Theme 1: What keeps us apart?
- identify and analyze examples of prejudice
- suggest ways that they could respond with compassion to situations of injustice
- demonstrate an understanding of how responding with com- passion leads to peace
- Christian justice is rooted in love. It is based not only on fairness, but also on mercy and compassion.
- Compassion is the ability to feel and act with and for another. It is not pity.
- Respect for the human person considers the other “another self.” It presupposes respect for the fundamental rights that flow from the dignity intrinsic to the person. (CCC #1944)
- Peace is the fruit of justice.
- “Blessed are those who hunger and thirst for righteousness, for they will be filled” (Matthew 5.6).
Theme 2: How much is enough?
- identify social justice issues
- perceive the challenge of God’s preferential option for the poor
- use the preferential option for the poor as the criterion for analyzing social injustice issues
- acknowledge that the love of God for all people demands justice
- “Blessed are those who are persecuted for righteousness’ sake, for theirs is the kingdom of heaven” (Matthew 5.10).
- “Blessed are you who are poor, for yours is the kingdom of God” (Luke 6.20).
- As Christians we are called to see that a wide variety of issues are issues of justice: for example, poverty, unjust labour practices, immigration, refugees, ecology, unemployment, consumer justice, land use.
- Christian justice challenges individuals and society to work for the kingdom of God. Promoting justice is not an option for Christians – it is an integral part of our mission.
- The Church informs our judgment of social justice issues.
- Christians are called to respond to God’s love by making changes to address injustice in the world.
- The preferential option for the poor colours the Christian understanding of justice.
Theme 3: How can the earth survive?
- define justice in terms of respect for the integrity and balance of creation
- explain how justice is a demand of natural law
- evaluate their lifestyle in terms of its ecological impact
- identify the correlation between their relationship with God and their relationship with others and the earth
- “Blessed are the meek, for they will inherit the earth” (Matthew 5.5).
- Justice is both a demand and an outcome of natural law.
- The earth is ultimately a common heritage, the fruits of which are for the benefit of all.
- Modern society will find no solution to the ecological problem unless it takes a serious look at its lifestyle.
- Contact with nature has deep restorative power that can impart peace and serenity.
- The commitment of believers to a healthy environment for everyone stems directly from their belief in God the creator.
- Humanity’s dominion over inanimate and other living beings granted by the Creator is not absolute; it is limited by concern for the quality of life of one’s neighbour, including generations to come; it requires a religious respect for the integrity of creation (CCC # 2415).
Theme 1: How do I look?
- value the sacredness of the human body, regardless of appearance
- identify ways that we can co-operate with God in car- ing for our bodies
- express ways in which the Incarnation shows the sacredness of the human body
- respect physical change as integral to God’s creation of us
- understand the ways we use our bodies in prayer
- The Incarnation shows us the sacredness of the human body.
- Jesus affirms the dignity of every person.
- We are made in the image and likeness of God.
- The fifth commandment underlines the sacredness of human life.
- We are called to co-operate with God in the care of our bodies.
- God’s creation of us does not end: we constantly change physically; we are called to respect that change in ourselves and others.
Theme 2: How do I know what I know?
- identify their own preferred ways of learning
- name a variety of ways of learning and of growing intellectually
- respect the unique intellect of each person
- consider how intellect shapes faith
- realize God’s desire to be known through Jesus Christ
- Each person has a unique way of learning.
- The fifth commandment underlines the value of all people, regardless of their abilities.
- God desires all to come to know the truth – especially religious truth, which enables us to know and love God.
- Searching, questioning and doubt may be avenues to intellectual growth.
- We change intellectually throughout life; this is part of God’s plan.
Theme 3: Is it okay to feel this way?
- identify emotions and their functions in their lives
- demonstratehowfaith guides how we act in response to our emotions
- respect the right of all people to experience their own feelings
- understand that there are morally acceptable and morally unacceptable ways to express any emotion
- “Blessedarethosewho mourn, for they will be com- forted” (Matthew 5.4).
- God created us to experience a wide range of emotions.
- Everyhumanlife,fromthe moment of conception until death, is sacred because the human person has been willed for its own sake in the image and likeness of the living and holy God (CCC #2319). The way we express our emotions must respect the sacredness of all human life.
- ThroughouremotionsGod calls us to decision and action.
- Ouremotionsareagiftthat helps us to relate to others and to God.
- Emotions are not “good” or “bad” in themselves. “Passions are morally good when they contribute to a good action, evil in the opposite case…. Emotions and feelings can be taken up into the virtues or perverted by the vices.” (CCC #1768)
- Our faith guides our expression of emotions so that we, and those with whom we relate, become more loving.
Theme 4: How do I get along with others?
- explain how they are social beings responsible for the care of one another in accordance with God’s plan
- summarize stories where Jesus models how to live in and challenge society
- interpret the model of table fellowship, as used by Jesus Christ, for their own lives
- explain how the Christian concept of society is inclusive
- “Blessed are the peacemakers, for they will be called children of God” (Matthew 5.9).
- God created us as social beings, called to love and serve one another.
- Jesusmodelshowtolivein and challenge society.
- The Christian concept of society is inclusive.
- Faith shapes our criteria for healthy relationships.
- Through table fellowship, Jesus changed the stan- dard for how people relate socially.
Paragraph 286 from Amoris Laetitia
286. Nor can we ignore the fact that the configuration of our own mode of being, whether as male or female, is not simply the result of biological or genetic factors, but of multiple elements having to do with temperament, family history, culture, experience, education, the influence of friends, family members and respected persons, as well as other formative situations. It is true that we cannot separate the masculine and the feminine from God’s work of creation, which is prior to all our decisions and experiences, and where biological elements exist which are impossible to ignore. But it is also true that masculinity and femininity are not rigid categories. It is possible, for example, that a husband’s way of being masculine can be flexibly adapted to the wife’s work schedule. Taking on domestic chores or some aspects of raising children does not make him any less masculine or imply failure, irresponsibility or cause for shame. Children have to be helped to accept as normal such healthy “exchanges” which do not diminish the dignity of the father figure. A rigid approach turns into an overaccentuation of the masculine or feminine, and does not help children and young people to appreciate the genuine reciprocity incarnate in the real conditions of matrimony. Such rigidity, in turn, can hinder the development of an individual’s abilities, to the point of leading him or her to think, for example, that it is not really masculine to cultivate art or dance, or not very feminine to exercise leadership. This, thank God, has 216 changed, but in some places deficient notions still condition the legitimate freedom and hamper the authentic development of children’s specific identity and potential.
In partnership with the entire community, the Catholic school has a value and importance that are fundamental to the integral human formation of children. In virtue of its mission, the Catholic school constantly and carefully attends to the cultivation in children of the intellectual, creative and aesthetic gifts of the human person. Catholic schools foster in children an appreciation of their God-given dignity; the ability to make correct use of their judgement, will and affectivity; promote in them a sense of values; encourage just attitudes and prudent behaviour; introduce to them the cultural heritage handed down from past generations; prepare them for professional life; and encourage the friendly interchange of diverse cultures and backgrounds that will lead to mutual understanding.
In short, Catholic schools contribute to integral human formation. Catholic schools strive to form strong and responsible persons who are capable of making free and correct choices and are able to form in themselves a clear idea of the meaning of life.
Strategies to develop the Human Dimension of Catholic Schools:
- Give appropriate emphasis to academic excellence
- Support art, music, drama, dance and other fine arts and performing arts
- Create a healthy respect for physical education and manual arts
- Recognize the importance of fun and humour
- Exercise forgiveness and reconciliation
- Create discipline policies that are firm, fair, and flexible and that respect the dignity of persons and invite forgiveness and reconciliation
How does Catholic education respect the dignity of human persons?
The month of June is dedicated to the Sacred Heart of Jesus. The Sacred Heart represents Christ’s love for all mankind.
O most holy heart of Jesus, fountain of every blessing, I adore you, I love you, and with lively sorrow for my sins I offer you this poor heart of mine. Make me humble, patient, pure and wholly obedient to your will. Grant, Good Jesus, that I may live in you and for you. Protect me in the midst of danger. Comfort me in my afflictions. Give me health of body, assistance in my temporal needs, your blessings on all that I do, and the grace of a holy death. Amen.
Think back on the times or a time when your heart was bursting of the power of God’s love, how did it make you feel?
What can you do to help foster the “Sacred Heart” for others around you?