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LIMBANAK – In conjunction with the local observance of Catechetical Sunday on September 21, the Catechetical Committee of St Aloysius Limbanak, Penampang, together with the Archdiocesan Catechetical Commission, organised an Awareness Seminar at the parish hall of St Aloysius Limbanak on 27 Jul 2014.
Among the 300 participants who turned up for the seminar were teenagers from the Sunday School, Confirmation candidates, RCIA catechumens, SPM and STPM school leavers, those preparing for further studies in higher learning institutes and especially those students going for further studies outside Sabah, parents, Sunday School teachers and other youths.
The one-day seminar was aimed at creating awareness among students and parents about campus life and how to face the challenges encountered, to share information and knowledge of their rights as Catholics, and the responsibilities of Christian students and parents.
To heighten the reality of experiences of life in campus with its challenges and how to face them in order to remain firm in their Catholic faith, four students and a university student were invited to share information and knowledge of their experiences. Two parents who were faced with the challenge of unethical conversions were on hand to share their experiences. They underscored that good communication between parents and their children plays a vital part in monitoring the children while away from home.
The parents also warned that it is not enough for parents to be just dependent on Sunday School to strengthen the faith of their children. They, as parents, must fulfil their role as first educator/faith formator in the family.
The seminar also served to highlight the reality of the various threats and pressures, openly or slyly, that are faced by Christians in Malaysia, whether as students or as work force, which have brought about an alarming number to leave their Catholic faith and be converted to other religions. Yet there are others leaving the Church because of their involvement or being coerced into immoral activities, which equally signaled a real worrying threat to parents.
To protect the vulnerability of our young people from external threats, as well as to assist parents, regular informative inputs from the Archdiocesan Human Development Commission, the formation and commitment of the Christain community in the form of BEC in the villages, and the service of NGO as the YouthPREPLink in offering the KITA program and CSG (Catholic student groups) are as fresh air to the lungs. – Rosie Johnny and other sources