MCC 2022 annual meeting in progress

By Stephanie Ng

August 12 2022

THE Malaysian Catechetical Commission’s (MCC) annual meeting, which was originally set to be held in Sandakan this year, was conducted via the online platform Cisco Webex on 1-4 August 2022. 

In attendance were Episcopal President for Catechetics, Archbishop Julian Leow, and clergy, religious and appointed lay delegates from the nine arch/dioceses, and the National Catechetical Office, as well as representatives from Brunei and Singapore.

In his keynote address, Archbishop Julian expressed his concern as to whether our catechesis is truly changing and capturing the hearts of our young people.

He encouraged a deeper reflection on how to be more effective in making disciples before our learners complete their catechism classes upon Confirmation.

He also emphasized the importance of building an intimate relationship with the Lord and close bonds amongst our learners.

Next year’s Catechetical Sunday will fall on 29th January 2023, with the theme “Renewing the Church with Families of Faith”. 

The theme was chosen in light of our Strategic Focus for Catechesis in 2023, being Family & Church. The Catechetical Sunday’s Message will be sent to all rrch/dioceses by mid November 2022.

The attendees, besides discussing matters pertaining to the family and the Church, also shared their programs, experiences, and challenges – which was fruitful for everyone.

The navigation of online and offline catecheses was also a particular challenge that every arch/diocese have to overcome.

Also discussed was the upcoming publication by the National Catechetical Office – A Parents’ Guide to Catechesis. This book will feature thoughtful insights into family catechesis, and offer parents practical tools and ideas for growing and nurturing their families’ Catholic faith. More details will follow soon.

Attendees of the Federation of Asian Bishops’ Conferences, Office of Faith Education and Faith Formation (FABC-OEFF) meeting on Antiquum Ministerium held on 8 and 10 June 2022 also presented a report on said meeting.

They reported that the meeting discussed the key findings of an Asia-wide survey which included 127 responses from 14 conferences and member countries in Asia.

In Antiquum Ministerium, the Holy Father speaks about the installation of lay persons to the Ministry of Catechist.

At the said meeting, through sharing and discussions FABC member countries sought to discern the feasibility of implementing this ministry in their dioceses.

The election of new MCC office bearers for the new term (2023-2025) was also held. The following were elected:

Dr Steven Selvaraju (chairperson)

Fr Michael Sia (assistant chairperson)

Frederick Empaga (secretary)

Stephanie Ng (assistant secretary)

In closing, Archbishop Julian highlighted the many challenges today which require an ardent response, in particular, the catechism dropout rate due to the MCO, and the availability of catechetical formations for the Malaysian faithful who have special needs.

The Archbishop also emphasized the importance of collaboration between ministries, and encouraged a close relationship especially between the Catechetical, Family Life, Youth, Creation Justice, Integral Human Development and Inter-Religious Dialogue Ministries.

He expressed his heartfelt gratitude to the outgoing members of MCC for their service and commitment, and welcomed the new members to MCC.

The next MCC meeting will be held 3-7 July 2023 in Miri, Sarawak.