Monday, November 10, 2008

Unfinished business

Last week, we had an interesting discussion on the Catechism of the Catholic Church (CCC).

You see, I didn't see myself devouring the pages of the CCC, much more, I can't, for the life of me, imagine that I would one day sit in a class that would tackle the Catechism handbook of the Church. I don’t have a special reason for such. Only thing, it does not sit well on me tracing how a ‘textbook’ comes into existence.

Br. Eric guided the class in covering the chapter of the GDC devoted to that topic. Of course, the invaluable inputs of our venerable professor, Fr. Vic, enriched the discussion all the more.

At one point, I got saturated with the use of the big words such as contextualization, adaptation and contextualization. The context was it is fundamental to make the universal catechism fit a given milieu. The Catholics of Timbuktu and the Catholics of Canberra may belong to the wonderful world of Catholicism, but their context is altogether different.

Hence, it is necessary for the bishops of a particular country to prepare a local catechism that will help the faithful see the CCC in their own fiber of living.

I recall asking the reporter about the differences among the terms since, they're all one and the same for me. Fr. Vic came to the rescue when the reporter seemed to have gotten confused one term with another.

As it turned out, adaptation deals with fine-tuning the lesson to fit to a particular audience type. Say, make use of illustrations to make the lessons palatable to children or use examples that are highly relevant to the lives of fisher folks.

On the other hand, contextualization sees to it that the given milieu of the recipients is considered. This means simplifying certain terms, or better yet, come up with situations that will make it easier for the target audience to relate with the lessons at hand.

And finally, inculturation is about seeing the values of the people in a local setting and from there we shall figure it out how to make the Gospel values be incorporated to certain customs of the place. Of the three, this is the most complicated as it encompasses the other two.

Now, what do these words offer to us as catechists?

I say, a lot!

The humongous task of preparing the CCC is over. In it, we have a neat outline of articles which pertain to our faith. It offers an invaluable tool to find the information we need at our fingertips, figuratively and literally.

But then, the work of bridging these information and make them relevant to the life of my students is something which still needs to be done by me.

This is possible by not only opening the CCC and cursory search for the articles I need for my lesson plan, more importantly, a Christian reading of daily events and a sincere search for Truth enriches the reading of CCC.