The Confraternity of Christian Doctrine was an association established at Rome in 1562 forthe purpose of providing religious education. Today CCD refers to a religious educationprogramme of the Catholic Church, normally designed for children.
Mill Hill Priests Rev. Fr. James Muhren, Rev. Fr. Ferdinand Vergeer with Sir Charles Harry, Mr. Joseph Loh and others were instrumental in the founding and development of St. Mary’s Sunday School. The Church’s position on this is summarized as follows:
“Parents have the first responsibility for the education of their children. They bear witness to this responsibility first by creating a home where tenderness, forgiveness, respect, fidelity, and disinterested service are the rule. The home is well suited for education in the virtues. This requires an apprenticeship in self-denial, sound judgment, and self-mastery-the preconditions of all true freedom. Parents should teach their children to subordinate the ‘material and instinctual dimensionsto interior and spiritual ones.’ Parents have a grave responsibility to give good example to their children. By knowing how to acknowledge their own failings to their children, parents will be better able to guide and correct them.” (CCC 2223)
Education in the faith by the parents should begin in the child’s earliest years. This already happens when family members help one another to grow in faith by the witness of a Christian life in keeping with the Gospel. Family catechesis precedes, accompanies, and enriches other forms of instruction in the faith. Parents have the mission of teaching their children to pray and to discover their vocation as children of God. The parish is the Eucharistic community and the heart of the liturgical life of Christian families; it is a privileged place for the cotechesis of children and parents.” (CCC 2226)
Therefore, parents must not only try their best to send their children for Sunday School but should start from young in educating them in the faith. Currently St. Mary’s Sunday Schoolis held on Sundays from 8.45 am to 9.45 am (usually beyond this – more like 10.00 am so that teachers can complete their lessons). Classes are conducted in English and followclosely the Malaysian Catechetical Series Curriculum with its own set of books. Lessons forKindergarten, Year 1 (Primary 1) and Year 2 (Primary 2) are held at Wong TuongKwangKindergarten whereas the rest of the students from Year 3 (Primary 3) to Year 10 (Form 4)now use St. Mary’s Primary School (new concrete block). There are currently over 170 children enrolled in 11 classes. The Sunday School is headed by a co-ordinator chosen fromamong its committed and dedicated volunteer teachers and assistants who hail from various walks of life. Preparationfor First Reconciliation and Communion is done in the Year 4class whereas Year 10 (Form 4) students are prepared for the Sacrament of Confirmation.Rite of Christian Initiation of Adults (RCIA) classes are usually held on Thursday evenings inthe Parish Hall.
Being a Sunday School teacher is both challenging and rewarding. The joy and satisfaction one receives from helping to bring the young ones closer to God is priceless and a real blessing. The Parish is constantly in need of more volunteer teachers and those who desire to assist may approach any of the current teachers or the co-ordinator to learn more and register.