Online “Bishop’s Catechesis” in Senegal’s Thiès Diocese Aims to Deepen Faith amid COVID-19

A poster announcing the “Bishop’s Catechesis” in Senegal's Diovcese of Thies.
Credit: Diocese of Thies

An online catechetical program initiated for the Catholic Diocese of Thiès in Senegal aims at deepening faith amid COVID-19 restrictions, the leadership of the Diocese has said.

Dubbed “Bishop’s Catechesis,” the virtual program seeks to “accompany all those who want to deepen their faith and prayer, in relation to the liturgical time and the current pastoral events of the diocese, as expressed in the Diocesan Pastoral Plan, the letters or pastoral exhortations of the day,” Bishop André Guèye says in a Thursday, January 14 news report.

COVID-19 regulations in Senegal have limited physical contacts including gatherings for religious lessons and celebrations.

Making reference to the virtual lessons under the “Bishop’s Catechesis” initiative, Bishop Guèye says, “These teachings touch on faith and prayer, in relation to Diocesan current events, those of our churches in Senegal or in the world, and also current events in the country and in the world.”

The online sessions have been conducted every fortnight since December 2020. 

The public celebration of Holy Masses in Senegal resumed November 1 after an eight-month suspension due to the COVID-19 restrictions.

At the resumption, Bishops in the West African country directed Priests to “ensure a limited number of the faithful attend Liturgical celebrations” as part of the COVID-19 health guidelines.

The West African nation has recorded 22,396 cases of the coronavirus including 506 fatalities and 18,908 recoveries. 

In the January 14 report, the head of the Diocesan Communication Service in Thiès Diocese, Fr. Armand Ngamby Ndiaye says the “Bishop’s Catechesis” program is a response to the “deep spiritual need” of the faithful that has been necessitated amid COVID-19 restrictions. 

“It is a spiritual hunger that we have tried to fill, in the first instance, through the setting up of a daily programme, 'The Word of God in our Life Today', which consists of a commentary on the readings of the day by the Priests of the diocese,” Fr. Ndiaye says in the report.

The Bishop’s Catechesis, the Senegalese Cleric says, is Bishop Guèye’s manifestation of “his closeness to the faithful and men of good will, through teachings that are part of his main mission to sanctify, teach and govern.”

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