CAT - Catechetics
Provides an introduction to the history, methods, and contemporary practice in catechetics. The Church's catechetical documents are studied in depth, providing the necessary foundations for the other religious courses. Catechetical skills will be developed by analyzing specific doctrines in order to learn how to handle them in catechetical presentations, determining what is essential in presenting a catechesis that is systematic and organic. In addition, the students will be introduced to the life and educational practice of St. John Bosco.
Pre/Co-requisite: CAT 120
. For CAT majors only.
This course begins by exploring the fundamental conviction that evangelization is the deepest identity of the Church and therefore influences every facet of her life. The Church's liturgy - because it makes present the Pascal Mystery - is both summit and font of this evangelistic mission. Students will investigate not only the nature and interdependence of evangelization and the liturgy, but also their importance to the contemporary renewal of catechetical practice. Students will additionally come to understand how a close study of sacramental theology can positively influence catechetical practice, particularly by way of well-conceived approaches to sacramental preparation and mystagogical catechesis.
"The 'study of the sacred page' should be the very soul of sacred theology. The ministry of the Word... pastoral preaching, catechetics, and all forms of Christian instruction... is healthily nourished and thrives in holiness through the Word of Scripture" (DV 24). This course focuses on the centrality of Scripture in the work of evangelization and catechesis. The content of the apostles' teaching and their use of Scripture, the scriptural basis of the catechesis of the Fathers and current magisterial documents related to Scripture and catechesis will be covered. Finally, this course explores the implementation of Scripture for evangelistic and catechetical purposes.
This course will explore the effective delivery of the content of the Deposit of Faith for the purpose of promoting conversion to Jesus Christ. Kerygmatic catechesis and its emphasis on the means of insertion into the Mystery of Christ will provide the foundation for this exploration. A technique for analyzing doctrine for effective delivery will be employed with specific emphasis on the way in which such a delivery informs the faith, hope and love of the prospective disciple. Finally the challenges to employing a doctrinal delivery in the catechetical field today will be discussed.
This course explores the foundational methodological vision and principles described in the magisterial catechetical documents. A theoretical study and practical application will be made of primary principles of catechetical methodology, including the interconnectedness which exists between catechetical methodology and the Deposit of Faith, the centrality of the pedagogy of God to a proper formulation and evaluation of catechetical methodology, the importance of teaching to the aim of conversion and the spiritual life of the catechist as the "soul of catechetical methodology."
All catechetical methodology must be rooted in the Divine Pedagogy-how God teaches. This course will study the pedagogy of the Father, Son, and Holy Spirit. Because catechesis must always be Christocentric, methodologies will be examined in the context of incarnational dynamism. Since God is truth, beauty, and goodness, this course will also look at specific methodologies in the context of these transcendentals, particularly in the use of art, music, literature, and film. This course should be taken at the end of the program and will evaluate a student's graduate level research and catechetical scholarship.
This course addresses selected contemporary questions that demand a mature response from the informed Christian. This course emphasizes guided thought into specific dogmatic, moral, and spiritual issues.
The restoration of the ancient catechumenate was one of the major directives of the Second Vatican Council. We will begin with an understanding of the restoration of the catechumenal process which resulted in the Christian Initiation process of today. Primary texts for this section will include the ritual book (RCIA), GDC, and Fr. Yarnold's The Awe-Inspiring Rites of Initiation. We will come to understand the RCIA as a liturgical process, with an emphasis on the role of the initiation sacraments. We will examine the nature and means of the conversion process using the RCIA, catechetical documents, and Newman. Next, we will come to understand the ancient catechumenal origins of the modern RCIA. Finally, we will cover various special topics in the catechumenal process: evangelization, legal issues, and children and teens.
"Even if it is not always easy to approach young people, progress has been made in two areas: the awareness that the entire community is called to evangelize and educate the young, and the urgent need for the young to exercise greater leadership" (Francis, EG 106). This course provides a sociohistorical examnation of youth culture and the Church's response to that culture (successes and failures) in the United States. It examines the role and definition of young people within the Church and society (tweens, teens, and emerging adults). Finally it seeks to propose effective models on how to apply what the Church has taught regarding evangelization to young people in various settings, such as parish youth ministry and campus ministry.
The course examines the relationship between philosophy and catechetics. It is in two parts. The first part reviews the teaching of the magisterium on this relationship, in particular in Aeterni Patris and Fides et Ratio, and then goes on to treat of questions of truth and rhetoric in the transmission of doctrine, studying the role of the catechist as witness and communicator. The second part of the course is an examination of the thought of St Thomas Aquinas and the relation of this thought to themes in the Deposit of Faith. Thus this part of the course enables students to engage with a single figure in some depth, a figure who is philosopher, theologian and preacher of the faith and who is consistently presented by the magisterium as worthy of special study.
During his speech opening the Second Vatican Council, Pope John XXIII stated that one of the purposes of the Council was to "guard the deposit of faith." This course will look at Church history through a catechetical hermeneutic, examining both the successes and failures of catechetical endeavors by reading some major works concerning the handing on of the faith from the time of the apostles to the Second Vatican Council. This course will examine the documents of the Second Vatican Council and their catechetical implications. It will also address the positive developments as well as the challenges encountered in post-conciliar catechesis, and will stress the renewal of catechesis as a result of Vatican II.
This course, building on the work undertaken in the graduate class, CAT 602: Deposit of Faith, examines the transmission of the faith, analyzing the elements involved in this transmission in light of what the Church calls the "original pedagogy" of the faith. Learning the craft of transmission according to this pedagogy is understood as the fostering of faith, hope and love through an intellectual, affective and practical environment that nurtures the development of one's relationship with Christ. The pattern of transmission is analyzed through a study of the annunciation narrative, with the different elements of proclamation, dialogue, questioning,application to life and so on, being inspired by this narrative. A detailed examination is made of the theological virtues of faith, hope and love, gifts that enable us to share in the "dialogue of salvation" and respond to the promptings of God, making a full assent and adherence to him.
Through an examination of Gravissimum educationis, the Vatican II Declaration on Christian Education, as well as key post-conciliar documents on Catholic schools, this course facilitates the formation of a Catholic educational philosophy within the teacher and the school. Key themes include characteristics of a Catholic school, formation of personnel, implications for the curriculum, intercultural dialogue, and the service of the common good.
Students will examine significant periods, figures and texts in the history of catechetics, particularly as this came to be expressed in the Western tradition. Topics include: the classical paideia and its impact on formation of early Christian education and catechesis; the development of catechetical schools; the development of the Creeds; the development and features of the catechumenal model; monastic and cathedral schools in the Carolingian period; liturgy, culture and catechesis in the medieval period; the history of catechisms, with a highlight on the Roman catechism; catechetical movements in the twentieth century; the pivotal importance of Vatican II and trends and movements in post Vatican II catechetics. Students study the catechetical importance of certain perennial texts, including Clement of Alexandria, Paedagogus; Ambrose: de Mysteriis; de Saramentis; Cyril of Jerusalem; Catechetical Lectures; Augustine; De catechizandis rudibus; De doctrina Christiana.
This course will provide a survey of leadership, administrative, management, personal and public relations, policy, legal (civil and canonical), and professional development topics from a gospel perspective for the purpose of facilitating a successful transition to a parish or diocesan position within the Church. It will also explore the mind of the Church and best practices in the variety of catechetical disciplines found in the field today. Specifically it will include discussion of adult catechesis, family catechesis, youth ministry, campus ministry, Catholic schools, parish school of religion, DRE/catechist training, textbook evaluations, chastity education, and catechumenal ministry.