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BEC Reflection Paper

For the month of September, we are encouraged to reflect on the theme Hope: Transforming Self at our BEC gatherings. Click on Reflection Paper for the information in four languages.

Catechism of the Catholic Church (CCC)

Classes are being conducted every Monday from 8-10 pm at Room 1-1, Costantini Community Centre, St Ignatius Church, Petaling Jaya. We invite all those who are interested in learning about the teachings of the Catholic Church to join us. You will get to know God better, love him more and live a true life of faith as taught by our Lord Jesus Christ. You will also be able to profess your faith to others as well as to be able to defend your faith when needed.
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For more information, please contact:

Coordinator
Don Amal Aaron
Deputy Coordinator
Catherine Leong
Treasurer
Lorraine Tan
 

 
My Symbolon Experience

by Vikram Martin

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I did not know what I was getting myself into. What I did know is that the promo video about Symbolon had caught my interest.  After Mass, I was approached by one of the key facilitators of Symbolon. I knew the key facilitator since 2008, during the time when I attended the Catechism of the Catholic Church course in SIC.

What I Expected

In all honesty, I did not know what to expect from the Symbolon course but I knew this particular course would be different from the other previous Catholic faith courses I had attended before. Furthermore, it was only 10 weeks, which fit well into my busy schedule as a teacher. I began asking myself the purpose of attending the course. As I gave the matter much thought, I began to realise that I wanted to know how to explain the Catholic faith (or key parts of the faith) in a manner that is easy to understand – as a Catechism teacher involved in the teaching of the Catholic faith to 14 year olds, disseminating the faith to young minds can be a daunting task. 

What I Experienced

The hour had come. As I stepped into Room 1-1 at the Constantani Community Centre, I surveyed the participants. We had a good handful of them. Slowly, more people were streaming into the room, some pre-registered, some were walk-in participants. I noticed there was a good mix of young and young-at-heart who were hungry for the faith. I was given the materials (as facilitator, we get the whole set immediately). I flipped thought the pages and my hunger for the faith grew. I could not hide my excitement as I surveyed the contents that we would be ‘served’ throughout the 10 weeks. It was very ‘appetising’. On a weekly basis, we began with the customary praise and worship, something I had anticipated. In my experience with past courses conducted in SIC, praise and worship is the staple ‘appetiser’. I like the Catholic hymns played on YouTube. It helped me focus on heavenly things, a state in which I would call, the ‘holiness mood’.

After the praise and worship, the lead facilitator of the week would guide us through the lecture period with some commentaries, and video lectures. The commentaries helped put things into perspective. We were informed of the key questions that were needed for us to find the answer to and reflect upon as we progress through the lecture period. This was where I began to stay glued to the video. It was presented by various American Catholic academics whose lives are dedicated to teaching the faith. I found the structure and method of the presentation of the faith matters clear and simple to understand. As a teacher, I appreciated this a lot. It made me reflect my own teaching style.

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Once we had completed the video lecture, we were divided into three groups. I found myself in Group 2 and I found a number of fellow catechism teachers and communion ministers in my group, among others. This session allows us to discuss what we had learned from the video, guided by our capable and humble facilitators. It was a lively session and we got to learn and share many things relating to the topic of the sessions. I found the environment lively and safe, as we share our thoughts and experiences in relation to the question asked by our group facilitator. At the end of the group discussion session, we closed with prayer and we adjourned. 

Why Symbolon

One thing I noticed about Symbolon is that the course is ‘easy to understand’ and ‘clear and well-structured’ complemented by lively discussions with fellow group members, which allows us to learn our faith better and in a conducive environment suited for learning. Oh yes, the most attractive feature of the course (for busy-bees like me) is that the course is merely 10 weeks, something I found very do-able. 

Who Should Attend 

I would highly recommend the Symbolon course for all catechists, even the first catechist (parents) and godparents, and anyone who is ‘hungry for the Faith’. 

Feedback From Participants

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Juliet Chan – Very informative refresher. I especially enjoyed our sharing sessions. Geri Pereira – More in-depth knowledge of our faith. Very good for cradle Catholics who only received their faith knowledge from their parents. Clara Francis – A good simple basic understanding of the Catholic faith. Just loved the video presentations which explain things in a simplified manner.

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