The Catechetical Review - Communicating Christ for a New Evangelization

Articles Under: Catholic Schools

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As another Holy Day of obligation rolls by, the question arises once again about the wisdom and sustainability of current Mass provision in our Catholic schools in Scotland. In our Cathedral parish here in Motherwell, we have three Sunday Masses, but between us as clergy we normally celebrate eight Masses on Holy Days, mainly in school settings, with varying degrees of enthusiasm and participation on the part of pupils. What is the point? Are we (as is often argued) sacramentalizing pupils who have never been evangelized, never mind catechized? In addition, as Catholic schools worldwide also become increasingly multi-faith—with, for... Read more
“For freedom Christ has set us free… For you were called to freedom... serve one another through love.” (Galatians 5:1, 13) Diego is eleven years old. For years he has received religious formation through the Catechesis of the Good Shepherd (CGS) in a carefully prepared environment for the religious life of children called an atrium. He is working with a material known as the “Unity and Vastness of the Kingdom of God,” a timeline that takes a long and essential view of the history of salvation. Diego ponders the moment in this history when God says, “Let us make humankind... Read more
What do the films A Wrinkle in Time , Back to the Future , The Terminator , Interstellar , and Avengers: End Game have in common? They all tap into our innate fascination with time travel. If you could travel through time, where in history would you go? Who would you visit? What would you alter for the sake of the future? These are strategic questions I use to open the lesson on the sanctification of time. With this exercise, students are first invited into the time machine of their own memory and imagination. After this discussion, I pre-teach some... Read more
To the surprise of my friends and family, I love being a middle school teacher. While admiring my enthusiasm, most people picture a hectic classroom filled with rowdy youth. It is true, some days I swear my students are on their second cup of coffee by first period. I have learned to enjoy these days because underneath all of that energy rests a deep desire to encounter Christ. In their fast-paced culture, young people’s hearts crave moments of silence, peace, and union with Jesus. When I first started teaching, I wanted each middle schooler to learn how to pray and... Read more
In modern culture, relativism reigns supreme. Consequently, the transcendentals of truth, goodness, and beauty no longer seem to transcend beyond the subjective whims of every autonomous individual self. Truth is a matter of one’s opinion. Goodness is relative to each person. Beauty is a matter of personal preference. Catechists and Catholic educators have been given a great opportunity to lead the young people entrusted to their care to encounter objective truth, consistent moral laws that lead to the flourishing of goodness, and to appreciate authentic beauty. Although the three transcendentals are inseparable, I would like to focus on the role... Read more
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Several years ago, I was working as a parish Coordinator of Youth Ministry, and one of my responsibilities was teaching a high school religious education class. The class was arranged by the parish DRE and met as part of her programming each Wednesday night. There was no set textbook or program. We had a wide range of topics and materials available, and we were able to move as the class needed. The class was comprised of a diverse range of students with varying backgrounds and levels of catechetical formation. Mid-year, a new family moved to the parish. The parents only... Read more