Confraternity of Christian Doctrine
In the four State Primary schools within the parish there are presently about 750 children whose parents have indicated they wish them to receive instruction in the Catholic Religion.
This parental desire for their children, namely that they gain basic knowledge of God, realise how deeply He loves them and how they might best respond to that love by living the Christian values would not be satisfied but for the fifty catechists and their assistants who regularly and generously spend thirty minutes per week during term in the schools. In this great voluntary work, the aim of the Catechist is to draw the children to the Christian principles which lead to an understanding of who we are, the existence of God, how to pray, why they should pray, as well as how they should treat others.
Gratitude to God for their own faith inspires the catechist to try to provide the answers to these profound truths for our children. It is a privileged role.
The catechist undertakes a basic accreditation course of about 6 to 7 hours provided by the CCD of the Diocese of Broken Bay usually held in a local parish hall, to qualify to give instruction in the school. Further courses on a higher level are available on a voluntary basis.
In addition, teaching manuals are supplied and ample extra literature and encouragement is available from experienced catechists. Often, prospective catechists spend some time as assistants in the classroom gaining knowledge of how the classes are run.
Training workshops together with spiritual reflection days are also offered throughout the year.
Classes from kindergarten to 6th.grade at Mona Vale, Newport, Avalon and Bilgola Plateau schools receive instruction on Tuesday mornings during term. Each period is for 30 to 40 minutes. Secondary catechists also take Classes at Pittwater and Barrenjoey High Schools.
Lessons are contained in student books which cover the whole year and are specific to each class. Topics appropriate to the sacraments and parts of the church liturgical year are included.
Assistants mark the roll, distribute the lesson books and help in reading stories appropriate to the lesson topic. The catechist conducts the lesson broadly on the lines of the given material but with room for individual expression and the injection of humour and interest.
In a society which hardly mentions God let alone Christian principles, the appreciation of having had some influence on the Christian development of our children underlies the work of the catechist.
The response of the children to the great truths of the Catholic faith and their enthusiasm in many of the discussions in class are a reward for the work the catechist does over the year.
The work of the CCD requires many convinced catholics to help in the growing number of children needing instruction in the faith. We are desperately short of both Catechists and assistants. There is a constant problem with our volunteers who cannot attend due to sickness or holidays etc. Others are unable to continue because of age or they leave the area. The involvement requires some sacrifice, but gives a great opportunity to repay some of the blessings we have been given.
There are two Coordinators for the Primary School CCD programme – please call them if you can help:
Mona Vale – Maureen Wooldridge 9997 4694 and
Avalon - Yvonne van den Berg 9157 0999
For Secondary CCD at Pittwater and Barrenjoey High Schools: Yvonne van den Berg 9157 0999