The Widya Yuwana Madiun Institute of Teacher Training and Education (STKIP) went on a mission trip to "call" Catholic youths to become religious teachers and catechists in the Tanjung Selor diocese, one of Indonesia's outermost dioceses, bordering with Malaysia.
Ardya Setya Nurvrita, Lecturer and Head of STKIP's Research Centre, took a mission trip to Tanjung Selor Diocese by STKIP Widya Yuwana Madiun from January 27 to February 14, 2022.
Nurvrita invites prospective candidates to become religious teachers and catechists from North Kalimantan, including the Tanjung Selor Diocese area.
According to Nurvrita, it is essential to figure out the future needs of Catholic catechists and religious education teachers and possible ways to deal with the challenges.
Because STKIP Widya Yuwana Madiun is a Catholic institute, it has a moral duty to follow Pope Francis' call for lay catechists in the Antequum Ministerium document.
Nurvritas says the Antiquum Ministerium uses the term "vocation" about catechists.
Nurvrita affirms that Church needs to be intentional in forming and deploying lay catechists to build up the body of Christ, as Pope Francis advocates lay ministry of catechists.
The document says: the Church awakens and discerns this divine vocation and confers the mission to catechize. The Lord Jesus invites men and women to follow him as teacher and formator of disciples. This personal call of Jesus Christ and its relationship to him is the true moving force of catechetical activity. (General Directory for Catechesis, # 231).
Nurvrita, the young lecturer, says the STKIP’s socialization activity is because many Catholic teachers will retire in Indonesia shortly.
She cited data from the Indonesian government’s Religious Affairs that showed around 1000 more Catholic religious teachers and catechists will retire in 4-5 years.
It prompted STKIP Widya Yuwana Madiun to recruit young people who might be called to become Catholic teachers and catechists.
Nurvrita was delighted to witness the numerous young Catholics, students at various high schools in Nort Kalimantan, interested in pursuing careers as religious teachers and catechists.
The mission trip helped Nurvrita understand how Catholic schools are run and interact with teachers and students.
Knowing the real needs of schools in the Tanjung Selor Diocese, Nurvrita says, will help the STKIP Madiun accommodate them in its curriculum to capacitate the Catholic religious teachers and catechists.
Young Catholics like Nurvrita knew that the journey to find new catechists and teachers of the Catholic religion was a mission.
"In essence, each of us is a missionary, regardless of profession. As young people who live and work in a world with much diversity, we should be excited and aware of doing more for the church,” said Nurvrita.
For her, being a lecturer at a Catholic educational institution is a mission to "call" more young people to come and study and provide information about the importance of having Catholic religious teachers and catechists for the church's future.
Nurvrita hopes that everyone will, no matter how small, take part in God's mission to grow the people's faith.
"God does not call people who are able, but God enables people who are willing to be His messengers,” concluded Nurvrita.
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