Sowing seeds of faith in children, standing by as they take root, nourishing the saplings and helping them grow into strong trees to blossom and bear fruit in abundance, is the goal of the Faith Formation programme of St.Vincent Pallotti Church.
Children aged four to seventeen attend catechism classes that start in June every year, with the commencement of the academic year. Classes go on till February. In addition to the regular classes mentioned above, children desirous of receiving sacraments namely ‘First Communion’ and ‘Confirmation’, attend special classes to prepare themselves to receive the sacraments. ‘First Communion’ is administered to children who have completed Class V and these classes are held in March and April. Classes for ‘Confirmation’ are held between June and December for those who have completed Class X and the sacrament is administered in January.
The children of Lower KG and Upper KG are introduced to our faith in a fun way with a lot of activities. From Class I to X prescribed books are followed as per syllabus. In addition a number of activities connected to the topics covered are included, which make the classes interesting and interactive. Special Eucharistic Celebration for children is held once a month, on the third Sunday with a special theme each month. Children are given an opportunity to participate actively in the mass and are involved in the liturgy, and creatively present the theme chosen making the celebration more meaningful.
Children with musical talent are brought together to form a Children’s Choir. They are trained by some of the teachers who are themselves talented as well as trained in music. In addition to singing for children’s mass, the children’s choir takes part in concerts held in our church as well as outside.
Catechism classes are held every Sunday between 9 and 10 am
A number of activities are conducted during the course of the year. A quiz based on a selected book of the Bible is conducted every year. Children are encouraged to read the word of God earnestly and participate in the quiz. We celebrate important events like Independence Day, Children’s Day and Teachers’ Day and conduct various competitions, for which prizes are given out. Visits to homes for destitute, orphans, the aged etc. are arranged, to inculcate the values of caring and sharing in the children.
Christmas is celebrated with a lot of enthusiasm. Children from all classes come together and present a Christmas Concert. A highlight of the Christmas celebrations is the ‘Joy of Giving’ which is an initiative that is unique in that, we reach out to inmates of shelter homes for underprivileged and marginalized members of the society. They are invited to the Christmas celebration and given gifts and donations from contributions made not only by the children, but by the entire parish community.
Examinations are conducted twice during the year on the syllabus covered and prizes are awarded to those who perform well.
Through Faith Formation classes, we intend to increase the faith of the children, help them to pray, to learn the Bible and live by the Bible. We believe that strong faith is the best foundation on which a person’s life can be built and faith can be one’s best friend in the most trying situations of life.We also believe that it is our duty to ensure children are taught everything that we have been taught about God, about God’s love for us, and as Christians what each of us is called to.
By Teresa Kattukkaran
Adult Catechism as faith formation is imparted to candidates who have for some reason not received the sacraments in time and hence not attended the regular catechism classes. These candidates include:
- Children not introduced to faith in time by parents for some reason.
- Children received Baptism, but not First Holy Communion in time.
- Those who want to embrace faith.
Some of these candidates may have familiarity of Catholicism. As most of these candidates are working, the classes are conducted according to their free time availability.
The Classes include following topics :
- Overview on the Bible
- Ten Commandments and precepts of the Church.
- Seven Sacraments
- On Mother Mary
- On Holy Mass
- Theological and moral virtues
- Prayer Life and how to lead a good Catholic life.
- On Holy Spirit.
- By-Heart simple Prayers and test.