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Franciscan University has produced a prodigious amount of material over the years that can help you be a better catechist. Here, you will find videos, audio clips, magazines, books, brochures, and other resources produced by University faculty, conference speakers, and an array of collaborators. We are pleased to make much of it available for free, with a handful of items requiring a subscription or purchase.
Video (Free)
Hosted by Sr. Mary Michael Fox, OP of the Dominicans Sisters of St. Cecelia of Nashville on May 10th, 2022. The principle of “fidelity to God and fidelity to man” stands as a fundamental guide for catechists as they make choices regarding catechetical content and methodology. In practice, this principle requires more than a “see-saw” balance of the two; it requires a deeply integrated understanding of both the nature of God’s revelation and the nature of the human person for whom God’s revelation is meant. For an understanding of God’s revelation, we have the wisdom of the Fathers and Doctors of the Church, Papal encyclicals, and the Catechism of the Catholic Church. For an understanding of the human person—particularly the child—we have the wisdom of Dr. Maria Montessori. Maria Montessori was a Catholic medical doctor, scientist, educator, and Thomist! Without exaggeration, she ranks among the great thinkers of her time and ours. It is unfortunate that in the United States too often her insights have been egregiously misunderstood and misapplied and for this reason her teachings have gone largely unexamined by Catholic catechists and educators. Yet, her pedagogical and anthropological wisdom promises to guide catechists in an authentic renewal that guarantees fidelity to God and fidelity to the child. Join us in this webinar as we explore a few salient insights of Maria Montessori regarding the nature of the child and in particular the nature of children’s religious education. Catechists participating in this webinar can expect gain: - A general knowledge of Maria Montessori’s educational project including her philosophy of education. - A general knowledge of Montessori’s catechetical experiment and its underlying principles of education, specifically children’s catechesis. - An overview of Montessori’s work “The Four Planes of Education” and “The Human Tendencies.” - A few practical and immediate ideas for applying Montessori’s pedagogical and anthropological principles in catechesis.
Video (Free)
Presented by Dr. James Pauley, Franciscan Catechetics Professor and Chris Carstens, Director of the Office of Sacred Worship for the Diocese of La Crosse on April 26th, 2022. There is a vital relationship between the liturgy and evangelization – it is that sacred action which is most essential to forming genuine disciples and enabling authentic conversion. The Church’s ever-new vision places maximum emphasis on apprenticing people into an active and fruitful sacramental life in Christ. This is the only true path to human fulfillment – to lasting peace, joy, and belonging. This webinar will explore how the liturgy forms and transforms us, and what catechists and teachers can do to prepare people for the liturgical encounter?
Video (Free)
Presented by Ana Lisa Piñon Director of Faith Formation and Evangelization Programs for the Diocese of Arlington on May 3rd, 2022. In any ministry setting actually living out a call to pastoral accompaniment is highly challenging. Mentoring skills, evangelical hospitality, and forms of ongoing pastoral care are ever more important in the course of evangelizing and catechizing work, small group facilitation, parenting, and any form of outreach that seeks to offer not just programs and structures, but generous love and sacrificial presence. Pastoral accompaniment is integral to the success of any ministry in the Catholic Church, as well as to life in the home. We are privileged to be able to participate in the Blessed Trinity’s divine and loving care for souls. Our ministry, then, is a participation in His divine accompaniment. This webinar will explore how to pursue realistic ways forward to gain and help others gain the skills, spiritual awareness, and commitment to best practices which make pastoral accompaniment a reality in parish life.
Video (Free)
Presented by Dr. Petroc Willey, Director of the Catechetical Institute. “Since it belongs to the supernatural order, grace escapes our experience and cannot be known except by faith. We cannot therefore rely on our feelings or our works to conclude that we are justified and saved. However, according to the Lord's words ‘Thus you will know them by their fruits’ – reflection on God’s blessings in our life and in the lives of the saints offers us a guarantee that grace is at work in us and spurs us on to an ever greater faith and an attitude of trustful poverty.” (CCC 2005) We enter into the mystery of Christ through a transforming sacramental grace, the living Word, evangelizing catechesis, and evangelical communities. This webinar will explore how a rich understanding of the grace by which souls enter into Christ’s life can be fostered in our approaches to ministry. “The Word became flesh and dwelt among us” (John 1:14) to call each soul to Father’s loving plan and sure hope in His life shared with us by grace. In order to pass on the truths of faith in season and out, those in ministry must be securely grounded in grace.
Video (Free)
Hosted by Robert Siemens, Founder and Director of Franciscan University’s School of Spiritual Direction. “Jesus thirsts; his asking arises from the depths of God’s desire for us” (CCC 2560). Jesus not only desires to have a relationship with you and all His people, but with you specifically in your ministry role. Yet spiritual progress is so often illusive or inconsistent in many Catholics’ lives, even those in ministry. We are not the sum of our weaknesses and failures. We are the sum of the Father's love for us, and our real capacity to become the image of his Son. Guidance along the spiritual journey seek to aide those not satisfied with their present level of closeness to God and aims to provide an accompanying helper, aiming at real growth. This desire to grow in authentic wisdom and happiness comes from the Holy Spirit and will not go unrewarded.
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