The Diocese’s Catechetical Ministry currently has 63 full time catechists and 105 volunteer catechists who are teaching in the 105 public elementary and high schools in the Diocese. The number of catechists is not enough. Of the total 373,631 public school students for the School Year 2012-2013, only 209,123 students were catechized while those not catechized total 164,508. Clearly, there is need for more who can handle catechism in the public schools. To respond to this need, the Diocese has to field an additional 110 full time catechists or about 548 volunteer catechists.
The Second Plenary Council of the Philippines, which called for renewed and integral evangelization of the Church in the Philippines, concluded that Catechesis is the first element of renewed evangelization. [PCP 2, #156] This 2013, the Church worldwide is celebrating the Year of Faith and the Church in the Philippines is focusing on Integral Faith Formation. These celebrations lead to a deeper appreciation for Catechesis. The Catechetical Foundation of the Archdiocese of Manila [CFAM] continues to subsidize the Diocese of Novaliches for the salaries of its full-time catechists. The Council of the Laity of Novaliches [CLAN] is helping through the scholarship program for young people
who want to become catechists.
The Cathechetical Ministry plans to intensify the recruitment and formation of full-time and part-time catechists. It is important to continue the formation of children and give attention to Adult Catechesis. Catechesi Tradendae [#43] emphasizes that, “the catechesis of adults is the principal form of catechesis, because it is addressed to persons who have the greatest responsibilities and capacity to live the Christian message in its fully developed form”. Catechetical ministry should not just be in the schools; it must also be in the communities. Adults also need to receive instruction in the Catholic Faith so that they can become witnesses of God.
The Ministry must also produce local materials such as modules and articles that can help the parishes and small communities. Materials from other dioceses and catechetical centers can be used. Mass media and new media/social media should be availed of so that the Diocese can respond more effectively to the call to New Evangelization.
The Ministry is seeking to work more closely with the other ministries so it can become a more effective agent of the New Evangelization. More people can be reached through coordination and synergizing of efforts. For example, graduating elementary and high school students need to experience a Day of Prayer so that they can have an opportunity to encounter the Lord. This is now being done through the Vocation Promotions Ministry. The Diocese seminarians can facilitate the Recollection. This way, the Catechetical Ministry can respond to that need while the Vocation Promotions Ministry will have an opportunity to come into contact with young people. This will also be done with the other ministries to better respond to the challenge of proclaiming the Good News to the people.