Skip to content
Catholic Online Logo

By

5/8/2007 (7 years ago)

UCANews (www.ucanews.com)

MANDALAY, Myanmar (UCAN) Catholic children in Mandalay, Myanmar's second-largest city, are pulled or pushed in several directions.

Highlights

By

UCANews (www.ucanews.com)

5/8/2007 (7 years ago)

Published in Marriage & Family


As major seminarian Paul Thet Khaine puts it, their parents and teachers badger them to achieve high grades in school, seen as passports to good jobs and better lives. Then there are "cool" things to do, such as hanging out with friends or playing video games. Then there is the church, trying to get them to attend "boring" catechism classes to learn lasting life lessons. Thet Khaine, 28, understands the challenge facing him when he helps teach catechism during holidays at Sacred Heart Cathedral in Mandalay, 580 kilometers (about 360 miles) north of Yangon. He knows he needs to make his classes "fun." His daily two-hour sessions for youngsters 5 - 14 years old are lively blends of tales, jokes, newsy items and fun songs, all aimed at keeping the kids engaged. Active games, including hide and seek, help them let off steam. He blames "city life" for his struggle to "entertain" while instructing children, who are busy not only with their formal education but with extra tutorial classes and homework. The seminarian also feels a time pressure, saying he has to "get them when they are young," because they think they don't need to attend catechism classes anymore after they receive confirmation, normally at around age 14. Thet Khaine told UCA News he feels "more satisfied teaching catechism in the villages," where he says it is easier to keep children sitting in their chairs. He observed that parents there do not emphasize formal education as much. "Parents send their kids to daily catechism class and they also attend daily morning Mass." Even in the city, however, "the kids are happy and enthusiastic when we arrange songs, tales, jokes and role-playing in the catechism class." Thet Khaine expects that through these fun activities, the serious messages will sink in. The seminarian said he tries to get children to form images in their mind, rather than memorize words. For example, he teaches them that Baptism is the same as entering the main door of a house or church. "Only after entering the main door can you begin Catholic life." Nuns usually teach catechism in parishes. Seminarians help during their Christmas and Easter holidays. They teach about the church, the sacraments, the clergy, Mass and moral values. Sister Gertrude Than Than Oo, who teaches catechism at St. John's Church in Mandalay, told UCA News that about 20 children attend her class regularly, but more come to prepare for their first Communion and confirmation. "I try to teach them what being a Catholic means," she said. The Franciscan Missionaries of Mary nun would like to see a better program for the children. She suggests a training program for seminarians, nuns and catechists on how to make catechism interesting. Children should have "a new environment for listening to catechism lessons," she says, one that includes playing games and fun. For her, a catechism class ought to be the youngsters' "happiest place on the weekend." Some parents shared their views on catechism classes with UCA News. Julian James Min Min Soe of Sacred Heart Cathedral agreed that "nowadays children are struggling with their education and do not have much free time." The 35-year-old father has a different view. "My first priority for my children is catechism and second is education," he said. "At home I arrange for my kids to watch videos about Christ," he continued, but he admitted that some difficulties arise because his wife is a Buddhist. The church should attract children by providing extracurricular activities such as table tennis and music appreciation, he suggested. Emily Ma Khin San of St. Joseph Parish in Mandalay agrees the church should pay more attention to formation of young people. The priest and nuns urge the children to go to catechism class, but the nuns do not always attend to them, she said. The 44-year-old mother thinks the parish priest should do more than just announce classes. Thet Khaine also thinks priests should do more than encourage parents to send their kids to catechism class. "Priests should teach catechism to adults, something they have not done," he said.

---

Republished by Catholic Online with permission of the Union of Catholic Asian News (UCA News), the world's largest Asian church news agency (www.ucanews.com).



Comments


More Marriage & Family

Catholic teacher sues diocese after she was fired for... Watch

Image of In vitro fertilization requires the conception of several children in a test-tube to maximize the outcome of success, but then the unwanted children are destroyed before being implanted into their mother's womb.

By Catholic Online (NEWS CONSORTIUM)

A Roman Catholic schoolteacher who says she was fired for trying to become pregnant through in vitro fertilization (IVF) will have her case heard in court following a favorable ruling by a U.S. District Court judge. LOS ANGELES, CA (Catholic Online) - Former Roman ... continue reading


REPORT: One in 10 girls worldwide sexually abused Watch

Image of The study revealed that about six out of 10 children aged between two and 14 were subjected to physical punishment from their parents or guardians on a regular basis.

By Catholic Online - (NEWS CONSORTIUM)

The world has a long way to go in regards to respecting its female inhabitants, according to a new United Nations reports. The grim statistics compiled by officials have found that 120 million girls, or slightly more than one in 10 are raped or sexually abused ... continue reading


STUDY: For children, there is NO 'amicable divorce' Watch

Image of Parents who remain amicable during a divorce do their children no favors, according to a new study.

By Catholic Online - (NEWS CONSORTIUM)

"Amicable divorce," which usually refers to the dissolution of a marriage without bad feelings or upheavals on the part of the parents still do the children no favors. That's the findings of a major study conducted across the United States. LOS ANGELES, CA ... continue reading


LARGELY FATHERLESS: 36 percent of those turning 21 this year grew up without dads Watch

Image of It must be noted that there are a lot of individuals, through courage, perseverance and hard work, overcome the disadvantage of being born into a single-parent household.

By Catholic Online - (NEWS CONSORTIUM)

Approximately 36 percent of the American generation, more than a third, born from 1993 through 2012, due to turn 21 this year, were born to unmarried mothers. According to the Centers for Disease Control, at least 40 percent of the babies born in each of the ... continue reading


Remember the Alamo - Texas' abortion law now challenged in court Watch

Image of Abortion rights activists protest on August 4, 2014, outside a U.S. federal court in Austin, Texas, where a hearing started for a case by the Center for Reproductive Rights against a new set of restrictions on abortion clinics in the state that go into effect in September

By Lisa Anderson, Thomson Reuters Foundation

Abortion rights groups challenged Texas' sweeping anti-abortion law in federal court on Monday, as a federal judge in Alabama ruled that the state's similar restrictions on abortion were unconstitutional. NEW YORK (Thomson Reuters Foundation) - In its second challenge ... continue reading


Indian toddler with severe water on the brain survives surgery Watch

Image of Surgeons carried out a series of operations to reduce the size of Roona's head. Sent home after surgery, her parents were warned she had little chance of survival.

By Catholic Online (NEWS CONSORTIUM)

With a freakish head 37 inches in circumference, a three-year-old Indian girl has underwent surgery to reduce her deformity. Arduous hours of surgery later, she's smiling for the first time with a more normal-sized head. LOS ANGELES, CA (Catholic Online) - ... continue reading


European Court of Human Rights: Europe CAN NOT be forced to recognize same-sex 'marriages'

Image of Marriage IS between a Man and a Woman ONLY.

By Adelaide Mena

Is the disordered homosexual lifestyle destroying our great American culture? Strasbourg, France, (CNA/EWTN News) - The European Court of Human Rights ruled that the refusal to recognize same-sex "marriages" does not violate the European Convention on Human ... continue reading


Are You a Ready or an Unready Catholic?

Image of

By Andrew M. Greenwell, Esq.

There are many Catholics who are "unready" Catholics, that is, operating under ill advice or bad counsel.  They have adopted the counsel of sophists, satanists, or doubt-sowers, and have departed as a result from the teachings of the Church.  Their ... continue reading


Andrew M. Greenwell on Same-Sex 'Marriage': Framing the Issue Right Watch

Image of

By Andrew M. Greenwell, Esq.

The first step for a Catholic to recognize his obligation to oppose same-sex "marriage," if he does not see it or comprehend it, is to rid himself of the flawed moral heuristic (a moral rule of thumb or short cut) some ideologue has chosen and which may be blinding him ... continue reading


Pacing a New Online Relationship

Image of Pacing an online relationship is different for each couple.

By Catholic Match

Every couple that meets on CatholicMatch moves at their own pace. For some, it's important to move from online connection to a face-to-face date as soon as realistically possible. For others, it's important to let things grow gradually. Matt and Katie fell into the ... continue reading


All Marriage & Family News

Newsletters

Newsletter Sign Up icon

Stay up to date with the latest news, information, and special offers

Daily Readings

Reading 1, Proverbs 21:1-6, 10-13
1 Like flowing water is a king's heart in Yahweh's ... Read More

Psalm, Psalms 119:1, 27, 30, 34, 35, 44
1 How blessed are those whose way is blameless, who ... Read More

Gospel, Luke 8:19-21
19 His mother and his brothers came looking for him, ... Read More

Saint of the Day

Saint of the Day for September 23rd, 2014 Image

St. Padre Pio
September 23: Francesco, named in honor of St. Francis of Assisi, was born to ... Read More

Inform, Inspire & Ignite Logo

Find Catholic Online on Facebook and get updates right in your live feed.

Become a fan of Catholic Online on Facebook


Follow Catholic Online on Twitter and get News and Product updates.

Follow us on Twitter