showletterIn a previous post I had spoken of the National Directory for Catechesis articulating that in the modern world there is a need to “investigate new possibilities offered by the existence of the new technologies and imagine whole new models and systems if the Gospel message is to penetrate the culture, make sense to the next generation of Catholics, and bring about a response of faith” (from the Introduction under “challenges in the Ministry of Catechesis).

What will this look like in Religious Education?  How can we bring this New Evangelization into the classroom and engage the next generation of Catholics and most importantly “bring about a response of faith”?

I’ll share three things I think we as catechetical leaders must do:

1) These new models and systems must involve parents.   We must give back what education has often taken away – their role as the primary educators.  We cannot have the success we desire if the parents are mostly on the outside looking in.  We must find better ways to involve them and empower them as the one who is primary in the faith formation of their child.  

2) These models must involve a greater engagement of those being taught through what I would call “movement”  in a classroom setting.  Presentations from the Catechist that last most of the class will no longer reach the children and youth of today.  Classrooms must move around, go to the church or some location that one can teach from but our method of teaching must go beyond staying in the classroom and merely presenting the topic to the students present.    

3) We need to use more of the tools at our disposal – technology.  Media, movies, power-point, video clips, art, and other props to help engage the attention of students.  

These three means are not exhaustive or intended to limit the other possibilities, but are to begin to move toward models of teaching and passing on the Faith that will help bring about a response of faith from those we are teaching.  May the Holy Spirit lead us and speak to the hearts of those we are seeking to pass the Faith onto.