RE in Catholic high schools: Challenge and Hope

Contemporary academic writing on RE in Catholic secondary schools no longer conceptualises it as the serene passing on of Catholic faith to practicing Catholics (catechesis). The Catholic RE classroom will contain a wide spectrum of practising and non-practising Catholics, pupils of other denominations and religions, and many seekers, doubters and agnostics.  So the key is for RE to be truly educational, and to foster the spiritual growth and religious literacy of all pupils.  Nonetheless, the faith formation of the next generation of committed Catholics is a reasonable aspiration of RE in the Catholic high school. Promoting spiritual growth in the Catholic tradition while presenting the reasonableness of Catholic faith will be legitimate aims of RE, all the while opening the faith to debate and scrutiny within the educational environment.  Such a task takes on a crucial role, given that very possibility of lifelong faith commitment is challenged by the current postmodern, secular environment in which the pupils live, work and study.

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Lent in Lockdown

Margaret Barton (RE Advisor for Secondary Schools, Archdiocese of St Andrews and Edinburgh)

Photo by Anne McCarthy on Pexels.com

We are journeying through the desert during Lent. Prior to the first lockdown, by the third week of Lent last year, amongst other things, students would have received their ashes in school or their local parish, Lenten lessons would be taught, Lenten pledges made, classes would have received their SCIAF Wee Boxes and be planning fundraising activities, and the school Chaplain would have been offering additional Masses during Lent for pupils and staff to attend.

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