A Report on Catholic Teachers Faith Formation Seminar
Our Lady’s Centre, Chetpet, Chennai-31
The Catholic teachers’ faith formation seminar was conducted on 19-11-2016 in Our Lady’s School, Chetpet. Catholic teachers from various schools took part in this faith formation seminar which was a treasure-trove of information to keep them abreast of changes in the society and the challenges of Christian life and to keep one, close to the catholic roots.
The seminar started with a prayer song and teachers from Our Lady’s School Broadway enacted a parable of “the Unmerciful Servant” or “Parable of the unforgiving debtor”. This was a good start and preparatory step to get involved to know about God’s love, Mercy and forgiveness. It was meaningful as we were on the eve of the conclusion of the extraordinary Jubilee year of Mercy.
The first session was lead by Sr. Susai Josephine Rani, the General Co-ordinator of the Province, who elaborately discussed about building ‘the civilization of love’ and the need of “Quality change in families” and Quality change in teachers and students”. She insisted about “the community of love” and about the relationship and openness to life. She hinted that there is lack of love, affection, care and understanding in families and gave some ideas to make a change. She said that to allow one’s own self to be the part of quality change. This can be done by committing oneself and one’s family to the intentional practice of all the corporal and spiritual works of mercy, love and understanding within the home and outside of it.
A documentary film named” Share Happiness” was screened during the seminar. The film revolves around the story of a poor boy, who helps a man by giving clothes. Sr.Josephine shared many stories and small video clippings to make the teachers understand about the real love, faith and about real Christian life.
She concluded her session with a thought “Love every one even when you are not loved in return” and with a song “Nalla thoru kudumbum” from a Tamil movie. The first session ended at 10:45 Am. There was tea break from 10:45 am to 11:15 am.
The second session started at 11:15 am and Sr.Maria Joice lead the session. She gave an informative talk on Relationship, Moral Values, Media and spirituality.She said that Relationship, moral values and spirituality is the most meaningful part of one’s life. She added saying that the negative effects of media on children are manifested in terms of their changing mental setup and the declining quality of their lifestyle.
After the second session there was lunch break from 1:00 pm to 1:30 pm. At 1:30pm games were conducted for the teachers. The games were pertaining to Christian faith. Fatima School teachers conducted Bible games with an intension of increasing the interest of the teachers on Bible, the life giving Word. They also gave prizes for winners as an external motivation.
The last session started at 2:30pm, Sr.Josephine Rani took over the session. She explained about the values from the Holy bible and shared about the life experience of some great personalities. She also motivated the teachers to follow some methods in the Value education class to make the students grow in the Christian faith. She insisted the teachers to explain to the students about human experience, about Sacred Scripture and make them enact the parables from the Bible, give a glimpse about great personalities and to get feedback from them, which will make them listen, realize, react and grow with God.
From 3:30pm to 4:00pm the whole session was summed up through an activity. Teachers were split into 8 groups and were given charts, newspapers, sketches and A4 sheets. The task was to exhibit the love in the family and in the society in any creative method using the things given. The teachers did the activity in an interesting, informative and in a creative way. Thus the seminar ended up with a short prayer and vote of thanks at 4:00pm.
We thank our dear Mother Provincial Sr.Soosai Magnificat who encouraged and made the sisters to share their resources with us, as collaborators in the work of evangelization through education.
Ms.Thalitha Christy Lalliamma. X.T.
Fatima Matriculation School, Kodambakkam.