A DISCIPLE OF JESUS BEARS WITNESS TO HIS LIFE BEFORE ALL MEN AND IS SENT TO PROCLAIM THE GOOD NEWS
Religious Education at Stella Maris (Secondary)
At this level our focus is the theoretical and practical development of the Christian Faith in a non-catechetical style. Such development involves a comprehensive education of the individual, his or her attitudes and social skills, their perception of the future, their capacity to commit themselves and enjoy their freedom responsibly, and the discovery of their vocation as a vital condition and as a concrete way of serving the community. Since this is a non-catechetical approach, certain topics might be treated not by the regular pastoral staff, but instead by teachers trained on the subject and specially hired for the occasion.
Outline of the syllabus:
• God speaks to us through Jesus Christ - He makes us his disciples: men and women of truth.
o God created man in His own image and likeness (OT). In Jesus we understand what it is like to be truly humans.
o The Good News of the Kingdom (NT) calls upon us to discover and develop the infinite value and vocation of our humanity.
o Being humans is to experience Easter every day. The Holy Spirit and the Church are the gift of Easter.
• To live like Jesus’ disciples is to celebrate life. – God upholds and nurtures his People (the Church) so that they contribute to a more humane world.
o The sense of celebration in the Christian faith and in other religions.
o The Church as a community, as a people, as Christ’s body, laymen, hierarchy and clergymen.
o The symbolic language and the sacraments of initiation, healing and service.
o Equality and inequality: the world’s wounds (structural sin), our commitment to others, the dialogue with other religions, the utopy of a new world.
• Witnessing God in our everyday life
o We, human beings, seek happiness, long to know ourselves and others, yearn to discover the meaning of life.
o The Christian God (Father, Son and Holy Spirit) and God’s false images.
o God acting in the history of humanity (OT). We witness His love and fidelity through history. Jesus Christ is God intervening in our history, calling upon us to be men and women like Him (NT), i.e. religious, caring, bearing witness to hope, and called upon to build a new world.
o The many faces of our society: the inalienable value of human beings.
o A Collaborative with others for the common well being as the basis of a new, humane, Christian society.
• A Christian life raises individuals capable of transforming the world from the inside
o A human being is someone who makes questions. Someone who calls life into question. Someone who builds, who lives his or her faith in a world dominated by technology and who opens himself or herself up to the action of the Spirit.
o Human beings are cultural beings, open to transcendence. World cultures. Overview of world religions: Judaism, Christianity, Islam, other religions, sects. The possibility of interfaith and ecumenical dialogue.
o God has irrevocably spoken through Jesus who was resurrected and speaks to us today. Faith is experienced, nurtured and celebrated, and it grows ripe. It turns into service and outreach.
o The Church’s social responsibility: to encaurage sensitivity for commitment and Reflection upon social outreach programmes.
o Being Christians in today’s changing society. How to live our Faith in this society
• The decision to follow Jesus is a fundamental decision that concerns a whole lifestyle. – The question of a Christian’s morality. The value of sexuality in one’s life. The dignity and nobility of our body and corporality.
o The discovery of Christian values as a consequence of the love of God.
o Experiencing the importance of the dignity of human beings and the sacred nature of their consciousness.
o The discovery of the importance of building ourselves in freedom and committed to a fairer society.
o Integrating all dimensions of life into a personal life project, facing the challenges and the great ethical dilemmas of our time with maturity.
1. The need for an ethical dimension in the development of each individual. Key decisions when making a life project. Freedom and responsibility. How to move towards meaningful ethics. Living in the image and likeness of God. Personal sin and social sin.
2. The value of sexuality in a Christian’s life. Dignity and nobility of our body and corporality. Sexuality as a means of interpersonal encounter. The development of affectivity. Sexuality as a source of interpersonal, responsible commitment. Different ways of living one’s sexuality and appraisal of such ways.
3. Justice as a challenge for social life. Biblical basis. Human rights. Choosing to serve the destitute. Private property and the common good. Solidarity and outreach as opposed to structures of sin. Social outreach and the upward mobility of the poor: critical reflection.
4. Drawn to sow seeds and promote life from conception until its end. Addictions, lack of commitment, instability of relationships. Current problems of nowadays ethics: assisted reproductive technology, cloning, genetic engineering.
• We celebrate the worthiness and dignity of every individual and we encourage his/her comprehensive development.
o From our faith-based view and from the perspective of Christian anthropology, worthiness and dignity are bestowed upon each person by God’s love, which makes us His children, and through Christ, who redeems us so that we can live in freedom of spirit.
o We aim at strengthening the worthiness of each individual and the respect for the diversity of all. Students will be encouraged to assess their personal life project against the Christian anthropological vision, which announces that God is inviting us to take part in His love plan.
o Lessons will be held preferably in a workshop format, with an engagement in critical reflection on the issues treated. Workshops are meant to encourage critical thinking among the students by analysing and calling reality into question and shedding the light of the Gospel on it. We promote openness, dialogue, and the exchange of points of view so that students can develop freely, responsibly and evangelically.
o The workshop is conceived as both a collective and individual learning process, where everyone is a protagonist in the tasks set and in the group interaction. Personal experiences of the participants are valued as a starting point into the process of critical reflection, duly enriched by the theoretical contributions of the teacher. Knowledge thus built by group interaction is particularly rich and creative, and it caters for the group’s specific requirements. Critical thinking, doing and feeling are therefore integrated.
o Students are incentivated to conceive themselves as God’s creation, filled with potential. The workshop sessions can therefore accompany our students when answering the questions of: what do I want to be? What do I want to be like?
o Given the diversity of the workshops, students will be able to discover several content areas and methodological approaches that will allow them to continue with their personal development towards the construction of a life project that responds to the Father’s call to build the Kingdom.