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Catechist Formation Programme in Bahrain

By Agnes
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Mumbai, Dec. 15. Catechist Formation Programme was conducted at the Sacred Heart Church, Bahrain, from November 22 to 25, under the masterly guidance of Rev. Fr. Franco Pereira, SDB. Around seventy to eighty Catechists from the Sacred Heart Church (Manama) and the Church of Our Lady of the Visitation (Awali) took part in the formation programme.
On the first day in the first session Fr. Franco took the group 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, a much treasured but often overlooked book in the Catholic library was the focus - the Catechism of the Catholic Church. Fr. Franco deftly expounded the richness and profundity of Church teachings contained in the CCC and handed the participants tools to access the information in a practical way.

Exhorting the group to make use of the digital technology of the present age, Fr. Franco recommended a Catholic smartphone app called Laudate which contains the Bible, Catechism, Daily Readings, Prayers and much more at one's 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. The final session aptly was on Eschatology - the last things.

The three day program culminated with a celebration of the Feast of Christ the King, with Fr. Franco as the main Celebrant. Just like the disciples on the road to Emmaus, the hearts of the Catechists during the Program were burning while he spoke and taught, and finally also opened in the breaking of the Bread.

The training programme was held 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 and made the programme a successful and enriching one.
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