Mathew Abrahim, William Buono, Michael Touma and Daniel Khoury, Year 10 students of Christian Brothers at Lewisham have discovered the truth of the saying that the best way to learn something is to teach it to someone else.
The mates met with the students of Lewisham Public school as student catechists to share their Catholic faith and teach the youngsters about the miracles of Pentecost and Jesus’ ascension into heaven.
Mixing stories, song and a craft activity, the faith-filled foursome engaged classes in the story of Pentecost, which they explained is also celebrated as the birthday of the Church.
The student catechist program has involved up to 300 senior students a year across the Archdiocese of Sydney, plus more in the Dioceses of Broken Bay, Parramatta, Wollongong and now beginning in the Diocese of Armidale.
“We are told to ‘Go into all the world and proclaim the Gospel to the whole creation…’ according to Mark 16. As student catechists, our duty is to spread the word of the Lord to the children of our faith to ensure that they grow up and follow in Christ’s footsteps,” Daniel Khoury said.
“This is informed to us in the Old Testament in Proverbs 22:6, ‘Train up a child in the way he should go; even when he is old he will not depart from it’.
“If we teach the children of the faith, the wonders and miracles of Christ, they will grow up strong in faith dedicated to serving the Lord just as we student catechists are currently doing.
“I’m so proud of these students. Not only are they sharing their faith and being fantastic role models for the young children, they’re passing on the light of evangelisation from one year to the next as they’re training the next group of Year 10 volunteers to also take on their role as disciples of Christ.”
“It was a good experience, as we not only got to tell our religion but also started learning how to work with younger kids who are motivated and eager to absorb the Catholic faith.”
They said they were grateful for the opportunity and honoured to be trusted with the responsibility of helping to pass on the faith, supported by Suzanne Miceli of CCD Sydney.
The college’s religious education co-ordinator Igor Pletikosa said that 16 Year 10 boys volunteered to be trained, commissioned by school chaplain Fr Jack Evans, and included on a roster to cover three classes each week at the public school, which is just across the road and had no Catholic catechists previously.
“I’m so proud of these students. Not only are they sharing their faith and being fantastic role models for the young children, they’re passing on the light of evangelisation from one year to the next as they’re training the next group of Year 10 volunteers to also take on their role as disciples of Christ,” he said.
Doug Mawhinney, director of the Confraternity of Christian Doctrine for the Archdiocese of Sydney, said that it gave him much hope to see student leaders who were willing to share with their faith with their younger peers.
“The young kids love it when older students come in with the catechist and by teaching about the faith they are learning it themselves. Understanding precedes communication and when putting together a lesson they’re grappling with the faith they’ve received and have to present it in a fun and engaging way.”
Interested in becoming a catechist? Email [email protected]