Pakistan: The Crucial Role of Catechists
The bulk of evangelization in the Islamic republic is carried out by catechists like him who must complete 10 years of normal schooling before applying for training.
The Canada-based Catholic charity ‘Aid to the Church in Need’ (ACN), which has long supported the training of catechists, has called the St. Albert’s Centre in Khushpur “the beating heart” of the Church’s pastoral outreach in Pakistan.
The three-year course it offers includes studying catechetics, liturgy, scripture, pastoral theology, plus psychology, geography, language study, public speaking and music.
There is a greater emphasis on formation rather than mere information and the tight academic schedule allows time for daily meditation, monthly days of reflection and retreats twice a year.
The catechists in training visit the local parishioners of Khushpur to talk and pray with them. They also accompany the fully trained catechists in their work for a week or so.