Friday, April 08, 2005

I have been looking into a web-based program for teaching/learning more about the Catholic Faith. The site is called, and it is a Lectionary based program of catechesis for children starting in kintergarden through high school, and it even has an Adult Education program. For the children there are four levels (Prostulant, Novice, Professed, Proficient), each lasting for 3 years. What I like is that it is a Monday through Friday program, each lesson taking 20-40 minutes, this makes the point that living our Faith is not just reserved for an hour on Sunday. Each lesson begins and ends with a prayer, and the lessons mostly makes us of resources on the Internet. There is also a structure where each day focuses on a particular aspect of the Sunday reading (e.g., Fridays' lessons focuses on moral issues). And the lessons seem very contemporary; I checked out today's lessson in the Adult Education program and the moral issue being discussed was euthanasia and in addition to taking me to the Catechism of the Catholic Church's sections on this topic, the other articles were very Catholic discussions of the Terri Schiavo case. Parishes can sign up for a free "code" which then families can then use to get a discount for signing up, and then the parish DRE/CRE can then check the dates and times each child signs on and off the site, and their quizz grades. While with 700 students in my Religious Education program, it might become unmanageable for us, for a smaller parish it might be very workable. The parish could then have a group gather for each level once a month to share their portfolios and what they have learned (promoting whole family catechesis). They also have a sacramental preparation program (each consisting of 12-15 lessons) which I am evaluating for use with students who move into the parish after missing a lot of our standard sacramental preparation program so that they can "catch-up".

I have been very impressed by the program so far, and may actually sign up for the Adult Education program myself. Another recommended web-based Adult Faith formation program is the St. Paul Center for Biblical Theology, which is run by Dr. Scott Hahn. They have Bible study programs, at the beginner, intermediate, and advance levels, each lasting about 6 weeks. It is free, they just ask that you register.

No comments: