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Indian Catechetical Association Reflects on Education to Love


By Father Gilbert Choondal
Participants of 22nd ICA Annual Meet stand in front of Nitika
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Kolkata, Feb. 28. Kolkata: The Indian Catechetical Association held its 24th Annual Meet at Nitika Don Bosco, from 12 to 14 February 2020, with 57 Catechism teachers from across India. Several research presentations on Education to Love: A Catechetical Perspective, were made.
Father Dominic Gomes, Vicar General of the Archdiocese of Kolkata inaugurated the meeting. Father Dominic, a trained catechist spearheads several catechetical initiatives in the diocese. Coordinated by Father Gilbert Choondal SDB, the Salesian family had a visible presence in the meeting with 14 Salesian priests, two FMA sisters, and six SMI sisters.
The keynote address was presented by Sister Josmy FMA, a Ph.D. student in religious science. The paper on the Theology of the Body provided the context for catechetical deliberation. Fr. Gilbert presented a paper on Catechetical Dimensions of Education to Love in question-answer format but with a distinctive style that intrigued the participants. The meeting held several deliberations on the education of marriage, the role of parents in sex education, ecclesial perspectives of education to love and a panel discussion on sex education today.
The distinguishing mark of the seminar was several sessions on ''Theology of the Body'' by youth members of JTM. John Paul II Theology of the Body Messengers (JTM) is a group of Catholic boys and girls from Kolkata under the direction of the Archdiocese of Kolkata with formative support from Missionaries of Charity.
The special feature of the seminar days was Holy Eucharist at the Tomb of Saint Mother Teresa. A presentation on Catechesis of the Good Shepherd presented by Missionaries of Charity was an eye-opener to many of the participants. ''I was privileged to witness for the first time this unique catechesis in my life,'' said, Father Edward Sten, the catechetical director of the Archdiocese of Shillong.  
The Seminar had the election of new office bearers too. Father Gilbert Choondal SDB was elected as the new secretary of ICA for a term of three years.
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