– Marco Carvalho
The Faculty of Religious Studies of the University of Saint Joseph (USJ) launched, at the beginning of the current academic year, a new training program destined to the teachers of Religious Education that work in Macau’s secondary schools. Since November, the organism directed by the Welsh deacon Stephen Morgan is also promoting a preparation course for local catechists.
A course for catechists and a training program for the teachers of Religious Education who work in Macau schools. The two most recent pedagogical programs launched by the Faculty of Religious Studies of the University of Saint Joseph (USJ) managed to mobilize more than seven dozen people, deacon Stephen Morgan told O Clarim.
With these initiatives, USJ seeks to address the needs of the local Church and of the population of Macau. The dean of the Faculty of Religious Studies says, “We started a course for parish catechists in November. It will run first in English this year and the next year in Chinese – Chinese and English. I think being open to the needs of the Church and the city of Macau is ‘non-negotiable’ for the Faculty of Religious Studies, as it is for the University,” Stephen Morgan affirms. “The aim is for them to teach both children and adults. Some of the students are involved in First Communion. Some are involved in Baptism preparation with parents; some are involved in marriage preparation, others are involved in Confirmation and some of them are involved with instructing adult converts to the faith, people who have decided to become Catholics later in life,” the Welsh deacon states.
The catechists who help the new generations of Catholics to grow in their faith are not the only ones being targeted by the new pedagogical proposals formulated by the Faculty. At the beginning of the current academic year, the University of Saint Joseph launched a training program aimed at the teachers of Religious Education that work in Macau’s schools: “In the Autumn, we launched a training program for teachers of Religious Education in the schools of Macau. They are being taught in Chinese, here in the Faculty, and there are over forty teachers going through that program. That looks as if it’s a very stable and successful and popular program, so we expect that to go forward,” Stephen Morgan adds.
The Faculty of Religious Studies of the University of Saint Joseph has reinforced, at the beginning of the current academic year, its teaching staff with four new academics, reinforcing its critical capacity in Chinese language: “We now have more Chinese speakers in the faculty here. We employed four new academics in this Faculty in September, all of them Chinese speakers: two of them are from the Mainland originally, one is from Hong Kong, but he has been living in Macau for a very long time and the remaining one is from Macau. He was, actually, a former student of this Faculty,” Mr Morgan claims. “This is a sign that, in fact, we can grow big bushes from small seeds, or as we say in English, great oaks from little acorns grow,” the dean of the Faculty of Religious Studies concludes.