Basic training course for catechists of Chittagong archdiocese took place in newly constructed St. Thomas Apostolic Boarding, Sonapur under the parish of Our Lady of the Lourde’s, Noakhali. 14 catechists from Bandarban, Thanchi, Bolipara, Rangamati,
Khagrachori, Alikadam and Lama parishes took part in the intensive training course held on 17-27 May 2018. The course was coordinated by the archdiocesan pastoral coordinator Mr. Manik Willver D’Costa and assisted by pastoral service team members Sr. Nisha Rita Gagra, SMMI; Mr./s Jude Flavian Bala & Khunthairoy Francis Tripura and local volunteers.
The course was aimed to provide intensive training to the catechists of Chittagong archdiocese so that they can do effective evangelization and conduct catechism classes for the faithful. As training materials each catechist is gifted Jubilee Bible (Bengali bible translated by the Benedictine monks from original Hebrew and Greek scripts, published on the occasion of great jubilee year 2000), catechism of the Catholic Church (CCC), compendium of CCC, hymn books containing all the Psalms and religious songs for children.
The course is inaugurated on Thursday, 17 May 2018 by a Eucharistic celebration sacrificed
by the pastor of Noakhali parish Rev. Lintu Absalom Roy. Then after a ceremonial opening program took place in which Rev. Lintu Roy, his assistant Rev. Sadhan Augustine Gregory, headmistress of Noakhali Brother Andre School Sister Agnes Rozario, CSC and parish pastoral council secretary Mr. Ross Gonsalves were present. In the night session the participants were organized in four groups named after four Gospel writers. The resource team also collected participants’ expectations regarding the course.
The course was designed with multiple subject trainings by skilled resource persons. Mr. Joachim Manna Bala who is the asst. director of Barisal diocesan pastoral team and trained from Mumbai Bible Institute, India was responsible to teach the Bible on topics Dogmatic Constitution of Vatican II ‘Dei Verbum’, Introduction to Biblical Books, Salvation History, Gospels and Missionary Journeys of St. Paul. Pastoral coordinator of Chittagong archdiocese Mr. Manik Willver D’Costa introduced the Catholic Church teaching Dogmatic Constitution of Vatican II ‘Lumen Gentium’ and Hierarchical, Administrative & Pastoral Structure of the Catholic
Church. First and second part of Catechism of the Catholic Church (CCC) were jointly taught by Mr. Manik Willver D’Costa and Fr. Leonard C. Rebeiro who is the judicial coordinator of Chittagong archdiocese and holding a licentiate degree on Dogmatic Theology from the Santo Thomas University, Philippines. Mr. Manik taught the first part of CCC namely ‘The Profession of Faith’ while Fr. Leonard taught the second part namely ‘The Celebration of the Christian Mystery’. Liturgy of the Lord’s Day is jointly taught by assistant pastor of Noakhali parish Rev. Sadhan Augustine Gregory and director (finance & admin) of Chittagong archdiocese
Rev. Pankaj Ignatius Pereira. Fr. Sadhan taught on topics Mystery of Eucharistic Celebration, Structure of Roman Missals and Sunday Liturgy in the Absence of a Priest, while Fr. Pankaj practically taught on How to prepare and deliver homily. Mr. Manik D’Costa discussed on the lifelong Catechetical syllabus prepared for Catholics and demonstrated on monthly planning with practical sessions. The last two days of the course was designated for spiritual retreat which was effectively conducted by Fr. Pankaj Ignatius Pereira.
Every night the catechists used to sit in groups for an hour to discuss on day’s learning. They also had the opportunity to question the resource persons for better clarifications. Sr. Agnes Rozario, CSC who is the headmaster of Brother Andre high school, Noakhali taught on Liturgical Music on every afternoon. She also taught the catechists on Psalm chanting. Sr. Agnes has twelve years’ experience as the director of National Social and Catechetical Training Centre of Jessore. Catechists took part in a friendly football match with the Youth of Noakhali parish. It was a great match and the Catechists won.
The ten days’ training came to an end by a Eucharistic celebration sacrificed by Fr./s Pankaj Ignatius Pereira, Lintu Absalom Roy and Sadhan Augustine Gregory. The certificate distribution and thanksgiving meeting took place immediately after the Mass.