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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.
The "pedagogy of God" lies at the heart of the restoration currently advancing in the area of religious education and catechesis. According to the General Directory for Catechesis, the primary difficulty facing catechesis today is that catechists do not yet have a full understanding of "the conception of catechesis as a school of faith, an initiation and apprenticeship in the entire Christian life." The Church has a unique form for transmitting the Faith. The Church calls this the "pedagogy of God." It is from this pedagogy that catechesis should take its inspiration and its life. The central truth is that God Himself is the pedagogue. Catechists and those being catechized are invited to co-operate with Him in learning under His grace. Catechetical leaders will be happy to find within these pages scholars and practitioners of catechesis, who address many aspects of communicating the Faith, yet with the united purpose of answering the primary question of catechesis as a “school of faith” embracing the entire Christian life. It is here that we and the crucial place of The Pedagogy of God: Its Centrality in Catechesis and Catechist Formation.
Sr. Johanna Paruch
In these 12 chapters of historical narrative, personal reflection and prayer, religious educators, youth ministers and parents will be inspired and challenged by these pioneers of faith. Beginning with Our Lady of Guadalupe and St. Juan Diego, Sr. Johanna Paruch tells the stories of these saintly evangelizers and catechists of the “New World” and highlights what made them successful at drawing people into close relationship with Christ. Mentors for the New Evangelization: Catechetical Saints of North America includes the lives of the North American Martyrs, St. Marie of the Incarnation, St. Marguerite Bourgeoys, St. Rose-Philippine Duchesne, St. Elizabeth Ann Seton, St. Mother Theodore Guerin, St. Junipero Serra, St. John Neumann, Ven. Fr. Michael McGivney, St. Katherine Drexel, Bl. Miguel Pro, and more. This is a must read for anyone in faith formation! Makes a great gift for Catechetical Sunday, Christmas, special recognition, or anytime.
Alan Schreck
Popes are the Church's chief shepherds. While some focused on governing the Church and addressing challenges from the world, others recognized their primary responsibility to proclaim and teach the Gospel. Author Alan Schreck calls these the teaching popes and John Paul II was such a pope, leading the Church and impacting the world with his witness and his teaching. The encyclical letter has been, in modern times, the instrument for popes to express their most important teachings that have lasting value for the Church, and often for the whole world. Dr. Schreck invites the reader to become familiar with the encyclical letters of Pope John Paul II. In The Legacy of Pope John Paul II, Dr. Schreck breaks down more scholarly writing into accessible language. The reflection questions and suggestions for further reading at the end of each chapter help facilitate a systematic study of the central teachings of this brilliant but pastoral pope, who conveyed the truth in love.
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Dr. James Pauley
We have been made for the very highest of activities—to participate, by grace, in divine, self-emptying love. When our finite, limited, sometimes wounded ability to love encounters the love of God, our capacities for self-gift are gradually healed, ennobled, and transfigured.
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Justin Bartkus
Is there such a thing as Catholic culture in America anymore? And if there is, is it capable of producing religiously committed Catholics across generations? Or would we have to consider it simply a fading vestige of ethnic or familial identity? From John Paul II to Benedict XVI to Francis, the renewal of Catholic culture in Western societies has been considered an intrinsic dimension of the New Evangelization. With regard to a so-called “Catholic culture,” however, the movement from ideal to real—from exhortations to concrete renewal—is sobering and presents many practical questions. Are there any social mechanisms by which new generations of Catholics can acquire a strong sense of Catholic identity, an entire worldview animated by Christian intuitions regarding humanity and society, and the will to remain committed to these principles over the long term? Can such reinvigoration occur anywhere at an appreciable scale? If Dr. Christian Smith, a prominent sociologist of religion at Notre Dame, is correct, any reply to these questions must take special account of one institution: the household, with its deep interpersonal bonds, its wealth of practices, and its highly compelling power to impart identity. In his landmark National Study of Youth and Religion (NSYR), Smith studied the specific religiosity and spirituality of millennials, observing the widespread drift of these young people from any substantial notion of religious identity or practice. However, he also realized that the religious outcomes of these young people were not at all a generational anomaly. Rather, the single greatest predictor of emerging adults’ eventual level of religious commitment was the religiosity of their parents. Consider that, of the most religious quartile of NSYR young adults ages 24-29 (individuals whose religious attitudes Smith had been tracking since high school) an impressive 82% had parents who reported each of the following: that their family regularly talked about religious topics in the home, that faith was “very important” to them, and that they themselves regularly were involved in religious activities. By comparison, only 1% of the least religious quartile of Smith’s young adults had parents who reported this combination of religious attitudes and practices. Thus, according to the NSYR, the single most decisive difference between Millennials who remained religiously committed into adulthood and those who didn’t was the degree of religiousness exhibited by their parents.
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