Catholic Diocesan Catechetical Centre, Hong Kong

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Official name Catholic Diocesan Catechetical Centre, Hong Kong.
Country / Continent China / Asia
Director of the institute Amelia Lau (Miss).
Legal holder of the institute The Bishop of Hong Kong.
Sponsor of the institute The diocese of Hong Kong.
Year of foundation 1963
Number of staff (employees, freelancers, volunteers) 6 full-time staff, 20-30 part-time paid lecturers (depending on the subjects taught), numerous freelancers and volunteers.
Staff members of your institute They are all laypeople. Of these 6 staff, the director is the administrator and together with 3 other staff, they are trainers of the Centre and the remaining 2 are clerical staff.
Contact Rm. 431

Caritas House

2-8 Caine Road

HONG KONG

amelialau@catholic.org.hk


Contents

Particulars of your pastoral institute

Official name

Catholic Diocesan Catechetical Centre, Hong Kong.

Director of the institute

Amelia Lau (Miss).

Legal holder of the institute

The Bishop of Hong Kong.

The diocese of Hong Kong.

Vision / mission statement

Make present the catechetical directives of the universal church in the local one; Give best possible training to catechists for their catechetical ministry.

Main areas of work

Parishes and Catholic schools, whenever catechetical apostolate is concerned.

Addressees of your work (course participants[1])

Catechists for adults, youths and children in parishes, religion teachers in Catholic kindergartens, primary and secondary schools, pastoral workers (in hospital, parish and school). Some of these captioned addressees are religious sisters or postulants or religious orders.

Year of foundation

1963.

Organisational structure of the institute

Parallel to the Catechetical Centre, there is the Diocesan Catechetical Commission (The Catechetical Commission composed of members appointed by the Bishop of Hong Kong). The Centre is responsible for the administration of the office and implementation of the projects, while the Commission is there to assist, give advice, and support the work of the Centre.

Number of staff (employees, freelancers, volunteers)

6 full-time staff, 20-30 part-time paid lecturers (depending on the subjects taught), numerous freelancers and volunteers.

Staff members of your institute[2]

They are all laypeople. Of these 6 staff, the director is the administrator and together with 3 other staff, they are trainers of the Centre and the remaining 2 are clerical staff.

Qualifications of staff members of your institute

The training staff requires a minimum qualification of bachelor degree in Religious or Catechetical Study of Theology.

Questions relating to the work of your institute

What pastoral options do you feel obliged to?

To enhance the faith of the catechists, pastoral workers and religion teachers, to give them solid training and proper formation.

What are the pastoral focus areas of your institute?

Catechetical ministry of the diocese.

What pastoral aims does your institute pursue?

The promotion of a holistic and organic catechesis and education of faith through the formation of catechists and religion teachers, and supports given to them.

What pastoral services does your institute provide?

Long and short term Catechetical Training Courses, seminars and workshops, teaching materials, aid and support.

What pastoral processes have you initiated or accompanied recently?

Emphasizing more on the importance of spirituality of the catechists within an organic understanding of revelation and transmission.

Oral examinations are inserted to evaluate the result of the training.

To write a local Catechetical Directory to give more guidelines and directives about catechizing and teaching religion.

What does this mean for the areas of catechesis, deaconry and liturgy?

It gives a more concrete measure on the result of our training.

What notion of God inspires your work?

God provides. Therefore, try our best, and let God do the rest.

In how far does Christian spirituality shape your work?

Be open to the evangelical mission of the Church, and trust in God's care.

What processes do you use or develop to analyse reality? How are these elaborated and how are they linked to pastoral care? How do you pass these processes on?

The General Directory for Catechesis (1997) of the Congregation for the Clergy is the foundation from which our ministry derives. Out from this Directory, we develop a local one to give guidance to the whole diocese's catechetical ministry. The directives are written after years of local experiences in catechesis, which are much inculturated in liturgical celebration and sociological context.

What prophetic approaches does the institute put into practice with a view to shaping society?

A good catechesis should proclaim a message of liberation and salvation, and present Christian social morality. That is what the Centre is trying to do in her work.

What does the work of the institute involve exactly? (Framework conditions? Publications? Courses? Lectures? Congress?...)

Training courses, seminars and workshops which prepare, form and refresh the catechists and religion teachers for their catechetical and faith formation task. The Centre also writes and provides catechetical materials, and organizes diocesan liturgies for RCIA programs.

What magazines, periodicals, books, manuals, work aids, methodological instructions etc. does your institute publish?

Chinese catechism books, textbooks for religion subjects for Catholic schools, catechetical and methodological material and articles for local Catholic newspaper, magazine and websites.

What do you consider to be the most important service of your institute?

To train catechists so that they may in turn help people grow in faith through the catechetical ministry in the church.

How do you evaluate the work of your institute?

On the right track, since we have always been paying attention and following closely the directives of the Mother Church. However, there is much room for enhancement and development on all fields of catechesis in this diocese.

What are the most important developments that you are dealing with at present?

To increase man-power and to give a fuller development to some areas such as family catechesis and for persons with disabilities or special need.

What are the main difficulties your institute is confronted with in its work?

The foundation of faith of some of the catechists is week and professional trainers for catechists at the diocesan level are few.

What challenges do you perceive for your institute at present?

Certain people, including priests, regard catechesis something simple and can be done as wished.

What hopes, dreams and visions do you have for your institute?

More trainers and mentors for the catechists.

To what extent does your institute support laypeople in the Church and in society?

The majority of the catechists are volunteer lay persons in Hong Kong. That's already something rather encouraging.

How do you communicate your experiences and results to the respective local church, to neighbouring local churches and to other addressees (e.g. institutions affiliated to you)?

Hong Kong is a small diocese, though the number of Chinese Catholics' within the diocese may be high in comparison with other dioceses. The Hong Kong diocese does not belong to any Bishops' Conference, but still it maintains a close relationship with the diocese in Taiwan and the Mainland China, especially in the exchange of catechetical experiences because we all use the same language.

To what extent does cooperation with the Bishops' Conference of your country or with your diocese take place?

Not applicable.

What linkages/networks are in existence at national level?

For about 20 years, whenever arrangement can be made, we conduct training workshops, seminars or give lessons in catechesis to priest, religious and seminarians in some of the dioceses in China. We also receive Chinese priest, religious and lay persons visiting Hong Kong, by sharing our catechetical experiences with them. Our website is another effective platform of sharing our work.

What linkages/networks are in existence at international level?

Our linkage/network at international level is mostly with the Chinese communities in other countries.

What kind of interreligious cooperation does take place with non-Christian religions?

The Catholic diocese of Hong Kong has a very good relationship with other main religions here. We do not have to carry out this kind of cooperation purposefully, but we will join those interreligious functions whenever requested.

What kind of ecumenical cooperation does take place with non-Catholic churches?

The answer is more or less like that of number 24.

Which theological mergers/associations are you affiliated with (personally or as an institute)?

We have close relationship with local Catholic theological and biblical institutes, i.e. the Holy Spirit College of Philosophy and Theology, and the Hong Kong Catholic Biblical Institute, but not their affiliation.

How can we assist you with your intercontinental exchanges and with exchanges between the continents?

Through media, news on websites or anything of this kind in English.


  1. It would be interesting to know among other things whether course participants are active at parish, diocesan or supra-diocesan level and whether courses are attended by priests, religious or laypeople.
  2. It would be interesting to know among other things whether the staff members of the institute are priests, religious or laypeople.