By Stephanie Ng

July 12 2021

KUCHING – The Malaysian Catechetical Commission (MCC) annual meeting, which was originally meant to be held in Kuching, Sarawak, was conducted this year via the online platform Cisco Webex between 5–7 July 2021. Most Rev Julian Leow Beng Kim, the Episcopal President for Catechetics, the clergy, religious and the appointed lay delegates from the 9 arch/dioceses and Brunei, attended this meeting. 

Archbishop Julian, in his keynote address, acknowledged the current challenges we are facing in our arch/dioceses, due to the Covid-19 pandemic. He noted that this pandemic has affected many families in varying ways, especially our children and their mental wellbeing. Archbishop Julian highlighted that this pandemic has directly affected our Catechetical Ministry, and is very much aware of the greater challenges experienced by some arch/dioceses, such as the lack of internet access. These difficult times call for new and creative ways for overcoming these challenges.

During this meeting, it was decided that next year’s celebration of Catechetical Sunday will fall on 30 January 2022, with the theme “Family Life: A Path to Holiness” (1 Cor 12:12). The chosen theme arose from the Strategic Focus for Catechesis for 2022 – “Family”, and highlights the importance of family love, family prayer, unity, and accepting and embracing one another. The theme further highlights our growth in holiness as the domestic church. Kindly note that the official message for Catechetical Sunday and other materials will be prepared and sent to all arch/dioceses. 

Additionally, during the meeting, all arch/dioceses shared their programs initiated, challenges faced, responses made, and general experiences with online classes. It was apparent that each arch/diocese experienced unique circumstances and challenges, which called for equally unique approaches in order to overcome them successfully. It was highlighted that keeping in touch with our learners using any means necessary was crucial to the consistency of the Catechetical Ministry – be it through video conferencing, WhatsApp, or other social media mediums.

Among the concerns raised during the meeting, was how to solve unique cases which involved inter-parish and inter-diocese candidates, for online catechism and confirmation classes, as well as RCIA sessions. A decision was made to produce a guideline, which would then be discussed amongst our respective arch/bishops during the Catholic Bishops’ Conference, in August 2021.

The next MCC meeting will be held in Sandakan, Sabah from 4–7 July 2022. – Today’s Catholic