Why do we genuflect at the pews in church?
What is the Orans posture?
Are Catholics cannibals?
What can be substituted for wine at the Mass?
Receiving communion on the tongue or in the hand?
Why does the priest take so long to dress up for Mass?
These were some of the questions posed to the audience who came to attend the Apologetics Formation conducted by the Single Young Adults (SYA) of the Church of Divine Mercy (CDM), Penang on 20th January. Fr. Martin Arlando, parish priest of CDM had posed a challenge to the Ministry of SYA at the end of last year, to do a series of formations on the Faith for 2017. They decided to devote their efforts towards Apologetics. They were left to come up with a series of relevant topics that would attract the parishioners and give a better understanding of the Catholic faith’s traditions and practices. After an intensive preparation of more than two months they launched to series of formation with the first session “Activating Your Senses During Mass”.
The session began with the explanation of the word “Apologetics”. It has its origins in Greek meaning “speaking in defense”. Hence by providing reason with facts from research, a systematic defense of the faith can be given. Then, six different presenters came forward to talk about Actions and Gestures at Mass, Why we attend Mass, the Eucharist, The Bread and Wine at Mass, the Objects used at Mass and lastly, the Garments and Clothing used at Mass and the significance of their colours.
Each presenter posed many questions commonly asked by Catholics but which they never really understood or sort answers to. They also punctuated their presentations with many interesting pictures and invited the audience to write down their questions for a “Q & A”session at the end. Many of the audience remarked that this was an eye-opener for them and they had come to have a better understanding of the Mass.
At the end of the session, Fr Martin came forward to provide some more detailed answers to the more probing questions posed by the audience. He also remarked that the SYA had worked independently on their own to prepare for this formation. He complimented them on their efforts and encouraged the audience to come for the next session on Marriage. These formation are planned for every two months and directed towards the many serious issues presently facing the Catholic Church.
Dr. Ivan Filmer
25th January, 2017.