The Franciscan Missionaries of Mary (FMM) nuns who run the Lumen Christi (Light of Christ) Catechetical Center (LCCC) train women catechists to spread the gospel of Jesus in the Philippines.
LCCC was founded in 1963 to train qualified catechists who are knowledgeable, well-rounded, and dedicated to the Gospel of Christ.
Formerly, the center was a part of the FMM Sisters' Our Lady of Loreto College in Legarda, Manila. When this school was closed, LCCC was transferred in 1975 and is now part of Stella Maris College, Cubao, Quezon City, Philippines.
One of the examples of being a good catechist is St. Lorenzo Ruiz (1594–1637), the patron saint of Filipino catechists and the first martyr-saint in the Philippines. His feast is celebrated on September 28.
Besides, every September, the Philippine Catholic Church celebrates National Catechetical Month.
The theme for this year’s Catechetical Month was “revitalizing the gift of being, becoming, and belonging.”
Since 1995, LCCC has offered a three-year and two-summer degree course in Bachelor of Science in Religious Education, as per the policy of the Commission on Higher Education, said Sr Ma. Silvestra Orbigo FMM, a faculty member and Guardian-Formator at LCCC.
Over the years, thousands of young women have been trained in faith education as catechists.
Currently, the center has 36 students who are pursuing a Bachelor of Science in Religious Education degree course at LCCC, with a stay-in facility.
Most students receive scholarships from the FMM sisters (free board and lodging) and other benefactors and donors because LCCC is their mission school, which has a preferential option for the most in need of assistance but is well-motivated to become teacher-catechists.
Some students are from indigenous communities, and many of the other students are also the first to have a college degree in their families.
The main purpose of the course is to prepare well-trained catechists with solid and deep spiritual, doctrinal, and pedagogical formation. They are to become effective instruments in the transformation of society where the gospel values of truth, charity, justice, freedom, and peace are truly lived.
The center aims to fully equip catechists professionally and to make them effective in their ministry. These young catechists will hopefully dedicate themselves to the church’s mission of spreading the Good News through religious instruction and pastoral work.
LCCC offers an intense holistic formation that emphasizes the FMM motto of “truth and charity” and assures that the student’s academic proficiency is balanced with the integration of gospel values and character development.
After graduation, the catechists are to teach through the diocesan or parochial catechetical ministries and students in public schools as well as in private schools.
LCCC seeks to develop students as effective catechists who are witnesses to Christ, committed, strong in faith, community builders, and skilled communicators of the Good News.
Besides, these students are made aware of the concrete context of Filipino culture and society that influences the actual work of catechizing.
They develop the ability to apply effective pedagogical methods for communicating the faith in an inculturated manner or approach, with creativity in using all resources available, including modern means of social communication.
They are to have a deep sense of missionary zeal, openness to dialogue with other faiths, and readiness to cooperate and work together with other pastoral workers in the service of the local community.
“Becoming the generous and committed professional teacher-catechists they are to be, we do hope that they will witness to the love of God and facilitate an authentic encounter with Jesus Christ, our Lord, and Savior—the Way, the Truth, and the Life,” said Sr. Orbigo.
LCCC is already accepting applications from October 2023 until July 2024 for the next academic year, 2024-2025.
Radio Veritas Asia (RVA), a media platform of the Catholic Church, aims to share Christ. RVA started in 1969 as a continental Catholic radio station to serve Asian countries in their respective local language, thus earning the tag “the Voice of Asian Christianity.” Responding to the emerging context, RVA embraced media platforms to connect with the global Asian audience via its 21 language websites and various social media platforms.