ASIA / CHINA – Promoting lay catechists as witnesses of Christ in today’s society
Cheng Du (Agenzia Fides) – To train lay catechists to be “Christians of the new era” and witnesses of the Lord in today’s Chinese society: these are the objectives of the VI Formation Course for Catechists lay people active in the 7 dioceses of Si Chuan Province, mainland China. Due to the pandemic, the number of participants was limited to 60. The course was held at the Major Seminary of Si Chuan (Catholic Academy of Theology and Philosophy of Si Chuan) from October 11 to 17.
In the light of the Apostolic Letter Antiquum Ministerium of Pope Francis which institutes the ministry of the catechist, the participants attended conferences on various subjects: catechism, teaching of the Church, liturgy and sacraments, Catholicism in China, Chinese cultural tradition and inculturation of religion in China. . Bro. Li Zheng Gang, from the diocese of Nanchong, presented Antiquum Ministerium, highlighting the important role played by catechists throughout the history of the Church in China and also in the life of the Church today, motivating those present to a greater sense of responsibility in evangelization. . Father Huang Yi Liang, professor at the seminary, illustrated the contribution of missionaries to the development of liturgical life and to the translation of the catechism into Chinese. Other priests discussed the seven sacraments and shared their pastoral and catechetical experience. Sister Chiara Duan, from the Pastoral Formation Center of the Diocese of Xi Chang, accompanied the spiritual journey of prayer of the catechists.
Brother Tong Heng Jiu, executive vice-rector of the Major Seminary of Si Chuan, encouraged the participants by welcoming them with these words: “May the cradle of vocations which is the Seminary arouse in you, catechists of basic ecclesial communities, missionary zeal and kindles a strong desire to be Christians worthy of the name of disciples of Jesus ”.
Finally, he hoped that catechists would bring the fruits of their formation to the many brothers and sisters of the community, of the society in which they live and bear witness to their faith. (NZ) (Agenzia Fides, 16/11/2021)