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KOTA KINABALU – Some 1,300 catechists from all the parishes in Kota Kinabalu Archdiocese turned up for the one-day formation session on methodologies on 18 June 2016. Jesuit Father Alvin Ho of Petaling Jaya facilitated the session at the Sacred Heart Parish Centre here.
The theme of the session was Teaching of Beatitudes to Children in conjunction with the Jubilee Year of Mercy.
Organised by the Catechetical Commission, Abp John Wong officiated the Bible Enthronement while Fr Nicholas Stephen, Spiritual Adviser of the commission, gave the welcoming speech.
Father Ho, chairperson of the Malaysian Catechetical Commission, introduced the participants to the different methodologies to teach the essentials of faith (profession of faith, sacraments, morality and prayer) such as film/movie, role-play, reading, etc. The important thing is that whatever methodology is used, the five senses of the children must be engaged in order for them to understand the lesson well.
Using a mixture of English and Bahasa Malaysia, he said that teaching strategies are “methods and activities child care practitioners and teachers use in teaching young children. Positive teaching strategies promote development in many areas, including physical, emotional, social and intellectual. Teachers’ strategies are as different and varied as teachers’ personalities.”
To illustrate what he was saying, the movie Up was screened. Up is a 2009 American 3D computer-animated comedy-drama adventure film produced by Pixar Animation Studios and released by Walt Disney Pictures, bringing out the theme of Blessed are those who mourn for they shall be comforted (Mt 5:4).
After the movie, the participants were divided into small groups for sharing based on the following guide questions: What touched you? (It could be a scene, an insight, a word, etc). What does Jesus say? (Beatitude). What does the world say? What and how do I teach the children?
Then Fr Ho showed the participants how to do reflection and prayer in five steps: 1. Prelude; 2. Entering into the film/activity/role-play; 3. Reflection and prayer; 4. Group reflection; and 5. Review/Evaluation. The Review is also done in five steps: a. thanksgiving/gratitude; b. ask the Holy Spirit for light; c. being aware of the movements within oneself (both positive and negative); d. ask pardon for what has been done and for what has not been done; and e. make a resolution.
The session ended with the announcement that there would be a follow up session in October.