Support the Training of Catechists in the Democratic Republic of Congo
In the Democratic Republic of the Congo, as in almost every African country, catechists play a vital role in passing on the faith. In the Diocese of Lolo, in the north of the country, the life of the Church would practically grind to a halt were it not for the catechists living and working alongside the ordinary faithful in the villages and encouraging them to gather together for prayer and study of their faith.
Many of these parishes cover vast areas with numerous villages that are often very difficult to access. The handful of priests available have to cover long distances on foot, sometimes wading through waist-high streams, in order to reach the people in the villages. It is impossible for them to visit the villages as often as they need to properly instruct and guide the faithful. Thankfully, lay catechists are always present in the villages.
In the Diocese of Lolo, there is a catechetical center where the lay catechists gain solid training for this precious service which they perform. At the center, lay catechists also regularly update and refresh their knowledge. Basic training for these catechists lasts two years.
Since they generally have a family, their wife and children accompany them; the diocese provides basic accommodation for the whole family. While the fathers are studying, their children attend school, with the diocese covering the cost and providing teaching materials and school uniforms as well. The wives also take courses, from needlework, domestic science, and reading and writing, to basic courses in Bible study and morality.
The aim is to provide the future catechists with both a theoretical and a practical training in pastoral studies and proclaiming the Catholic faith. For Bishop Jean Bertin Nadonye Ndongo, the training of catechists is a project dear to his heart; he says their improved formation has given a “new impetus” to the diocese and been a “source of inspiration” to them all.
The need for well-trained catechists is still acute, so Bishop Ndongo, has asked our help for the training of 10 more catechists and their families. We have promised him $14,400.
Will you help us fulfill this promise to support the training of catechists for pastoral work in the Democratic Republic of Congo?
Aid to the Church in Need commits to invest your funds where they will have the greatest impact for the Church that we serve. Funds donated to Aid to the Church in Need’s projects will be used towards the greatest need in our programs to help keep the Faith alive.