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Thursday, February 7, 2019

Briefing Regarding the Children’s Sunday School

By: Evelyn Jock-Lagan
Sunday School Catechist
SANDAKAN - 'Parents as Primary Catechists', CCC #2223.  Fr. David A. Garaman, the Parish Priest of the St. Mary’s Cathedral Parish reiterated that parents bear witness to this during a briefing to the parents at the Diocesan Centre Worship Hall, Sandakan on 20 January 2019.  He also stressed the importance of creating a home conducive for forming, nurturing and strengthening their children’s faith and spiritual dimension.
In quoting CCC #2226, Fr. David pointed out that education in the faith begins in the child’s earliest years.  Parents have been entrusted with a mission from God to teach their children to pray and discover their vocations as children of God. He also went on to say that it is a daunting task, as parents, to play the role of teachers and be models of faith within their homes.
Parents should also guide their children to the Catholic faith and not simply entrust them to the Sunday School.  In the house and in every home, parents too have a role to play in their children’s faith formation. He stressed that parents should not have this misguided predisposition that “religion” is just a Sunday School subject.
He explained that parents and the Sunday School catechists complement each other.  A person will continue to receive the formation of faith so that they can become a better person.  The information that they received in Sunday school must also be reflected in their daily lives. Parents must lead by example on how to live a good Christian life.
The decision to bring the whole family to church communicates that life is more than work or sports. He reminded the parents to dedicate their children to God when they are young, for God will surely bless them abundantly. If a child grows up to be a better person, then parents should give praise and thank the Lord for his blessings and guidance.  He advised them not to be discouraged if the church demands a lot from them. Instead, they should accept this as an opportunity for the betterment of their children.
The Sunday School Catechists
Fr. David also mentioned that although the St. Mary’s Cathedral Parish is a multilingual (English, Chinese and Bahasa Malaysia) community, he requested parents to encourage their children to mingle with the other communities.  He stressed that the Sunday School should not be confined to only one language group but that these groups should create activities where other communities can come together and become one community.  The Vision and Mission of the church which the parents recite at every mass, to be a Christ-centered community serving one another with love, would certainly be realized.

Most importantly, he reminded the parents that Jesus Christ is the essence of our Christian faith. And therefore we must keep our minds focused on Jesus, the author, and architect of our faith.

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