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Methods of Faith Formation Session 1: Understanding Students and Leading them to Christ.

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Presentation on theme: "Methods of Faith Formation Session 1: Understanding Students and Leading them to Christ."— Presentation transcript:

1 Methods of Faith Formation Session 1: Understanding Students and Leading them to Christ

2 Blessed John Paul II, Catechesis Tradendae (n. 5) “…the definitive aim of catechesis is to put people not only in touch but in communion, in intimacy, with Jesus Christ: only he can lead us to the love of the Father in the Spirit and make us share in the life of the Holy Trinity.” Toward an “evangelizing catechesis”: forming and nurturing disciples

3 How can we meet students “where they are,” and help put them “in communion, in intimacy,” with Jesus Christ?

4 Session Schedule Opening Prayer Paired Discussion Talk #1: Engaging Minds & Hearts Standing Activity Talk #2: Diversity in Communion Small Group Activity Closing Prayer

5 Opening Prayer : The Parable of the Sower (Mt: 13:1-10) “On that day, Jesus went out of the house and sat by the sea. Such large crowds gathered around him that he got into a boat and sat down, and the whole crowd stood along the shore. And he spoke to them at length in parables, saying: ‘A sower went out to sow….’

6 “‘And as he sowed, some seed fell on the path, and birds came and ate it up. Some fell on the rocky ground, where it had little soil. It sprang up at once because the soil was not deep, and when the sun rose it was scorched, and it withered for lack of roots.’ ‘Some seed fell among thorns, and the thorns grew up and choked them out. But some seed fell on the rich soil, and produced fruit, a hundred or sixty or thirtyfold. Whoever has ears ought to hear.’ And the disciples came and said to Him, ‘Why do You speak to them in parables?’”

7 Guided Scriptural Meditation Imagine the scene Follow the promptings of the instructions See yourself speaking with the Lord Waves on the seashore

8 Paired Discussion: Communion with Christ What does it mean to be in communion with Christ? Who has helped put you into “intimacy with Christ” at some point on your faith journey? What have you done as a catechist to help put your students in communion with Christ?

9 Talk #1: Engaging Minds and Hearts The “Divine Pedagogy: God has spoken, gradually and progressively over time. God definitively revealed himself in Christ, who promised the Spirit to the Church. “I received from the Lord what I also handed on to you…” (1 Cor 11:23).

10 I. Meeting Students “where they are” “Whatever is received, is received according to the mode of the receiver” (St. Thomas Aquinas). Early childhood: Teach the great story of Salvation History Middle Childhood: Explain the “why” behind “what” we believe Adolescence: Explore the practical and hypothetical implications

11 Early Childhood Learning to represent the world with words and images Building basic vocabulary about God--the words of key prayers, the Sacraments and the Commandments, as well as the essential stories of salvation history Learning not just “by rote,” but “by heart”!

12 Middle Childhood Able to reason logically Exploring the "why" behind “what” we do Looking to be part of a "team" or "family" experience Thinking more abstractly and becoming more idealistic

13 Adolescence Work on case studies Explore hypothetical scenarios, in order to help develop moral reasoning skills Get involved in authentic outreach experiences Study the faith in a systematic and organic way “The Church exists in order to evangelize.” +Pope Paul VI

14 II. Learning Styles Visual Learner – Think in pictures – Good at spatial perception – Enjoy journaling Auditory Learner – Benefit from reading a text aloud – Interpersonal relations – Enjoy brainstorming activities or debates Kinesthetic Learner – “Learn through moving, doing and touching” – Hands-on activities – Skits and Demonstrations

15 Engaging Minds and Hearts 21 st Century Learners want: Input in the learning process Choices in activities or projects Reasons for what they do Opportunity to use their imagination The Holy Spirit is the primary evangelizer in the Church! Engage Me!

16 III. Teaching the “Whole Person” Lead with Truth, Beauty, and Goodness! “God freely created us so that we might KNOW, LOVE and SERVE him in this life and be happy with him forever” (St. Ignatius of Loyola). “Apprenticeship for the entire Christian Life” (NDC, n. 19). Know, live, celebrate, and bear witness to the joy of living in friendship with Christ.

17 Standing Activity : “Head, Heart & Hands” and the Sacraments Head Knowing Hands Serving Heart Loving

18 Talk #2: Diversity in Communion “Symphony of the faith” in the Catechism (JP II). “Four golden threads of the Catechism (NDC, n. 24): + The Blessed Trinity + Jesus as God and Man + The Paschal Mystery of Jesus’ passion, death, Resurrection, and Ascension into heaven + The dignity of the human person The “Whole Gospel”: incarnate or “fleshed out” in a wide variety of cultures.

19 I. Recognizing Diversity— Differentiation & Multiple Intelligences

20 Affirming Authentic Multiculturalism Beyond the relativism of secular multiculturalism. Authentic racial, ethnic, and socio-economic diversity in the Church. Our diverse community of believers reflects the diversity of Persons within the communion of the Blessed Trinity--real difference within real unity.

21 II. Inculturation and Catholicity Inculturation: the dynamic and creative relationship between the Christian message and different cultures The diversity of the canonized Saints gives witness to the diverse ways that the Gospel needs to be “made flesh”

22 Inculturation and Catholicity “Just as all races, ethnicities, and cultures in the world are represented in the population of the United States, so too do they find a home within the Catholic Church…. “Since persons can only achieve their full humanity by means of culture, the Catholic Church in the United States embraces the rich cultural pluralism of all the faithful, encourages the distinctive identity of each cultural group, and urges mutual enrichment. “At the same time, the Catholic Church promotes a unity of faith within the multicultural diversity of the people. ” (NDC, n. 11)

23 Finding “Seeds of the Word” “Inculturation of the Gospel” looks for what is good or true or beautiful in any given culture in order to lead people to a deeper understanding of Goodness, Truth, and Beauty: From reverence for creation to reverence for the Creator From love of freedom of choice to love of authentic human freedom (i.e., the ability to choose the good)

24 Hispanic or Latino Catholics 50% of all Catholics in the United States under the age of 18 are Hispanic Unique devotions, favorite saints and distinctive flavors to the Church’s liturgical and sacramental life Devotion to Our Blessed Mother The Word casts seeds in all times and places, in all cultures and societies…

25 Catholicity & Catechesis + “Christo-centric Catechesis”: toward a common identity + “Evangelizing Catechesis”: toward a common mission Connecting the Truths of the faith (capital T) with the truths of the people it encounters (small t) A unity of diverse peoples and cultures, down through the centuries Communion of Saints--called to live in harmony with the Communion of Persons which is the Blessed Trinity

26 III. Communion & Intimacy Both respect real differences and live in solidarity with others Allow the Holy Spirit to transform our lives in a process of “ongoing conversion” See our lives in relation to our crucified and risen Lord (Casting Crowns: “Who am I?”)“Who am I? Jesus Christ "fully reveals man to himself and makes his supreme calling clear" (Gaudium et Spes, n. 22)

27 Small Group: Respecting Diversity & Embracing Unity Socio-Economic Developmental/ Learning Racial/Ethnic 1) What differences do we need to recognize and respect? 2) What overlap do we see between different types of diversity? 3) What do all children share in common? What unites us?

28 How can we meet students “where they are” and help put them “in communion, in intimacy” with Jesus Christ?

29 Follow-up Reflection and Resources 1) Session Evaluation & Feedback 2) Recommended Follow-up: Explore the information on child development, learning styles, etc. in the teacher’s manual!! Check out Joe Paprocki’s webinar, “Getting Started as a Catechist” at Loyola Press 3) For Catechists & Catholic School Teachers: “Record of Formation”, including required reflection & documentation

30 Closing Prayer: Personal Prayers of Petition Lord God, source of all wisdom and knowledge, you sent your Son, Jesus Christ, to live among us and to proclaim his message of faith, hope and love to all nations. In your goodness bless us, who have offered ourselves as catechists for your Church. Strengthen us with your gifts that we may teach by word and example the truth which comes from you. We ask this through Christ our Lord. Amen


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