In today’s video I want to talk about the tension between the demands and pressures of your work as a Catholic teacher and the fact that God is the God of all abundance. Surely, we think, “If God is so powerful and so capable then why do I still find my vocation and teaching work can often be a real challenge?” (more…)
There is nothing new under the sun! Everyday we hear of some new scandal or public failing. I’m sure they’ve always been happening it’s just that our modern news and social media cycles make it more obvious. What is strange is that for all its repetitiveness many of our social and political ‘leaders’ want us to believe that we can construct some kind of utopian society where these behaviours will cease to exist. (more…)
Sometime in the first century BC the Roman poet Lucretius sat down to pen a few lines aiming to explain the essence of epicurean philosophy. 7400 dactylic hexameters later he had completed his magnificent De rerum natura – On The Nature of Things. For Lucretius, as for many ancient philosophers, it was essential to know the very essence of a thing, to know its constituent parts, its distinctive attributes. To not know a thing in this way was to fail to grasp its purpose and its potential and to be rendered ineffective in its appropriate use. Twenty-two centuries later we find ourselves in a landscape where relatively few, even within the Church herself, could claim to intimately understand the nature and meaning of the term catechesis and its distinctive attributes. What is an authentic Catholic understanding of catechesis? What does it mean to suggest that a truly Catholic catechesis would be only, always and ever, christocentric? (more…)
Lesson planning in a Catholic school is not always the easiest task that the modern Catholic teacher faces. How can they ensure that what they are putting together will be truly and authentically Catholic. The good news is that there is one essential filter that will always help the modern Catholic teacher get it right.
At the very heart of all Catholic education is the crucial mission of revealing Jesus to young people. Catholic schools don’t simply exist to get kids into college, make people ‘nice’ or give parents a break for a few hours per day. They exist as a central arm of the missionary activity. In short, the exist to make Jesus known and loved.
One of the very first documents from Pope John Paul II was Catechesi Tradendae or as it is also known “Catechesis In Our Time.’ It was a response to the fourth synod of Bishops and grew out of the work of the Second Vatican Council and also the work of Pope Paul VI. In paragraph five of Catechesi Tradendae, John Paul II makes the important point that catechesis (Catholic education) does not simply exist to out people ‘in touch; with Jesus but rather ‘in communion’ or ‘in intimacy’ with him. Our schools exist to help young people truly encounter Jesus in a way that they would want to have a life-long relationship with Him. (more…)
How do we go about teaching sexuality in a Catholic school?
The challenge for so many teachers in Catholic schools in the area of sexuality formation cannot be overemphasised.
As well as their normal teaching load and many other responsibilities they are often expected to be able to successfully deliver content in areas such as human sexuality and the Catholic Church’s understanding of what it means to be a human sexual person made in the image and likeness of God.
Not only do most Catholic teachers often lack formation in this area for their own professional practice but they also face complex, demanding and even aggressive challenges from the wider society. It is a challenging moment in history for every Catholic teacher. We are witnessing an extraordinary cultural moment in terms of gender, marriage and many related issues. Has there ever been a more difficult time for a committed Catholic teacher to try and share a rich and compelling message about human sexuality? (more…)
Yesterday I was reading Seth Godin’s new book and it raised a really interesting question for me.
My experience working with so many Catholic schools and Catholic teachers is that there is a vast amount of different ideas about why a Catholic school even exists. What is a Catholic school for?
For me, it’s all about the Great Commission in Matthew 28. It’s all about Jesus command to actually help people not only come into contact with Jesus but to actually come into ‘communion’ with Him. (more…)