In this awesome interview we meet father of seven, evangelising surfer and Religious Education Coordinator, Richard Sellwood. Join your host Jonathan Doyle as he and Richard explore the big issues in Catholic education.
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An Interview with Richard Sellwood
What is your current role?
Head of Religious Education- Mandurah Catholic College
What do you spend most of your time doing in this role? Tell us about your work/vocation?
I’m a teacher and so I spend most of my time in the classroom explaining to students the truth and beauty of the Catholic faith. This I fit around my primary vocation as husband and father to seven children.
I’m a covert to the faith and chose to become a teacher specifically to share the Catholic faith.
I really try hard to enjoy each day. All the personalities, all the questions, all the laughs, all the youthful enthusiasm that pervades school life.
What is something you are most passionate about as a Catholic person? What are the big issues, topics or questions that most interest, excite, compel or motivate you?
I am really passionate about teaching Religious Education. It is such an exciting job and an immense privilege to share the faith with young people.
Teaching RE should be one of the easiest jobs out there because we have what people are looking for. Everyone is looking for God and is called to come to know Jesus in a personal way. Everyone is looking for the truth. We shouldn’t have any trouble giving away a suitcase filled with one million dollars. What the Catholic faith has is more valuable than a million dollars in a suitcase and as a teacher I have the opportunity to share this each day.
I’m excited about the role of philosophy in Religious Education. Showing the reasons why it makes sense to believe.
How does your Catholic faith inform, shape, guide, or motivate your work/vocation?
I think the Catholic faith informs my work life in helping to put things in perspective and to not worry about trivial things.
I really like to follow St Pio’s famous line- Pray, Hope and Don’t Worry and really try hard to implement this each day. I try to thank God for both the good and bad things that happen each day and to trust that the loving hand of God the Father is always there.
How do you think the Church can make an impact in culture? What are the main things you think we should be focused upon in the process of the New Evangelisation?
We have what the world wants so sharing the faith in creative ways (without watering it down). Impact culture by witnessing to the joy that comes from a relationship with Christ.
The focus should be on presenting the reasonableness of the Catholic faith and that it is the antidote to so many of the problems in our world, especially problems in the family.
There is much work to be done in the area of pre-catechesis.
My own personal contribution to the New Evangelisation has been to explore parallels between surfing and the Catholic faith. I got in touch with the Bishop of Honolulu about His Grace writing a Pastoral Letter to Surfers. I helped Bishop Larry draft the letter and it was published on January 14.