The Mobokoli Catechetical, Pastoral and Ecological Formation Centre created and expanded in the Diocese of Lolo, began to function during the 2018-2019 academic year.
It is unique since it is open only to catechist couples living a Christian marriage. The underlying conviction is that the work of evangelization is something that engages the whole family. In fact: Married catechists are asked to bear coherent witness to the Christian value of marriage, living the sacrament in total fidelity and educating their children responsibly. This spirituality, linked to marriage, has a positive and characteristic impact on the catechist's own activity. Catechists will do well to involve their spouses and children in their service, so that the whole family will truly be a cell of apostolic influence. (C.E.P.: Guide for Catechists, 1993).
Thus, the catechist chosen by the parish priest and the parish council comes to the Center with his spouse and children (at most 4). The candidates are chosen by age, previous studies and mastery of French.
Each year, the center welcomes 10 families, whose medical and academic needs as well as room and board are all provided for by the center. All of this is possible because of the subsidy the Diocese receives from the Pontifical Mission Society of the Propagation of the Faith. Food is also supplied monthly by the parishes that sent the catechist family for training at the center.
The official “seal” of the formation center has an image of the Bible and an instrument of daily labor, which symbolizes St. Benedict’s adage of "Ora et labora" - pray and work. This symbolizes the very spirit of the formation provided by the center.
The spouses are formed in basic theology, spirituality, sacred scripture, catechetics, and pedagogy. They are also schooled in matters of agriculture, animal husbandry in both theoretically and practically, cultivating model rice and manioc corn fields, practicing various methods of raising poultry, sheep and goats, etc. Spouses are formed in basic language skills (reading/writing), sewing, life education, catechesis of children, young girls and women.
At the end of the formation year during the solemn celebration of the Eucharist, the Bishop gives the catechist couple a bible and a long machete for work in the fields for their mission of evangelization. During the Mass, the pastor of the parish or origin of the couple formally sends the couple on mission in different regions of the parish. The couple then returns monthly to the formation center for ongoing formation and sharing of experiences as catechists.
In 2020, the Diocese helped form 204 catechists, of which 46 were full time and 158, part time and 55 catechist volunteers.
We pray for our catechists that are on the front lines of evangelization in our parishes, quasi parishes and sub parishes. May God bless them abundantly!