By Benjamin Msowoya
On 5th September 2017, the Pastoral Commission held an official opening meeting of the new phase of the Sunday School Project. The meeting took place at Kizito Conference Centre in St Michaels Parish, Chitipa. Participants were selected stakeholders such as; all priests in the Diocese, all Catechetical Methodology Advisors in the Diocese and some officers of the Diocesan Curia Offices that work on the Sunday School Project and all its related dimensions.
Led by the Pastoral Secretary, Fr Joseph Sikwese, these stakeholders met with the aim of sharing the planned activities and strategies in the new phase of the project. Participants are, in turn, expected to share with their respective pastoral teams on how to implement the planned activities in all parishes of the Diocese.
In his opening remarks, the Pastoral Secretary emphasized that there is need to continuously strike a good balance on the Diocesan efforts to uplift the pastoral and socio-economic welfare of the people using pastoral funded projects (on one hand) and to ensure that these efforts do not destroy the self-supporting spirit among the same people (on the other hand).
This new phase of the project started on 1st July 2017 and will run up to 30th June 2018. The Diocese of Karonga has been implementing the project in all its parishes since the second half of 2012. The project is implemented with financial assistance from the Coppel Family of Mexico. The project is basically a more improved/organized effort of the Diocese’s ministry to children.
Initially, the project started with children ranging from an average age of 5 to 13 years. Currently, the project serves children of two categories; children ranging from an average age of 5 to 13 years (called Junior Sunday School) and children between 13 years and 16 years (called Senior Sunday School).
The main goal of the project is to properly form, into Catholic faith, the Catholic Children who are preparing for baptism, first communion and confirmation; making them better Catholic faithful.
During this phase, the planned project activities include:
- Weekly Catechetical lessons for children in prayer centres.
- Weekly Sunday liturgy for children in all prayer centres.
- Monthly collection of statistics for children in all prayer centres; on their enrolment and attendance.
- Quiz and Choir Competitions among Junior Sunday School Children.
- Quiz and Sports Competitions among Senior Sunday School Children.
- Training/Couching of instructors of the children.
- Training of Catholic Service Providers of Natural Family Planning Methods (NFPM) as an aid towards responsible parenthood.
- Sexual Reproductive Health sessions to students in secondary schools.
- Basic English grammar lessons to primary school going children in selected Catholic Schools and on the Diocesan Radio.
- Provision of some religious materials for teaching/learning in prayer centres.
- Provision of Likuni flour (for porridge) to prayer centres.
- Production and airing of various Sunday School Radio programmes on the Diocesan Radio, Tuntufye FM Radio.