In the 1980’s, volunteer chatechists headed by the late Mr. Felix Lucban organized a Catechetical Group in IHMP. It started as an informal group of catechists. Today, it has evolved into a Ministry, working in close collaboration with the Diocesan Catechetical Ministry.
The Catechetical Ministry is a ministry rooted in the love for Jesus Christ and a deep sense of mission for evangelization. By sharing Christ with others and the teachings of the Catholic Church, catechists lead children, youth and adults towards true conversion and commitment to follow the Lord and become evangelizers themselves. They impart a deeper understanding of the Christian faith so that the catechized appreciate better the beauty and profoundness of the spiritual treasures that the Church received from Jesus as handed down by the Apostles.
This Ministry is tasked with educating children, young people and adults in the Catholic faith, doctrine, values, and morals. Its members catechize in the Church, schools, and communities. They prepare children, their families, the young people, and adults in receiving the Sacraments of Christian initiation namely Baptism, Confirmation, and Holy Communion. They also help in preparing couples for the Sacrament of Marriage.
The parish priest directly supervises the Catechetical Ministry. He appoints a coordinator who oversees the programs and follows up on the lessons and the catechists themselves. At present, IHMP has one professional catechist (or head catechist) assigned by the Diocese of Cubao. It has 20 volunteer catechists.
Its programs and activities include the following:
The Ministry’s focus of work today is the San Vicente Elementary School. But it also serves some schools within the jurisdiction such as Mayfield Montessori, Cradle School of Learners, and Ambassador School. In the past, catechists had taught at Pinyahan Elementary School, St. Ignatius School, Philippine Women’s Medical School and Integrative School of Quezon City.
Catechists conduct retreats, seminars, and recollections to candidates for sacramental reception, including their parents and godparents, for a deeper understanding of the Sacraments and their roles as Christians. They also organize events for Baptism, Confirmation, Confession, and First Communion as well as devotional and thanksgiving Masses for children. The purpose is to bring them closer to the Church, deepen their faith, and form them in Christian values.
The Ministry organized Sambata (Samba ng mga Bata) to catechize Catholic children from the different communities of the Parish. Now, it is held every 1st Saturday of the Month from 9:00 AM to 12 noon in the Patio Mariana of the Church compound. It is a joint program of the Catechetical Ministry, Children’s ministry and the Parish Youth Ministry. The youth teach the children catechism and lessons from Bible stories. They also pray the Rosary and celebrate Mass at 11:00 AM. Snacks and lunch are served too.
The Ministry provides Adult Catechism for adults preparing for baptism.
Catechists participate in on-going formation and enrichment seminars sponsored by the Diocese of Cubao to enhance their skills like lesson planning and in visual-aid making. They take advantage of these activities for their own spiritual renewal. They also conduct regular recruitment of catechists.
Catechists organize Flores de Mayo activities to teach children lessons from the life of Jesus and Mary through the Rosary. Flores de Mayo activities foster camaraderie among children. Catechists instill in them the values lived by Mother Mary. They encourage people to pray the Rosary regularly.
Catechists assist in other activities like the Living Rosary and celebration of special feasts like the Feast of Sto. Nino, Feast of San Lorenzo Ruiz, Anniversary of Catechetical Ministry, and Parish Fiesta.
Through the above activities, the Catechetical Ministry aims to make the community’s faith become living, conscious, and active.