Judith Dunlap, When You Teach in a Catholic School(2004) states that yes, religion is taught but faith is caught by being around people who are confident and willing to share their faith. We can touch the heart through rituals, by creating an influential environment and again, by being a personal witness. Rituals bring people together; they teach us there are certain ways to do things, they make us feel good as well as give vitality to the people involved. We can grow as faith community by starting (and maintaining) a ritual; it can include words, actions, symbols and/or music. The environment in any room, not just the religion class, can also influence faith by creating a feeling of peace and welcome through the use of lights, pictures, music, rugs, and/or plants by tapping into our senses. Last, personal witness isn’t just limited to staff in the school. We must remember to include and invite other witnesses like parents, community members, elders, priests, etc. to help our youth grow by sharing their story.
I do not call you servants any longer, because the servant does not know what the master is doing; but I have called you friends, because I have made known to you everything that I have heard from my Father.
Think of events that will happen in your school this month. Are there people that can be invited in to help celebrate these events and share their story?
Faith is relational; people influence us all the time. It is our baptismal duty to pass on the faith in how we car for one another.
Judith Dunlap, When You Teach in a Catholic School(2004) writes, that we need to affirm our youth that they are loved no matter what; God’s love is always steady. All people in a child’s life have the responsibility to help them grow in their faith and become anchored in God’s steadfast love. Students also need to be taught that they, in turn, have a responsibility to share love with others by living a life of peace, justice and respect.
Archbishop Miller for The Holy See’s Teaching on Catholic Schools(2006) emphasizes that the purpose of a Catholic school is to be a vital witness that reveals the love of Christ by word, gesture, and behaviour.
God Reveal’s His Plan:
And the king will answer them, “Truly I tell you, just as you did it to one of the least of these who are members of my family, you did it to me.”
In Evangel Gaudium, the Joy of the Gospel, Pope Francis wrote that a catechist must be strong and clear with the most important proclamation of: “Jesus Christ loves you; he gave his life to save you; and now he is living at your side every day to enlighten, strengthen, and free you.” How do these words resonate with you? What are your feelings or reactions after watching the video?
Challenge yourself that when you encourage or console someone this week, you verbally, out loud, ask God to bless then so they can hear holy words of affirmation.
Judith Dunlap, When You Teach in a Catholic School(2004) writes,
“Whether you teach science or math, music or gym, you are responsible for supporting the religion teacher by helping shape the faith and value system of the young people in your classes. Religion isn’t just about learning the facts of history and how to read a bible, it’s about growing in relationship with Jesus and that job belongs to everyone.”
1 Cor 12:12-14
One Body with Many Members
For just as the body is one and has many members, and all the members of the body, though many, are one body, so it is with Christ. For in the one Spirit we were all baptized into one body—Jews or Greeks, slaves or free—and we were all made to drink of one Spirit.
Indeed, the body does not consist of one member but of many.
Think of someone in your past that has passed on the faith to you. Ask God to bless them for the goodness they have done by being a witness to the love of Christ and bringing you closer in relationship with him.