The Catechetical Review - Communicating Christ for a New Evangelization

Articles Under: Catholic Schools

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Those who have children and those who teach children have firsthand experience of the child’s need to do his own work. The very young child expresses this need quite bluntly: “I do it!” As the child matures, the expression becomes more nuanced and polite: “May I try?” In what appears to be a regression, the adolescent expresses the same need, though not with the same charm: “Why don’t you trust me?” I would argue that the child’s desire to “do for self” stems not from unruliness but rather from an intrinsic need impressed upon his nature by God himself. The... Read more
Teachers, administrators, and others working in Catholic schools are devoted to their students. They want what is best for them. This is why they will want to increase the variety and level of support offered to parents. Doing so will not only help mothers and fathers fulfill their responsibilities to their children but also help the school fulfill its own obligations—both to those whom they serve directly and to the Church and her mission. The Church consistently affirms the importance of the family. In Lumen Gentium , Vatican II’s Dogmatic Constitution on the Church, we are told that “the family... Read more
The two great commandments are to love the Lord with all your heart, mind, soul, and strength and to love your neighbor as yourself (see Mt 22:36–40). Catholic leaders are called to create and ensconce Catholic culture by striving to fulfill these two great commandments—and to guide the ministries that they lead to do the same. In my role as a high school vice president of faith and mission, I work alongside our principal and president to ensure that our school is a catalyst in the Eucharistic Revival and that the comprehensive operations of our school community serve these two... Read more
As the students cleared out of my classroom at the end of the day, I leaned back in my chair, staring at the peeling painter’s tape framing a poster in the front of the class of Christ washing the feet of his apostles. It hadn’t been a bad day, but it hadn’t been a good day, either. My colleague—a good friend who accompanies me, sharing concerns and joys about teaching and life—entered the room. Neither of us said anything until I asked, “What am I doing when I come into the classroom?” This question was born out of frustration, but... Read more
As children, many of us learned the “Alphabet Song.” It is a universally known jingle that helps small children learn the ABCs of the English language. Other cultures use a different tune but the purpose is the same. At the start, a child merely repeats the sounds sung to him. In due time, he gradually learns that the sounds have corresponding symbols. (During this developmental stage, children in a Montessori environment trace sandpaper letters, providing a heightened sensorial experience that strengthens the sound-symbol relationship in the child’s mind.) Once the child understands the sound-symbol relationship, he is capable of arranging... Read more
The Rosary is arguably the most widely prayed, most enduring devotion in Catholic history. Many have spoken about the power and beauty of the Rosary. Pope St. Pius X said, “Amidst all prayers, the Rosary is the most beautiful, the richest in graces, and the one that most pleases the Most Holy Virgin.” [1] October, the month of the Rosary, is the perfect time to introduce this beloved prayer to children and to encourage families to pray it together. The following are some recommendations for handing on this treasure of the Church. Remind Your Learners That Mary Is Our Mother... Read more
My daughters’ high school religion teacher was known to ask his students, “Do you know da Way?” Although this often led to fun banter between the students and their teacher, it also helped the students focus on their relationship with Jesus. Wise Catholic school administrators will ask themselves this question but move one step forward. To “know the Way,” to have a relationship with Jesus, good administrators understand they must communicate with the Son of God—and communicating with Jesus means they are investing in their prayer life. Catholic school administrators are busy people. They are required to attend meetings, answer... Read more
During his tenure as the secretary of the Vatican’s Congregation for Catholic Education (now part of the Dicastery for Culture and Education), Archbishop J. Michael Miller, CSB, delivered a talk that outlined the five essential marks of a Catholic school. His fifth mark called for schools to be “sustained by a Gospel witness,” a responsibility borne primarily by the dedicated men and women who serve the students in the classroom every day. [1] The archbishop wrote, “More than a master who teaches, a Catholic educator is a person who gives testimony by his or her life.” [2] Later published as... Read more
As we know, the term “catechesis” derives from the Greek word katechein, which means “to echo.” Our work as catechists is to announce the Good News of Jesus Christ—to hand on to others what we have received, what we have heard, seen, and touched (1 Jn 1:1). For this reason, it might seem counterintuitive to write an article on the specific pedagogical need for silence during one’s catechetical instruction. However, the conundrum gives way when we understand the role of silence in fostering an authentic dialogue of salvation between God and the person receiving catechesis. [1] First, a personal story... Read more