October 24, 2011
As I continue to study for my teaching certification, I frequently find that my eyes have wandered off my textbook, wondering how these ideas, theories, and methods apply to catechesis and the classroom of the Church.
Specifically, I was studying a unit on learning styles — how students prefer to explore information, complete tasks, and gain knowledge. My first thought was very basic: What are some ways we can incorporate all these very necessary and valid topics for education into our youth ministry programs? Sacramental preparation classes? General religious education? There are so many possibilities for creativity in the classroom, and the Church has a wealth of teaching that our youth need to know!
Then, I realized that the Church has known this all along. She’s brilliant in that fact, knowing that our universality is not just about ethnicity, language, culture, or geography. It’s about age, education, mental development, learning ability, and all the inbetween pieces like intelligences and learning styles.
Our Church is made for learning!
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May 14, 2011
Recently, I was reading someone’s perspective on Confirmation and the preparation for the sacrament… all the classes, catechesis, training, retreats, and completion of requirements. Before I could even absorb anything, I was thinking about our class of sophomore candidates and everything that still needed to be done or put in motion. I wondered about where they are, if they are ready, if they are sincerely willing. I thought of things that need to change, ways to reach them better, and on and on and on. I wasn’t really reading; I was skimming and thinking with far too much on my mind — until a single misspelling made me stop where I was and reconsider everything.
The world tells us that conformity is a terrible thing. Maybe the most despicable thing there is! Conforming means someone else has power, not you! Conforming means you have to sacrifice being true to yourself! You are brainwashed, controlled, and manipulated. So the world screams, increasingly louder: Don’t be conformed! Don’t let anyone tell you what to do! Freedom means doing what YOU think is right and necessary. The greatest evil is to let someone else control you.
It is a self-absorbed and hedonistic battle cry. Eventually, we realize that this battle is exhausting, never-ending, and will ultimately be devastatingly fatal. We begin to search for greater truth.
For our teens, this is the last step of initiation into the Catholic Church. This is the opportunity to take ownership, stand up, and claim the faith as Truth. It is the time to utter a final “yes” to be conformed to the Catholic Church, her teaching and tradition, and to Christ.
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