“The Challenge to the Faith and the Teaching of Catechism to Thai Youth
in the Present Society.”
By THA SC
Bangkok, Thailand, 18 August 2023 -- On 18 Aug 2023, the Commission on Catechetics of the Salesian Family under the leadership of Fr. Andrew Ekasit Talhakultorn, the coordinator, organized the annual seminar with the theme “The Challenge to the Faith and the Teaching of Catechism to Thai Youth In The Present Society.”
This was presented by Fr. Peter Jittapol Plangklang., CSsR, Provincial Superior of the Redemptorists Province of Thailand, at the Salesian Provincial House, Bangkok. Priests, religious and lay catechists from the various institutes belonging to the Salesian Family, numbering 67 in all participated, divided into 23 from the Salesian schools and Churches, 10 from the Daughters of Mary Help of Christians, 13 from the Sisters Servants of the Immaculate Heart of Mary, 10 from the Institute of the Daughters of the Queenship of Mary, 7 from the Sisters of the Queenship of Mary and 4 from the Association of Mary Help of Christians.
Fr. Boonlert Paneetatthayasai, the Provincial of the Salesians, officially opened the seminar. In his opening remarks, he emphasized that one should "Believe what you read, teach what you believe, and practice what you teach."
The seminar led the participants to enter into the changes in the present world, namely, secularism, crisis of authority, cultural diversity and religious pluralism, individualism, competition, consumerism, etc. People's lifestyles are not the same as before, which affects our beliefs, and challenges us as pastors. We have to adapt, to listen to the young and the elderly, in order to answer their needs. The Church does not stand still in pastoral care and is moving together, especially with the lay people. The speaker presented methods to be applied in teaching catechism, whether it's storytelling (Storytelling), teaching children to have critical thinking (Critical Thinking), using the art of painting and music to communicate beliefs to children (Art and Environment) and bringing them to experience the social service (Service). The best medium is the catechist who must act as a bridge to communicate the faith to the children and the young.
The seminar went well and received cooperation from all parties. In addition, the Commission on Catechetics of the Salesian Family was established in August 2018, consisting of the Salesians, FMA, SIHM, DQM, SQM, ASC, and VDB with the aim of jointly developing the catechetical work and to move forward together. There is a committee meeting twice a year to plan the activities together, including the holding of a joint seminar once a year.