‘Every one of the baptised needs and has the right to an appropriate catechesis.’

This is the motto of the catechetical department of the diocese of Dakar and Medina in Senegal. Its goal is to support the Church-run Catholic schools in the country.

Here, where 90% of the population are Muslims and just 5% are Christians, and where three in every five people are younger than 20, the catechism ensures spiritual survival. Only a few young people here have access to mobile phones or other modern means of communications, so books are essential. As many people are still illiterate the books help to teach them.

‘Our Church is young and dynamic’, says Father Raymond Ndione, who is responsible for distributing the catechism. And he adheres closely to what Rome says – that the catechism must be appropriate in its methods and must strengthen the Faith.

This is exactly what the 72-page catechism book ‘Jesus, you invite me’ is and does for the classes of 7 to 8-year-old pupils. The need is great, and now he has to print 6,000 more copies. In many cases it is the only book these schoolchildren have, and even though it only costs less than one euro, they still cannot afford it. So we have promised Father Raymond to cover the cost of a reprint, so that the pupils can respond to the invitation of Jesus.

This article can be found in Mirror 0617.