The Catechetical Programs of the DLSU Catechetical Center:
The DLSU (Brother Andelino Manuel F. Castillo Religious Education Foundation Inc.) catechetical center is herein referred to as the DLSU Manila Catechetical Center. The catechetical center, in collaboration with other DLSU departments e.g. LSPO, TRED, etc., makes available the dispensation of the "Catechetical Programs". The "Catechetical Programs" addresses four core concerns in the catechetical and spiritual Formation of Catechists, lay adults and pupils namely: (a) the catechetical instruction and formation of children, (b) the formation of catechists, (c) The Lasallian student volunteer catechist Core group formation, (d) the catechetical instruction of adults, and (e) the (TREDTRI) catechetical immersion program of students.
A. The Catechetical Instruction and Formation of Children
This component involves the catechetical and faith formation of children. The program is intended to address the following objectives: (a) to form the heart and mind of the pupil through the teaching of values and the truths of faith and, (b) to help them nourish the gift of faith they received through sustained spiritual programs integrated into their academic life.
To realize the formation of their mind and heart, the catechists of the center engage in the following tasks: (a) Regular catechism classes from Grades one to six and, (b) Catechism classes with special children (hearing & visually impaired, mentally handicapped). To help them nourish the gift of faith they received in baptism the catechists facilitate the following spiritually enriching activities: (a) Preparations for, First Communion, Confirmation, Post Communion, and Baccalaureate Mass, (b) Recollections for Grade six, (c) Supervision of children's Sunday Mass and, (d) Supervision for the sacramental reception of Confirmation.
B. The Formation of Catechists
Recognizing the fact that the big catechetical work requires both spiritual and physical preparations, the catechists who are engaged in the work of evangelizing through education are also subject to the pressures and conditions of human nature. This is an equally important concern of the DLSU catechetical center if the center wants to find a meaningful and sustained commitment in the task of catechesis. Hence, while participating in the mission of the Church to evangelize, they need to find relief in the joy of serving in the schools and parishes by undergoing formative inputs and activities throughout the year. The goals of this program component are expressed in the following objectives: (a) To develop teaching skills attuned to the demands of catechetical instruction, (b) To develop facilitating skills necessary for the realization of adult catechesis and disposing the young for sacramental reception, (c) To form a Christ-centered attitude and mindset towards the formation of children through Lasallian formative inputs, (d) to form a critical yet constructive posture towards the faith through content updating in theology, religious education and external lectures.
C. Catechetical Instruction of Adults
The center provides adult formation through catechetical instruction. Emphasizing the importance of collaborative efforts in sacramental reception, the center sees to it that the reception of the sacraments by the children is complemented by appropriate instructions rendered to parents of the children concerned. Parents will now understand why their children should receive the sacraments. In doing so, the parents are also to benefit spiritually from the sacramental reception of their children. This component is intended to address the following objectives: (a) to bring the parents to a deeper appreciation and understanding of the sacramental value of the sacraments of initiation (Baptism, Confirmation and Holy Eucharist) in the lives of their children (b) to lead couples in a pre-wedding seminar to an understanding of the relevance and expectations in the sacrament of matrimony.
D. The Lasallian student volunteer catechist Core group formation
The formation of a team of college student volunteers is a novel Lasallian approach to evangelization through education. It started many years ago in the early years of De La Salle University Manila's existence. The initiative came through the De La Salle Brothers who found a way to imbibe in the young minds of student volunteers the value of contributing to the universal task of evangelization. The initiative therefore is a reflection of the De la Salle Brothers' commitment of honoring the congregation's mission. Taking cue from this historical development, the Catechetical center sounds off the need to redefine the role of the Lasallian student in the development of contemporary Filipino society. The Lasallian is no longer confined to the boundaries of academic excellence but is now invited to the mission frontiers of the Church by taking an active role in sharing the good news. This program underscores the following objectives: (a) to identify Lasallian student volunteers with a heart and mind that reflects the ideals of St. John Baptist de la Salle, (b) to prepare them to the task of catechetical teaching through skill building, (c) to nurture their commitment through periodic Lasallian inputs that would help them connect between faith and action.
E. The (TREDTRI) Catechetical Immersion Program for Students
With the revision of the course contents offered in the Theology and Religious Education Department (TRED), a new course offering (TREDTRI) of TRED provides a 12-hour community immersion requirement that suits the catechetical objectives of the center. The community immersion requirement of the course is aligned towards "evangelization". This undertaking is significant for two reasons: First, the center takes this as an opportunity to realize the academic interaction of stakeholders in the academe namely: Catechetical center, TRED, LSPO, the Presidents' office and other departments. Second, this is also an opportunity to complement the efforts of the Lasallian student volunteers who are likely to take an active facilitative role in guiding the students through the process of immersion. This program is guided by the following objectives: (a) to orient and dispose the students about the stakes involving DLSU-Manila and the Catechetical center, (b) to provide them with the venue to experience zeal for service and communion with the young by preparing them for the immersion process and having them choose from the possible outputs expected of them and, (c) to form in them an experience-based attitude to form minds, touch hearts and transform lives in the young.