Living The Faith
And so we reflect...
It is necessary, therefore, that religious instruction in schools appear as a scholastic discipline with the same systematic demands and the same rigour as other disciplines. It must present the Christian message and the Christian event with the same seriousness and the same depth with which other disciplines present their knowledge. It should not be an accessory alongside of these disciplines, but rather it should engage in a necessary inter-disciplinary dialogue. This dialogue should take place above all at that level at which every discipline forms the personality of students. In this way the presentation of the Christian message influences the way in which the origins of the world, the sense of history, the basis of ethical values, the function of religion in culture, the destiny of [humankind] and [their] relationship with nature, are understood. Through inter-disciplinary dialogue religious instruction in schools underpins, activates, develops and completes the educational activity of the school.
General Directory for Catechesis (73)
What does this mean for our approach as Catholic Educators?
What might our struggles be?
Where are we 'rich'?
Where do we require some work?What can we do as individuals...educators...members of Catholic communities?
A message from above:
Pope Francis proposed three aspects for consideration by the participants: the value of dialogue in education, the qualified preparation of formators, and the responsibility of educational institutions to express the living presence of the Gospel in the fields of education, science and culture. (Pope Francis, Address to the Congregation for Catholic Education, 2014)
The Catechetical Nature of Religious Education
The Teacher as Educator, Mentor and Witness
Catholic educators embrace for themselves the ministry of catechist within their teaching profession. They are called to be transmitters of the faith as they help prepare young people to be “clothed in Christ” and become “salt for the earth and light for the world”. This mandate is even more specific to those who teach a credit course in Religious Education, for its purpose is two-fold. The first is to impart knowledge about the Catholic Faith Tradition; that is to bring revelation to bear on their lives. The second is to encourage young people to follow in the footsteps of Christ; that is to act on God’s behalf for the good of all creation.
The teacher as catechist is called
to educate to the faith, to teach not only the content of faith but its meaning;
to mentor young people in their journey, to accompany them as they struggle with
this knowledge and seek to integrate it in their daily lives;
to witness to the Gospel and speak on behalf of the faith community.
Setting The Stage
- Religious Education is therefore more than teaching life skills or sharing information. It is participation in the essential mission of the Church to proclaim the Good News, and to empower young people to live out their baptismal commitment in a mature way.
- Religious Education seeks to form, inform and transform. The aim of all catechesis is the transmission of the faith. It seeks to foster our students’ faith, so that it may be living, conscious and active as they examine how, as Catholics they may follow Christ more closely and so embrace the truth, contribute to the good, and build a more just society with and for others- ICE
Teaching Family Life and Religious Education
- how do we encourage modelling of our Catholic values both at home and in the classroom?
- How can we encourage dialogue between family, church, and school?
- how can we act as bridges to mend broken relationships within our community and the faith at large?