Evangelisation has to start with with primary school children

Dear Editor, The Irish Catholic of Sept 18 carried an interesting feature titled “Faith formation is key”, about Archbishop William Slattery in regard to the South African Church’s approach to evangelisation. The quote that interested me was: “We can lose people to the other (‘6,000 independent Churches in South Africa’) unless we put a tremendous effort into the formation of the people.” Formation of adults in their Catholic faith through the provision of pastoral ministry courses is definitely commendable. But I think the Catholic Church has to start evangelisation beginning with primary school children, and provide each child with a children’s Bible or New Testament stories.

First Holy Communion pupils should be encouraged to search out the Sunday readings in a Bible as well as in the Do This In Memory programme. 

Eventually, the Bible will not be as inaccessible as it can be if children are not encouraged to access the readings, Psalms and Gospels. 

Children’s liturgy should be encouraged in every church, where the young children can go to a separate room for the Liturgy of the Word with a catechist and come back to their places for the rest of Mass.

Confirmation children should be encouraged to use a Bible to meditate in a Lectio Divina method on the weekly Gospel reading. They should also keep a spiritual journal to write down some word or inspiration that comes to them from listening to the readings, Psalms or Gospels. Over time, this can become a valued means of expressing what thought or inspiration flows from listening to the readings. 

The estimated cost of this type of evangelisation should not be regarded as an insurmountable boulder looming up before the diocesan accountants. This is a very necessary expense in the interest of evangelisation of the young children who are the future of the Catholic Church.

Yours etc.,

Kathleen Faley,


Co. Kerry