Catholic Educators News - March 2007



Lent and Easter


bullet Catechist Yahoo Group — This is one of the most active and worthwhile Catholic discussion group available. It is "for Catholic catechists (religion teachers) to share lesson plans, hints, ideas and activities. It is not a place to debate (or even too deeply discuss) theology or doctrine.It is a list for teachers, by teachers, about teaching." The "Files" section of the site offers a large number of downloadable files and some of these are appropriate for the Lenten and Easter seasons. Free registration is required.

bullet 2007 Lenten Study Guide — "This free Lenten study guide is a gift from The Upper Room. The study is designed for small groups or individuals to use during the days of Lent, in preparation for remembering the death and celebrating the resurrection of Jesus Christ. Lent begins on Ash Wednesday, February 21, and continues for six weeks. Feel free to reproduce the sessions of the study guide for personal or small-group use. Please be sure to note that this material is copyrighted © 2007 by The Upper Room, Inc., and is used by permission."

See also:
Lent: Resources for Catholic Educators — Links to online resources and Lenten clipart


Resources for RCIA


bullet The Web site of the Archdiocese for the Military Services, USA also offers an excellent RCIA Manual called Crossing the Threshold of Faith. This manual is very well done and is well worth exploring. The introduction to this manual states:

The RCIA Manual offers a systematic presentation of the content of faith as summarized in the Catechism of the Catholic Church in a sequence of segments that may be used by pastors and RCIA leaders over the course of an RCIA program. The overall goal of these segments is to provide RCIA participants with a substantial introduction to the tradition of the Church’s teachings and beliefs. The goal of this Resource is to inspire a “living, conscious and active faith” in the lives of RCIA participants. Each segment is designed to invite participants to a personal encounter with Jesus Christ in and through their study, reflection and discussion of the teachings of the Catholic Church. Pastors and RCIA leaders are offered a content-based pastoral resource to assist in their proclamation of the mystery of Christ to inquirers and catechumens making their RCIA journeys of faith and conversion towards the sacraments of initiation.




See also:
our listing of other resources on the Resources for Catholic Educators RCIA page.



Catholic Social Justice Teaching


bullet Fostering a Faith That Does Justice - Faith Doing Justice

This web resource is a partnership between Church Resources and the Loyola Institute to provide resources fostering a faith that does justice.

bullet CRS Education: Going Global with Youth is a gateway to lesson plans, simulation activities, prayer services, stories, web links and opportunities that looks at global issues through the lens of Catholic Social Teaching. Use this resource to invite young people to see the world with new eyes and to challenge them to respond to our faith call to global solidarity.

bullet The Resources for Catholic Educators Web site also has a large section listing resources available under the following headings:

Catholic Social Justice Resources:

General Resources on Catholic Social Justice Teachings | Church Documents | Peace | Poverty, Hunger, and the Homeless | Environmental Justice | Organizations | Human Rights | Dorothy Day | Oscar Romero | Web Sites Reviews



bullet Compendium of the Social Doctrine of the Church

The Vatican Web site now has the complete version of the Compendium of the Social Doctrine of the Church, that "has been drawn up in order to give a concise but complete overview of the Church's social teaching."

The presentation at the head of important this document states:

"The reading of these pages is suggested above all in order to sustain and foster the activity of Christians in the social sector, especially the activity of the lay faithful to whom this area belongs in a particular way; the whole of their lives must be seen as a work of evangelization that produces fruit. Every believer must learn first of all to obey the Lord with the strength of faith, following the example of Saint Peter: “Master, we toiled all night and took nothing! But at your word I will let down the nets” (Lk 5:5). Every reader of “good will” will be able to understand the motives that prompt the Church to intervene with her doctrine in the social sector, an area which, at first glance, does not belong to the Church's competence, and these same readers will see the reasons for an encounter, for dialogue, for cooperation in serving the common good."



Other Web Sites Worth Exploring


bullet Catechist's Journey is a new and interesting blog maintained by Joe Paprocki who was a religion teacher at a high school seminary, a director of religious education and a pastoral associate at a parish, the consultant for catechist formation on to the Office for Catechesis of the Archdiocese of Chicago, and is now working for Loyola Press.

"Catechist's Journey is the place for conversations about teaching the Catholic faith. I'll talk about my experiences as a catechist, and together we can explore ideas to meet the challenges and rewards of this ministry in which we are privileged to serve."

Be sure to visit and bookmark this blog. It is a great new resource for catechists.

bullet This page on the Web site of the Archdiocese of Toronto offers a large selection of useful resources. The introduction to this page reads as follows: "We express our faith through public worship in the liturgy of the Word and Eucharist, song, prayer, devotions, sacred rites and the Sacraments. The resources below help tell the story of our sacred traditions."

bullet Godzdogz is an internet-based project of the student-brothers of the English Dominican Province. This blog was launched at the beginning of this month (december 3, 2006). I find it to be an exciting and rich new resource. This is certainly partly because my studies in philosophy and theology at a Dominican college have given me an awareness and appreciation of the rich tradition handed down by the Dominicans. It is also because the blog, even after so short a life span, is already rich in beautiful images, Gregorian chant sound files, solid commentaries on daily scriptures, inspiring meditations... I highly recommend you take time to explore this blog!

bullet — There is much to explore in this Web site, but I want to point out the following excellent features that can be found in the Faith Guides section:

  • Bible Boot Camp contains a brief synopsis for each of the books in the Bible;
  • Mass Class discusses the meaning and importance of the Eucharist;
  • How to Pray explores various forms of prayer.

bullet Annotated Bibliography

The diocesan resource center of the Diocese of Reno has over 4000 books and 500 videos. Their Web site has made available a commented bibliography of all of these resources providing a short description for each of them. This online reference is organized by topics and provides a valuable tool to help you discover useful resources.



bullet Catechism for US Breaking Open the U.S. Catholic Catechism for Adults — What does it mean to be an American Catholic in the 21st century? The American bishops have published the new, 637-page United States Catholic Catechism for Adults. No time to read it? Catechism for US is an appetizer and a companion to the new catechism. Each month, learn more about your faith—and how to live it.

bullet Church History Timeline — The Evangelist, the official publication of the Diocese of Albany, has a section called Countdown to 2000 that offers a brief history of the Catholic Church. The six web pages (approximately 20 printed pages) offer a good brief overview of Church history in simple language.

bullet The Center for Ministry Development

"The Center for Ministry Development is an independent, non-profit organization whose core purpose is to bring the Good News in new ways to the people of God. Our mission is to empower faith communities and their leaders for effective ministry with adolescents, young adults, and families through ministry education for leaders, ministry development training and resources, programs, and publications. The Center is funded through a combination of fees for services, publication sales, and foundation grants."

The Center's Web site offers training programs, publications and resources for various areas of ministry:

Youth Ministry Young Adult Ministry Family and Intergenerational Ministry

Although most of the resources are for a fee, there are quite a number of free resources that can be downloaded in PDF format. You do need to provide your name and email address to access these free documents, but the Center does have a clear privacy policy.

bullet A Day in the Life of a Trappist Monk is a beautifully made Web site offering a glimpse of the daily activities of a monk and the spirit behind it. The introduction to the site reads as follows:

The monks of the Abbey of Our Lady of the Prairies have welcomed artists from the St. Norbert Arts Centre into their archival history. Here we have found a story of peace, a community of love and devotion, an ancient way of life guided by the principles of simplicity, self-sufficiency and prayer. Join us as we discover a spiritual journey through the humble daily life of a 21st Century monk.

bullet The online version of Religion Teacher's Journal from Twenty-Third Publications offers free articles from the current issue as well as a selection of features from past issue, plays for your classroom, stories and teen topics.

bullet C.R.M.I. Worksheets is a Web page with over 60 worksheets that can be downloaded for free.


Online Articles


bullet Jesus: A Historical Portrait ©2007 American Catholic — Three new articles by renowned scripture scholar were published since December 2006:

      1. When He Comes Again
      2. Christianity Takes Root
      3. The Resurrection: High Point of History
bullet Sacraments Have a Language All Their Own by Marlene Sweeney , Catechist, January 2007 — "In the early church, sacraments were seen as part of a sacred commitment to live as a disciple of Christ. Inviting today’s Church to take up this calling is a vital part of all sacrament preparation. Sacraments call for a response. How can your candidates say “yes” to God’s invitation? How can you evoke a response that will prolong the sacrament into their daily living?"

bulletAsh Wednesday By Rev. Mark Connolly , Spirituality Today, February 2007 - Volume 11, Issue 6 — "Ash Wednesday starts the sacred season of Lent for Catholics all over the world. There will be all sorts of reminders of that first sacred season of Lent when Christ underwent an agony, scourging and a crucifixion. During this time each one of us is reminded that this sacrifice that Christ made during his life was for us. Lent is a reminder whether we give up smoking, give up candy, give up movies that in our own way, we are making a sacrifice for Christ."

bullet Cry Freedom!, The modern global slave trade and those who fight it by David Batsone, Sojourners, March 2007 — "Twenty-seven million slaves exist in our world today. Girls and boys, women and men of all ages are forced to toil in the rug loom sheds of Nepal, sell their bodies in the brothels of Rome, break rocks in the quarries of Pakistan, and fight wars in the jungles of Africa."

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In Review

Father Richard Ho Lung: Music and Mission on Google Videos

About Father Richard Ho Lung and his Musical Compositions



"Missionaries of the Poor (MOP) was founded by Father Richard Ho Lung, a Catholic priest, in 1981, in Kingston, Jamaica. Father Ho Lung's involvement in the lives and struggles of the poor and social rejects began some years before he actually founded the MOP.

Many of his earliest musical compositions came out of these encounters, expressing the cries of the people, both of joy and of pain. For as Father Ho Lung always points out: “The poor possess a joy that is pure and highly contagious, for it doesn’t come from material comfort and prosperity but from the very gift of being alive each day.” -- Missionary of the Poor Web site


A Time to Smile


(c) Copyright by Jason Kotecki.

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