Biblicatical, Catechetical and Liturgical Commission
VISION AND MISSION
The Bible is the source and centre of Christian life. "Catechesis is an education in the faith of children, young people and adults which includes especially the teachings of Christian doctrine imparted in an organic and systematic way with a view to initiating the hearers into the fullness of Christian life" (CT 18). Liturgy is "the summit towards which the Church's actions tend and at the same time the source from which comes all her strength" (SC 10).
A celebrative and Worshipping Community
Towards achieveing full and active participation of all the faithful in liturgical celebration
We, the Christ's faithful of the Diocese of Shimoga take up the mission of witnessing Christ. We shall do so by:
1. Being a dynamic and evolving Church firmly rooted in revitalised faith and witnessing Christian values in the context of a changing society;
2. Fulfilling its call to be a witnessing Church through its:
* religious leadership,
* animation through spiritual guidance and counseling;
* institutional work in education, health and social welfare; and
* integrated pastoral service especially to the youth, women, the aged and the physically challenged;
3. Fostering dialogue with other Churches and ecclesial communities with ecumenical purpose;
4. Holding firmly to the Christian values in its inter-faith milieu;
5. Developing the human, material and financial resources to facilitate missionary work.
Director and Members
Rev. Fr. Franics Fernandes
: Sacred Heart P.U College
Sacred Heart Cathedral Campus
B. H. Road,
Shimoga - 577 201
The Bible is the source and centre of Christian life. The reading of the Bible must lead the faithful to pray, meditate and concretely put into practice the message that they receive to spread the Kingdom of God. The motto of every Christ's faithful must be to know the Bible and serve the people. In a world threatened by new movements towards indifferentism the Word of God must "pierce through the bones and marrows" (Heb. 4:12) to establish God's Kingdom with all its demands by establishing a new society of love, peace and justice. In this way the Biblical ministry must be a truly prophetic ministry.
Every family should have a Bible and Bible
reading during family prayer and prayer service. Every child should possess a copy of Children's Bible.
Parish level Bible Sunday celebrations are to be organised with special courses, prayer meetings and competitions.
Systematic Bible study programmes which are ecclesiastically approved and supervised such as the Ministry of the Word and Bible classes, courses and seminars for the school children, youth, adults, Small Christian Communities and Parish Pastoral Councils are to be fostered and utilised in the service of God's Word.
Bible quiz, Bible exhibition, Bible enactment, Bible seminars and Bible convention could be held at parish, deanery and diocesan level. Movies on Biblical themes could be shown at the parish level. Gospel message could be propagated by modern means like radio and television for the younger generation.
More trained personnel both among clergy and the lay faithful are required to make the Biblical ministry a real mass movement.
Establishment of a Bible Bank (Biblical Literature Distribution Centre) would help instil knowledge of the Bible in the people.
"Catechesis is an education in the faith of children, young people and adults which includes especially the teachings of Christian doctrine imparted in an organic and systematic way with a view to initiating the hearers into the fullness of Christian life" (CT 18). No form of catechesis can be successful unless it is integrated into a total pastoral approach that covers all the aspects of human togetherness, belonging and well-being. Such a
pastoral approach motivates and equips people for a transformation of society and for the liberation of all people irrespective of language, caste or religion. An integrated pastoral approach demands an integrated catechesis i.e. a catechesis in which the parents and elders in the family (CT 68), the Pastoral Team in the Parish, the Catechetical Team in the Parish (CT 64), those in the educational institutions (CT 69), the Bishop and the Catechetical Commission work together.
The need of the hour is to develop a catechesis which will be aimed at the family and which will involve adults in the believing community. The illiterate sector of our people can be reached most profitably through audiovisuals and through person-to-person contact. Media resources and media equipment must be made available to facilitate the catechetical programme.
Sunday catechism must be arranged for all Catholic children more specially for those attending non-catholic schools in accordance with the syllabus prescribed by the Diocesan Biblical, Catechetical and Liturgical Centre. There is a need to have Catechism books for children with sufficient illustrations.
Just as Sunday catechism classes are given importance at the parish level, School catechism should be given to the school going children at the schools. Two periods of catechism for the Catholic children and the same number of hours for the value education of children of other faiths should be included within the regular timetable of the school curriculum. Integrated value education should be introduced in our schools.
A Catechism Day is to be conducted at the parish level towards the end of the academic year. Summer catechetical camps at parish and deanery level could be arranged to catechise the children on all issues.
An appropriate catechism should be developed for adults such as the Rite of Christian Initiation of Adults especially through Sunday sermons and faith formation programmes. A real need is felt to have teaching aids and programmes for youth and adult catechesis. Whenever possible catechetical instruction must be given for all before the Mass on Sundays.
Pastors must make it a point to arrange faith formation classes, retreats, workshops and
various orientation courses for pious associations. Diocesan Biblical, Catechetical and Liturgical Centre could make use of Small Christian Communities as a basic forum for adult catechesis.
Efforts must be made to have trained and committed catechists and catechism teachers. Regular training programme should be organised for catechism teachers in Catechesis and value education at the diocesan level. There is a need to form Catechism Teachers Team at the parish level.
Diocesan Biblical, Catechetical and Liturgical Centre is responsible for the periodic evaluation of parish and school level catechism. Diocesan level exams and awards are to be organised for those studying in the seventh and tenth standards by the same Centre.
Liturgy is "the summit towards which the Church's actions tend and at the same time the source from which comes all her strength" (SC 10). Through liturgy, grace is poured forth upon us as from a fountain and the sanctification of men in Christ and the glorification of God to which all other activities of the Church are directed. Every liturgical action is an act by which the Christian community is built up into a witnessing community. The priest, as he presides, becomes a faith formator par excellence expressing it through preaching, teaching and the very celebration itself. Liturgical ministers like servers, commentators and members of the choir also have their own role to play in the liturgical function. Consequently they must all be deeply imbued with the spirit of the liturgy. They must be trained to perform their functions in a correct and orderly manner (SC 28-29).
Proper liturgical formation should be imparted to the liturgical ministers such as readers, lectors, servers, altar boys, choir members and other extra-ordinary ministers either at the parish or the deanery level so that they discharge their office with dignity and piety. Liturgical formation programmes are to be organised at the diocesan level to form the clergy and the religious in view of updating their knowledge of the liturgical celebrations so that they can be effective animators of liturgy.
Parish Biblical, Catechetical and Liturgical Team should be set up to plan, conduct and evaluate the liturgical celebration of the parish, especially the Sunday Mass. Lay leaders emerging in the Small Christian Communities could be involved in these teams.
More relevant celebration of the parish liturgy, especially at key moments of people's lives is to be done in every parish. Advantage can be taken of these occasions to make indifferent parents more aware of their call as catechists to their children. A thorough catechesis, proper guidance and formation on the spirituality and celebration of the Eucharist and other sacraments especially about their communitarian aspect should be given to the parents and sponsors at the parish level. Preparation for the liturgy on Sundays could be given to various pious associations and Small Christian Communities in the parish.
Diocesan Biblical, Catechetical and Liturgical Centre should motivate and animate pastors to make Sunday and its Eucharist a participative, community building celebration of the parish which would call for an adequate preparation of homilies, relevant commentaries and proper use of lay liturgical ministries. A booklet of guidelines for Sunday liturgy Aradhana, already in circulation in our Diocese should be used in all our parishes.
Baptism could be celebrated during the Mass on fixed Sundays to enable communitarian participation. Celebration of even the other sacraments must be community oriented.
Children's Masses are to be arranged every Sunday when the children can have active
participation. Nanna Balipooje brought out by the Diocesan Biblical, Catechetical and Liturgical Centre must be used to facilitate children's mass.
The priests and the religious should arrange confessions for children at least once a month. Before Christmas, Easter and parish feasts a penitential service or a day's retreat ending with confession is needed in the parish.
Children must be prepared for the First Holy Communion and Confirmation with at least a month's training and catechesis. The parents of these children could have a day's recollection ending with confession so that they would lead the children for the First Holy Communion and Confirmation.
Masses could be celebrated in the houses of the sick with due regard to the norms of the Church and the diocesan regulations.
Lay faithful need to be introduced to the Liturgy of the Hours. The community celebration of the Liturgy of the Hours in parishes is strongly encouraged.
Popular devotions/ celebrations should be the occasions for faith formation so that people benefit from the meaningful celebration of the liturgy conducted in shrines and other places of public worship.
All important parish feasts should be celebrated by the entire parish community. The Small Christian Communities could be more involved in the organisation of novenas and feasts. Moderation must be observed with regard to decorations, video filming and photography during liturgical celebrations.
Updated and approved Liturgical norms/ guidelines and hymn books duly approved by the diocesan Bishop, to be used in liturgical celebrations, will be brought out by the Diocesan Biblical, Catechetical and Liturgical Centre. There should be strict adherence to liturgical norms in all liturgical celebrations. Norms established by the regional and the diocesan commission for liturgical singing are to be complied with. A comprehensive and extensive catechesis must be undertaken before any liturgical implementation.
Parish choirs ought to promote better and prayerful participation by the local community. It should only sustain the liturgical singing and not dominate it. Hence choirs that tend to be showy and performance oriented are discouraged.