.- Nigerian Cardinal Francis Arinze spoke to a group of catechists in Sri Lanka, reminding them of the importance of their role in teaching the faith and encouraging them to read the catechism.
“The Catechism of the Catholic Church is an important book...reading it would improve your knowledge,” he told the group on July 22.
The cardinal delivered an address at Loyola College in Negombo, Sri Lanka, in celebration of the Negombo Regional Catechists Day.
Alongside reading the catechism, he stated that there is a need to live “an exemplary life” and “a life of prayer.”
Cardinal Arinze also acknowledged the commitment and dedicated service of the catechists who teach at the Daham Pasals, or Sunday Schools.
“You have taken the responsibility of your parish priest on your shoulders to teach catechism to the children and also to build up a closer relationship with them and their families.”
Catechists Day was instituted by Cardinal Malcom Ranjith, archbishop of the Colombo diocese, in order to strengthen the faith and bring closer pastoral assistance to Catholics during the Year of Faith.
Instituted by Benedict XVI, the Year of Faith aims to deepen personal conversion and strengthen faith, emphasizing the importance of a return to the sources of the faith, such as the Catechism and the Apostles Creed.
Cardinal Ranjith, who presided over the occasion, said that every catechist should be able to apply to himself the words of Jesus: "My teaching is not mine, but His who sent me.”
“Christ is the teacher who gave the gift of faith to His disciples,” he noted. “For Christians the crucifix is one of the most sublime and popular images of Christ the Teacher.”
Cardinal Ranjith encouraged the catechists to be good examples by living what they teach, saying, “Children will come to a life of God when you impart faith and teach them catechism through your devout life.”