BOSCO INFORMATION SERVICE # 3274
CATECHIST FORMATION PROGRAM BAHRAIN
BAHRAIN- ARABIAN VICARIATE, DECEMBER 15, 2012 : Rev. Fr. Franco Pereira, SDB was once again warmly received at the Sacred Heart Church, Bahrain as he conducted a Catechist Formation Program on November 22 to 25, 2012 in the Our Lady of Arabia, Auditorium.
Around seventy to eighty Catechists from the Sacred Heart Church, Manama and the Church of Our Lady of the Visitation, Awali were nourished and rejuvenated by the teachings. Amidst the backdrop of the local religious Ashoora holidays and with the church located near the heart of the religious processions, the participants faced many challenges like blocked roads and unavailability of parking but God certainly made a way.
On Day one, Fr. Franco took us through an in-depth journey into the structure and key themes of the Gospel of Luke, mapping the Ministry of Jesus’ journey to Jerusalem and highlighting the Lucan emphasis on Prayer and Discipleship.
During the second and third sessions, amuch treasured but oft overlooked book in the Catholic library was the focus – the Catechism of the Catholic Church. Fr. Franco deftly walked us through the richness and profundity of Church teachings contained in the CCC and handed us the tools to access the information in a practical way.
Beginning with Divine Revelation and our response to it, from the Creed to the Trinity, interspersed with quotes from the great Doctors of the Church like St. Thomas Aquinas and St. Augustine, great writers like G.K. Chesterton and Peter Kreeft, we were refreshed by and in awe of the fullness of the deposit of Faith contained in the Catholic Church.
Keeping up in this digital age, Fr. Franco recommended a Catholic smartphone app. called Laudate which contains the Bible, Catechism, Daily Readings, Prayers and much more at your fingertips - an invaluable resource for Catholics and in particular, Catechists.
The third session, continuing with the CCC and the thread of the Creed, focused on the Church – as planned by God, founded by Jesus and led by the Holy Spirit, as a Mystery, Ministries and Leadership in the Church and the Four Marks of the Church (one, holy, catholic and apostolic).
The role of Mary in our salvation and in our Church family was also highlighted – Mary in Scripture, as “woman of faith” and “model disciple”, as Mother of the Church, the veneration of Mary as well as the four Marian doctrines. As CCC 487 says: “What the Catholic faith believes about Mary is based on what it believes about Christ, and what it teaches about Mary illumines in turn its faith in Christ.”
And finally, Fr. Franco aptly concluded with the eschatological teachings (from Greek, meaning “last things”) - the theology branch that focuses on death, judgment, heaven and hell, resurrection of the dead, Second Coming of Christ, Last Judgment and the end of the world to a new heaven and a new earth.
The three day program culminated with a celebration of the Feast of Christ the King in the Holy Sacrifice of the Mass, with Fr. Franco as Celebrant. Just like the disciples on the road to Emmaus, the hearts of the Catechists during the Program were burning while he spoke and as he taught us, our eyes too were opened to recognise Christ in the Eucharist.
We are most thankful to our Lord Jesus Christ for sending Fr. Franco as His instrument in renewing our zeal and mission to pass on the torch of the Faith. Despite his own personal difficulties, Fr. Franco conducted the program with fervour and enthusiasm and we pray the Holy Spirit will continue to guide him in every step of his journey, as we also continue to pray for the good health and recovery of his dear mother.
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