Religious Ed Jamaica

From left, Colin King, Marie Johnson, Deacon Ronnie Thwaittes (principal of St. Michael’s), Tahira Leachman and Deacon Peter Espute (academic dean of St. Michael’s).

Colin King reports that two of his parishioners in Jamaica recently graduated from the Continues Adult Religious Education Program (CAREP) at St. Michael’s College and Seminary in Kingston.

Tahira Leachman, church secretary and member of St Mary, Revival, and Marie Johnson, member of St. Julie, Orange Hill, participated in the graduation Mass, held at St. Paul of the Cross Cathedral in Mandeville. During their four-semester program of online learning, the students took courses in the Old Testament, New Testament, liturgy and sacraments.

“We are thinking they may be the first graduates from the Diocese of Montego Bay,” Colin said.

Both Tahira and Marie were eager to share how much the experience meant to them and their plans for what they have learned.

“Being a newly converted Catholic, CAREP has helped me to learn more about the faith,” Tahira said. “I intend on using what I learned to help the youths in my church community: doing simple acts of kindness and love toward individuals without being asked or assigned to do so, and helping youngsters feel God’s love and reach their potential by sharing my time and talents to help meet their needs. I intend to do so by participating in classes and activities; praying with the youths; volunteering when they ask for help with their callings; or strengthening those who might be struggling.”

“Part of this is personal growth and learning for me, as well,” she added. “I hope that me and my service can help young people grow in the Church and help others learn and grow.”

For Marie, it “was inspiring and I personally learned a lot of things I didn’t know about our faith. I understood why certain signs and symbols are used and when they are used. I realized also that there were persons who knew their faith in depth. I also think everyone who can get themselves into this formation should take up the opportunity. It’s a great way to become more knowledgeable about our faith.”

In the future, Marie hopes to be involved in youth fellowship and really wants to “inspire others to know our faith and to follow Christ.”