Renee Hourani: Why I love sharing my faith

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Renee Hourani says teaching religion to Catholic students in public schools has deepened her own faith. PHOTO: CCD

As a catechist here was my chance to give back to God

I struggled a lot throughout high school, dealing with a lot of personal and family issues. My faith is what pushed me through. During Year 11, the catechist program was offered at school as part of community service. 

I believed this was my calling to give back to God for looking out for me and pushing me through all those years.
I completed the training, started helping out in classes, and before I knew it, I was able to start teaching and preparing my own lessons. 

As a student catechist during 2018 and 2019, taught at schools such as Burwood Public, Croydon Public, and Enfield Public school.  This year have taught my own classes at Enfield Public School (Year 1 and 2) and Croydon Public School (Years 1 and 3). 

The moment I hold onto the most week after week is when the students remember
the things they have learned within my class or something specific I have taught them. Seeing their smiles while I share stories about Jesus and our faith is such an amazing and overwhelming feeling.

There is also a lot I have learned from my students like learning how to understand things from their perspective, listening to the way they interpret their faith, that all students are different and amazing in their own ways. 

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Scripture teachers across NSW run approved programs for Catholic primary and high school children. PHOTO: pikrepo.com

At times I have had to adapt my lessons to students with learning difficulties, allowing me to connect with my students better. Being a catechist has helped me grow and flourish as a young adult in today’s society. 

It has brought me joy and enriched my life and
been so rewarding. I have met so many amazing, beautiful students, teachers, and other catechists who have taught me about myself and my faith.

I feel blessed that I am able to help children to have a relationship with Jesus Christ and the Church. My own relationship with God has become more spiritual and meaningful. 

My experience as a catechist helped me to
 decide that I want to study a Bachelor of Education in Primary majoring in religious education, to become a primary school teacher, something I am so highly passionate about after becoming a catechist. 

“I feel blessed that I am able to help children to have a relationship with Jesus Christ and the Church.”

If it wasn’t for the CCD catechist program, I would not have built up the confidence, motivation, or influence to study to become a teacher. 

I believe becoming a catechist is such a fulfilling, rewarding, and irreplaceable opportunity. Helping others deepen their relationship with God, and their faith, you will carry out your baptismal call to share in Jesus’ ministry. 

I am so grateful to the CCD especially my mentor Suzanne Miceli, Southern Cross Catholic College, and all the public schools that allowed me to share my faith and teach scripture to students. 

I thank God every day for allowing me to pursue this opportunity and will forever be grateful for all the experience I have gained and for enabling me to strengthen and deepen my own faith and connection with the church. 

Renee graduated in 2019 from Southern Cross Catholic College. As a senior student she was appointed as the Spirituality leader and received the Archbishop of Sydney Award for Student Excellence. She is studying at the Australian Catholic University, while working part-time and volunteering as a catechist once a week at Croydon Public School.

Who are catechists?

Catechists (Scripture teachers) are volunteers who are approved, authorised, and trained by the local parish and dioceses of the Catholic Church.
Special Religious Education (SRE) can only be provided by a religious group approved by the Department of Education.
The Catholic Church is an approved provider.
For more information: https://ccd.sydneycatholic.org

 

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