee Conference Centre, Oke-Ado, Ibadan.
The lecture, organised by the Directorate of Religious Education, Catholic Archdiocese of Ibadan, was titled “Effective approach to Catechesis in modern times.”
Fr Olatunji explained that Catechesis aims at educating the faithful about God, enabling them know a lot about God thus work as a vessel of evangelisation to the world.
“The catechist or Sunday school teacher needs to experience God before trying to pass the knowledge down to others; otherwise, it would be difficult to survive when trials and tribulations come,” he said.
Fr Olatunji encouraged participants to upgrade their knowledge through regular formation so as to move with the current trends of life and be able to easily impact the faith into those being taught. You need continuous formation of faith for your own salvation, he said, adding: you must have at least some knowledge of the Social Media in order to optimise it for your teachings.
He charged the participants to “be ready at all times to provide answers with facts, in accordance with what the Church teaches, whenever the need arises.”
“Catechists and Sunday school teachers must not just teach the faith; they must practise the faith they teach. You must be known by your way of life. In order words, live the faith you teach as catechists and Sunday school teachers so as to avoid being categorised as a Pharisee whose words can only be followed, not his or her behaviour. Let people fall in love with Christ through your way of life,” he said.
The director advised them to communicate the message of faith to the people at every level, thus applying essential methodology suitable for each level. This, according to him, would enable them to avoid mixing up and complicating issues while passing on the faith.
Catechists and Sunday school teachers should always pay attention to little details needed to be taught. They should make the core Catholic teachings their focus and while passing it down with absolute attention, the recipients would have the full understanding needed to increase their knowledge.
Rev. Fr Clement Emerue, director, Religious Education in the archdiocese, had in his welcome address charged catechists and Sunday school teachers to see their role as a peculiar one, not meant for everyone.
Fr Olatunji rounded off the event with a closing prayer.