Articles Under: Pedagogy & Methodology

La necesidad en la Iglesia El discipulado es una palabra que muchos comprenden solo parcialmente. Si la gente está familiarizada con la palabra, generalmente la definen como ser seguidor de Jesús. El problema es que muy poca percibirá que el discipulado también abarca el ser formador de discípulos. Al responder a la Gran Comisión en Mateo 28, 19-20, somos llamados no solamente a seguir a Jesús y todo lo que Él enseña, sino también a ir y hacer discípulos. Comprendido de esta forma, el discipulado resuelve muchos de los retos que tenemos en la Iglesia hoy en día. La comunidad... Read more
Con demasiada frecuencia, los responsables de la formación de la fe para adultos en sus parroquias dejan a un lado al Catecismo de la Iglesia Católica por ser demasiado difícil y, por lo tanto, demasiado abrumador para su auditorio. Quizás también lo consideren irrelevante para la experiencia de la gente, poco práctico o personal, o poco inspirador. Sin embargo, hacer caso omiso al Catecismo como recurso fundamental en la formación de la fe de los adultos sería perjudicar al Pueblo de Dios. El Catecismo es un don de la Iglesia – o más propiamente, del Espíritu Santo, obrando por medio... Read more
I grew up in a Catholic home, where most years of my elementary education were at a Catholic school, where we practiced Catholic traditions and devotions from time to time, where we always went to Mass on Sundays, and where I knew my parent’s greatest inheritance for me was the faith. In hindsight, however, I was a mediocre Catholic. If I participated in the mission God gave me at my baptism, it was purely by accident, not by intention. As a young adult, I was in the Army and moved around quite a bit. In each new place I would... Read more
Introduction: Addressing the Interface of Faith and Reason The final installment of this series reaches back to the nineteenth century to highlight the contribution of Blessed John Henry Newman. Cardinal Newman was widely acknowledged to be among the greatest thinkers of his time. His special relevance to the field of education can be found in his classic work, An Essay in Aid of a Grammar of Assent. It was here that Newman confronted—at their point of origin—many of the intellectual challenges that have come to fruition in our own time. Of these challenges, Pope John Paul II drew particular attention... Read more
Because the mystery of the Most Holy Trinity “is the central mystery of the Christian faith and of Christian life” [1] it is nearly impossible to exaggerate its importance in all catechesis, including that of children. But how can we possibly convey to children this holy mystery, which even well-educated theologians admit is beyond human understanding? Trinitarian Beginnings Asking how we can best teach children about the Trinity is akin to asking how we ought to teach children about their mother and father and siblings. Ideally, children are born into a family and welcomed into the pre-existing communion of love... Read more
During my twenty-plus years of teaching, I have seen thousands of students respond enthusiastically and genuinely to the teachings of St. John Paul II and have frequently asked what they find so exciting about his teachings. My students have expressed a wide variety of insightful comments about why St. John Paul II was (and remains) so successful in making the Gospel both attractive and transformative, but one student in particular stands out in my mind for having concisely encapsulated the key to his success in reaching the hearts of so many people. According to this student, the message of St... Read more
When my kids were little, I had the privilege of serving as a catechist at my parish. My experience as a catechist and then later as a DRE and a diocesan leader convinced me that something more was needed in the process of faith formation to help children make their faith real. Year after year, I witnessed children completing their lessons and receiving the sacraments, without any visible sign of conversion or attachment to the person of Jesus Christ. It was like pouring water on a rock; nothing seemed to stick. My experience is not uncommon. In my role as... Read more
As catechists, we often shy away from teaching the Trinity. Perhaps we imagine that our audience will not be able to understand; or, perhaps we doubt whether we are capable of teaching adequately on this great mystery. And so, the Trinity can appear in the curriculum as a burdensome lesson plan that needs to be addressed and, thank goodness, when the lesson plan is over, we can move on to catechizing on “easier” aspects of the faith. The goal of this article is to offer a challenge and a consolation in regard to catechesis, curriculum, and the Trinity. The challenge... Read more
Introduction In previous articles for this series, I have confined myself to authors who have written from a Catholic perspective. While it may be true that some contemporary educational practices are seriously at odds with the teaching of the Church, one should avoid the temptation to be dismissive of all contemporary educational theories. The General Directory for Catechesis makes it clear that the Church “assumes those methods not contrary to the Gospel and places them at its service… Catechetical methodology has the simple objective of education in the faith. It avails of the pedagogical sciences and of communication, as applied... Read more
On May 29, 2012, it was announced that Bishop Samuel Aquila of Fargo, North Dakota was returning to his home diocese of Denver to become its fifth archbishop. Many archdiocesan leaders had an immediate hunch: Restored Order Confirmation was coming to the archdiocese. Bishop Aquila had already restored the order of the sacraments of initiation in Fargo, and even received public praise for it from Pope Benedict XVI during an ad limina visit to Rome. These expectations proved true when in the fall of 2013 the archdiocese began internal preparations to move toward Restored Order Confirmation, becoming the first archdiocese... Read more