Blacktown Sinhala School Catechism

 Progress on the delivery of Catechism at Blacktown Sinhala School

I have been working with the Blacktown Sinhala School (BSS) with regard to their invitation to commence Catechism (Daham Pasala) for Catholic children who attend the School and I thank them for providing this opportunity.

All necessary documents in regard to the Catechists have been submitted to the Confraternity of Christian Doctrine (CCD) Parramatta Diocesan Office and approval has been given for the teaching of the Catholic faith at the School.

This is an important ministry and a great opportunity for us to share our faith with the children, according to the teachings of the Catholic Church.

Catechists are responding to a call of service to help others grow more in communion and with Jesus Christ. ‘It is important for the catechist to recognize the supernatural and ecclesial significance of this call, so as to be able to respond, like the Son of God, “Behold, I come to do your will” (Heb 10:7), or, like the prophet, “Here I am, send me” (Is 6:8).” (GC 2)

In response to my email four Catechists who participate fully in the communal worship and life of the Church and who have been prepared for their apostolate by appropriate catechetical training or currently teaching catechism expressed their interest to form a team to teach the Catholic faith  at the Blacktown Sinhala school.

The Ministry of Catechists will be co-ordinated by Chrysanthi Silva under my spiritual guidance – and comprises of Mrs Asoki Ranasinghe, Mr Eric Perera and Mrs Shamim de Silva.

The Catechists and I met the parents (who were keen to send their children to the catechism classes) to discuss how best to deliver this service.

The Blacktown Sinhala School relocated to The Ponds Public School, 180 Riverbank Drive and the official opening ceremony was on 5 June which was attended by the Catechists. The classes are on every 1st and 3rd Sunday from 9:00am – 10:00 am.   The curriculum will be the same as used by the parish based Catechists which is approved by the CCD and follow the same lessons taught in the public school but include a Sinhalese Hymn when possible. The Catechists will use the Teacher’s Manual and the Children will use the Student activity book.

I  intend to celebrate Mass once a month after catechism and talk to the parents while children are in class and get the children involved in our Easter and Christmas Gospel Enactment and the children’s liturgy.

Registration Form has been developed to capture the necessary details of the children who wish to attend catechism and an Attendance Register will also be maintained (This is for the record purposes of the CCD and the Association).

At the end of the year, I wish to issue  a Statement of Attainment to the children for their active participation.

Fr Chaminda Wanigasena Chaplain, Sri Lankan Catholic Community in NSW