Catholic Educators Newsletter - September 2006



General Directory for Catechesis


bullet General Directory for Catechesis - Complete text on the Vatican website

bullet General Directory for Catechesis - the complete text with concordance

    bullet Where are we in Catechesis? Power Point presentation by Most Reverend Leonard P. Blair, Bishop of Toledo. This is also available here as a text on the the USCCB website.

bullet Archbishop Burke’s Commentary on the General Directory for Catechesis and Questions on the Commentary - On the General Directory for Catechesis


Nature and purpose of the formation of catechists

Formation seeks to enable catechists to transmit the Gospel to those who desire to entrust themselves to Jesus Christ. The purpose of formation, therefore, is to make the catechist capable of communicating: "The summit and center of catechetical formation lies in an aptitude and ability to communicate the Gospel message."

The christocentric purpose of catechesis, which emphasizes the communion of the convert with Jesus Christ, permeates all aspects of the formation of catechists. This aim is nothing other than to lead the catechist to know how to animate a catechetical journey of which the necessary stages are: the proclamation of Jesus Christ; making known his life by setting it in the context of salvation history; explanation of the mystery of the Son of God, made man for us; and finally to help the catechumen, or those being catechized, to identify with Jesus Christ through the sacraments of initiation. With continuing catechesis, the catechist merely tries to deepen these basic elements. This christological perspective touches directly upon the identity of the catechist and his preparation. "The unity and harmony of the catechist must be read in this christocentric light and built around a profound familiarity with Christ and the Father, in the Spirit." (General Directory for Catechesis #235)


Resources for Teaching Students with Disabilities


At the request of a friend who will be teaching catechism to students with severe/profound disabilities this year, I did some research and made some enquiries on what resources are available for teachers in this area online. Thank you to the various persons who helped me compile this list of resources, and especially to Ed McCoy.

bullet The Catechesis of the Good Shepherd curriculum - is an approach to the religious formation of children. It is rooted in the Bible, the liturgy of the church, and the educational principles of Maria Montessori. Children gather in an "atrium," a room prepared for them, which contains simple yet beautiful materials that they use.

bullet - Click on the “MagnifiKid” . This is a weekly magazine that explain each week’s readings and the Mass, and also give general information about our faith.

Resources - Catechesis for Persons with Developmental Disabilities - Archdiocese of Baltimore


bullet SPRED - This is the Archdiocese of Chicago catechetical program (Special Religious Development) for persons with developmental disabilities.

bullet Special Needs Resources Directory - The first part of this four part document lists and describes quite a few print resources. It also gives a list of contacts of people involved in religious education of people with disabilities in all of the dioceses in the US.

Catechesis for the disabled and the handicapped

Every Christian community considers those who suffer handicaps, physical or mental, as well as other forms of disability—especially children—as persons particularly beloved of the Lord. A growth in social and ecclesial consciousness, together with undeniable progress in specialized pedagogy, makes it possible for the family and other formative centres to provide adequate catechesis for these people, who, as baptized, have this right and, if non-baptized, because they are called to salvation. The love of the Father for the weakest of his children and the continuous presence of Jesus and His Spirit give assurance that every person, however limited, is capable of growth in holiness.

Education in the faith, which involves the family above all else, calls for personalized and adequate programmes. It should take into account the findings of pedagogical research. It is most effectively carried out in the context of the integral education of the person. On the other hand, the risk must be avoided of separating this specialized catechesis from the general pastoral care of the community. It is therefore necessary that the community be made aware of such catechesis and be involved in it. The particular demands of this catechesis require a special competence from catechists and render their service all the more deserving. -- General Directory for Catechesis #189

Web Sites Worth Exploring


bullet Prof. Felix Just, S.J. has posted on his excellent web site a collection of close to 80 line drawings by Rudolf Koch. These drawings are from from the book Christian Symbols (trans. Kevin Ahern; San Francisco: Arion Press, 1996). All images in the published collection may be used freely and without further permission. The drawings Fr. Just has selected mostly depict symbols from the Old and the New Testament and are quite nice.

Some of these graphics are now available on the Resources for Catholic Educators Web site:

Old Testament Clipart by Koch
New Testament Clipart by Koch
Angel Clipart by Koch


bullet Holiness and Humor: Learning and Laughing with the Saints Sister Anne Elizabeth Fiore, VHM This is a 27 minute steaming audio file. It is a lot of fun to listen to and allows us to look at sainthood in a different light. This is on the web site of the Office of Vocation of the Diocese of Toledo. There are a number of other resources on vocations available there. In particular, take a look at the Teacher/Catechist Lesson Plans section. It contains a number of excellent printable resources for use with students by grades as well as a high school prayer service, a document on faculty inservice ideas, letters to parents inviting them to pray for vocations and to help their children discern their own calling.

Click to enlarge - Jesus and the centurion

bullet specialises in Catholic holy images and holycards from past centuries. A recent article in the Santa Barbara News Press had this to say about Julie Ann Brown, the owner of this web site: "With about 40,000 of the pocket-sized cards tucked beneath plastic covers and stacked in boxes in her garage, Ms. Brown has amassed one of the world’s most extensive collections. She has filed many of them, available for downloading, on her Web site." The image on the left is from a small sampling of 20 high resolution images that Mrs. Brown has made available for free download.



Prayer: We pray for peace
Litany: 'I was hungry and you gave me food'
Prayer service: 'Runaway train" A prayer for the lost and broken
Prayer Service: Bless our lives
Prayer Service: In praise of hands
The Uniting Church Assembly Mission Prayer Handbook

Bible Study Resources

Bible Study - Session 1: Violence and Vinyards
Bible Study - Session 2: The Face of Love
Bible Study - Session 3: The Paradox of Hope
Brief Concordance: Peace in the NRSV
Brief Concordance: Violence in the NRSV
Pledge for Peace




bullet -- The Place for Catholic Teens on the Web - Disciples Now's focus is Catholic adolescents in grades 6 to 12 throughout the United States.

Objectives stated on the site:

  • To educate about the traditions, history, and teachings of the Roman Catholic church.
  • To provide information in a visually attractive and interactive format.
  • To offer Lectionary-based catechesis and reflection.
  • To support dialogue on current events and issues of interest.
  • To connect young people with their local parishes, schools, and dioceses.
  • To direct young people to other Catholic resources.


bullet Best Practices of Non-Violent Conflict Resolution in and out-of-school - Some examples (PDF document) — During the year 2001, the Education Sector of UNESCO launched an initiative "best practices" for conflict resolution in the field of formal and non-formal. To accomplish this initiative, it requested numerous partners, namely, UNESCO Commissions, NGOs, various associations, schools, research institutions and contribute to this work by sending clear and simple written articles relating experience
in the prevention and the transformation of conflicts.

This publication aims to inform teachers, trainers, educators, parents, youth who, one way or another, are confronted with violence in the school or in non-community education, and are looking for practical solutions. The intention of UNESCO project is not only to inform them what is best internationally in terms of education and non-violence, but above all to supply concrete pedagogical tools to prevent transform the violence with which they are confronted on a daily basis at work."

Online Articles


bullet In Freedom and Responsibility, Robert Gascoigne’s feature article in the latest issue of Echoing the Word explores the foundations of Christian moral decision making, discussing empathy and self-confidence as fruits of conversion, as well as the role factual knowledge, conscience, Church tradition and reason play in forming good judgments and making good moral decisions.

bullet Relationship at the Heart of the Gospel Message by Marlene Sweeney, Catechist, SEP-9-2006 - "As directors of religious education programs in our parish and ministers in our faith community, do we too often stress the academic side of our teaching ministry?"

bullet Young Catholics & Their Faith: Is Being ‘Spiritual’ Enough? by Dennis M. Doyle, Commonweal, September 8, 2006 / Volume CXXXIII, Number 15

bullet The Word Means Teacher by Rev. Ray Petrucci, Spirituality for Today, September 2006 - Volume 11, Issue 2 - "In the beginning of the Gospel of John, the Evangelist exclaims that the Word was made flesh. The Word, Jesus Christ, is God dwelling with His creation. He came to proclaim the reign of God. This proclamation was a teaching that the people understood as new and authoritative. Jesus had to employ every skill of the teacher in inviting hearts and minds to come, see, and believe the message of salvation. In the manner of an artful pedagogue, Jesus used all the creative instrumentalities of a teacher - and miracles as well."

bullet End-of-Life Ethics: Preparing Now for the Hour of Death by Kenneth R. Overberg, S.J., Catholic Update, August 2006 - "Look to the Scriptures to learn how Catholics should respond to end-of-life issues. This Catholic Update explores euthanasia, assisted suicide, life support and advanced directives in light of Church teaching, morals and ethics."

bullet Cosmically Unfair: What is the Point of Suffering? by John Garvey, Commonweal, August 11, 2006 / Volume CXXXIII, Number 14 - " of the things we may begin to learn from what human suffering means (and they will not explain it away, or reconcile us to it) is, first of all, to see that it does have the value of showing us that the world, as it is, is not the world that God means us to inhabit."

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In Review


bullet — "Offering the latest releases by both big-name artists and emerging new talents, is THE place for contemporary Catholic music. Link and listen online anytime with streaming audio, download songs, and get updates on new releases through our newsletter. also gets you closer to the artists - and supports them in their ministry - with full-length profiles, regularly updated blogs, interactive polls, concert and event listings and booking opportunities." The discography provided for each of the artists offers full-lenght sound files of some of their songs.



Sister Carmela Chetcuti, Founder of Society for Peace
Society for Peace
Aug 13, 2006

Immediate Press Release

Location: Drawbridge Inn & Convention Center, 2477 Royal Drive, Fort Mitchell, KY 41017
Date: Saturday, September 9, 2006
Time: 9:00 am - 6:00 pm (Doors Open and Continental Breakfast at 8:00 am)
Price: $69.00 - includes conference, meals and entertainment
Lodging: Contact Drawbridge Inn and request the *Society For Peace Conference* room rate to receive the discounted nightly charge of $69.00 (plus tax) per room.
Phone: (859) 341-2800 or (800) 354-9793
To register: Call Barbara Koch, (812) 290-4305 or Email us at:

Sister Carmela Chetcuti, Founder of Society for Peace

Society for Peace, a group of people dedicated to living a peaceful life through four simple steps. Praying individually for peace, Praying collectively for peace with others at least once a month. Looking into one's heart and seeking peace within and then, since kindness breeds kindness, we are committed to being as kind to others as much as possible and doing acts of charity.

Society for Peace began 10 years ago in the heart of a cloistered Carmelite nun named Sr. Carmela Chetcuti. It was a call from the Lord to open a Shrine/Center for Peace. Sr. Carmela needed to leave the confines of the monastery to begin this work. She transferred to a group of Sisters - Sisters for Christian Community. Through the past 10 years sister has shared her story of the call, the hand of God on her work and the amazing blessings of God throughout the journey of faith.

Sister Carmela gathered with people from around the country on Aug.22, 2004 on St. Mary's campus (Notre Dame) in Indiana. The professionals that gathered decided to see this through to completion. A Board was formed in October 2004. Over the next couple years the vision has come closer to reality. People from around the country can see that starting with peace in the heart is the key to peace in and around us. Some have signed on as members, some have begun groups dedicated to praying for peace. Members are from all walks of life and creeds. Because anyone can pray, anyone can gather for prayer, anyone can look within and seek peace within and with others and anyone can do acts of kindness. Last year we held a walk for peace, a vigil for peace in Detroit, MI and this year are sponsoring a Conference called Seek Healing and find Peace.

Last year we filed for the non-profit exemption from the IRS and it was granted in June of 2006. This allows people who donate to receive a tax write-off. September 2005 Sister went to Rome to seek the blessing of the Church. She was welcomed warmly by two officials in the Sacred Congregation for Religious. This begins the process of eventual full approval this work of God.

Currently we are looking for land, working with ParkWest Developers in Toledo.

We are also working closely with an organization called Art for a Cause which gives much time and effort to seeking help for those with mental and physical challenges.

A Time to Smile


(c) Copyright by Jason Kotecki.

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