Help make God's Word accessible to children in South Sudan
Project Code: 166-08-89
Ever since South Sudan gained its independence in 2011, the bishops of the Catholic Church have been hard at work rebuilding their local structures and strengthening the people in their faith. But there are still too few priests in this young nation, and the parishes generally cover a vast area. Even though there is a high proportion of Christians in South Sudan, and many take part in the religious worship of the parish, the distances are so great that only a minority can participate regularly in parish life.
In many places, it is the unpaid lay catechists who keep the parishes going, by leading Word liturgies, prayer evenings, Bible courses and other regular activities. Hence it is all the more important that these lay catechists should themselves be soundly trained.
In the Diocese of Rumbek, they are launching a major project aimed at caring for and training the children in their faith. Ernst Ulz, the coordinator of the project, explains why the religious instruction of the children is so important to the diocese: “Children and young people make up almost 75% – the majority in our parishes. We asked ourselves how we could best help them and motivate them to take part in the Sunday Liturgy. … Often they go home after the Sunday Mass without having understood what was being taught.”
The key to teaching the children well is to have the appropriate educational materials, and so Ernst has asked ACN to help him with a proper “evangelization program,” by sending him 1,800 Childs Bibles ($2,000) and a similar number of Rosary booklets ($750). The Child‘s Bible is an extremely valuable instrument of catechetical instruction, whether in preparing children for Baptism, First Holy Communion or Confirmation. The attractive illustrations and accessible language appeal even to the youngest children.
The aim of the Rosary booklets is to help the children “accompany Jesus and Mary, step by step, and understand more deeply what the Gospel is telling us,” as the Foreword to this little booklet tells us. Each Mystery is accompanied by a short Bible text, a simple meditation and a short prayer.
At the same time, with your help, some 30 lay catechists will be trained to give religious instruction and organize Word liturgies for the children.
Will you join in supporting this evangelization program to help make God’s Word accessible to children in South Sudan?
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