The Catechetical Review - Communicating Christ for a New Evangelization

Technology and Catechesis: Virtual Adult Faith Formation

Authored by Carson Weber in Issue #31.3 of The Sower
In November of 1999, the bishops in the United States issued their Pastoral Plan for Adult Faith Formation in the United States, which bears the title: Our Hearts Were Burning Within Us. Part I of this magnificent document contains the following words: ‘The world is being reshaped by technology. Not only are computers transforming the way we live and work, they enable many adults to pursue lifelong learning to keep pace with the rapidly changing workplace. Communication technology has also made the world smaller through e-mail, global networks, and increased contacts with other cultures. This globalization of society increases our awareness of and interdependence with other peoples and societies. Adults are responding to these changes by self-directed learning, on-the-job training, and enrolling in continuing education courses in large numbers. ‘Throughout the centuries the Spirit has guided the Church so that the Word would be spread to each generation. Today that Spirit is awakening a new evangelization and a new apologetics.’[i] I can personally attest to the impact educational technology has had upon my own faith life, beginning from my days as an undergraduate student at a large public university. At age 19, should a curious soul have asked me to name the four Gospels, to explain the role of Jesus in my personal salvation, or to elaborate upon why Catholics believe in the Real Presence of Jesus Christ in the Holy Eucharist, I would have failed to provide an adequate response. When called upon to fulfill these various requests, I floundered before doing what seemed entirely natural; to type into the address bar of my web browser. That one act led me down a path of virtual adult faith formation. Eventually, I became a regular contributor on several online religious bulletin boards, both Protestant and Catholic. I was engaged in the ‘new evangelization and [the] new apologetics’ before I could begin to articulate what those two terms meant. Immediate, instant access to an online Catholic encyclopedia, a library of well-written, pithy, and organized Catholic tracts, and an electronic collection of the writings of the Early Church Fathers… these and other online resources enabled me to engage in a deep process of ‘self-directed learning’ that eventually brought me to seek out a graduate degree in Catholic theology and catechetics.

The rest of this online article is available for current subscribers.

Start your subscription today!

This article is from The Sower and may be copied for catechetical purposes only. It may not be reprinted in another published work without the permission of Maryvale Institute. Contact [email protected]

Articles from the Most Recent Issue

Editor's Reflections— The Eucharistic Congress and the Missionary Year
By Dr. James Pauley
Catholics in the United States have a long history of hosting both national and international Eucharistic congresses. The first of these was in Washington, DC, in 1895, and the last was in Philadelphia in 1976. If your ancestors were Catholic and lived in North America, they may have participated in one of these congresses—in St. Louis (1901), or... Read more
Missionary Worship
By Sr. Jude Andrew Link, OP
There is an interesting phenomenon that occurs in nearly every culture across history: man ritualizes worship. All over the world the similarities are astounding—animal sacrifices, burnt offerings, gifts of grain, the joy of ecstatic praise. It points to a universal sense within man that not only recognizes that there is a God but also knows that... Read more
Ask, Seek, Knock: The Pitfalls and Potential of Catholic Door-to-Door Evangelization
By Joshua Kenny
“He’s just too small,” sobbed a woman we had just met. It was a sunny summer day, and the pastor, transitional deacon, and I were out knocking on doors within our parish boundaries. This woman’s door was within eyesight of the rectory, and it happened to be the first one we had visited. The conversation had started off just as awkwardly as one... Read more


Watch Tutorial Videos

We've put together several quick and easy tutorial videos to show you how to use this website.

Watch Now