The four evangelists tell us that God sent His Son into the world to save all people. The catechetical message, then, is a Person, Jesus Christ of Nazareth! Pope Benedict XVI said that the first service Christians are called to offer their brothers and sisters is the proclamation of Jesus Christ, the only Savior. “The first apostles, like today’s, would not have to be heralds of an idea, but witnesses of a person,” Pope Benedict said at the Vatican on March 13, 2006. He went on to conclude that, “before being sent to evangelize, they would have to ‘be’ with Jesus, establishing a personal relationship with him.”
The challenge in our Catholic schools and parish programs of religious education for administrators and teachers who minister in a culture growing more and more secular and relativistic, is to be much more enthusiastic and intentional about sharing their faith in Jesus Christ and His Church with the school community before effective catechesis can occur.
It is the spiritual leadership of the administrator in our Catholic schools and parish programs of religious education that arouses in the faculty the enthusiasm to share their faith with children and youth. Administrators and their faculties are special voices who articulate the Word through teaching and example. They must lead their students to a deeper intimacy with the Person of Jesus Christ.
The Department of Religious Education provides opportunities for administrators and teachers in our Catholic schools and parish programs of religious education to deepen their knowledge of and intimacy with the Person of Jesus Christ. These opportunities assist them in developing their relationship with Jesus so that they in turn might help and guide the students entrusted to them as the students come to know Jesus more deeply.
These opportunities include: the annual Religious Education Institute, the development of a liturgical calendar with prayer services and liturgical celebrations for specific events and feasts of the Church year, retreats and days of recollection, the development of The Evangelizing Catholic School process, workshops on enhancing Catholic Identity as well as responding to the continuing development and deepening of their personal and communal relationship with Jesus Christ.
For more information on spiritual formation opportunities, contact:
Dr. Barbara Blackburn
Director of Religious Education Formation
Catholic Education Office
20 Archbishop May Drive
St. Louis MO 63119