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Catholic Teacher: Faith formation resources for Term One 2019

Michael McVeigh  |  12 February 2019

Thanks for joining us for another year of Catholic Teacher e-news. Here’s some of the exciting things we have in store for you in Term One.

The Autumn edition of Australian Catholics magazines is being sent out this week. In this edition we explore the theme of ‘Reconciliation – with God, each other and creation’. Over the weeks of Term One, we’ll unpack a number of different aspects of the theme. We’ll explore the sacrament of reconciliation itself, we’ll explore reconciliation with Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander people, our relationship with the environment, and more.

Here’s a list of the articles and topics we’ll be covering each week:

14 February: Making peace with nature

Sharing the story of ecologist Finbarr Horgan, an ecologist at the School of Life Science at the University of Technology Sydney, who has spent a number of years working with communities in South America and witnessing the destruction of the natural environment first-hand. The reflections and activities will explore our responsibility to the environment, what we mean by ‘reconciliation with creation’, the Pope’s encyclical Laudato Si’, and what it means to be an ‘environmentalist’.

21 February: The unbelievable thing

A poem from one of our young writers shares the story of three ‘naughty’ young men, the effects of their behaviour on those around them, and how the sacrament of reconciliation offers them a way out. The reflections and activities will look more deeply at the sacrament of reconciliation, and our experiences of it as Catholics.

28 February: Why does God allow drought?

One of our young writers, from a drought-affected community, asks why God allows communities to suffer natural disasters. She looks at some of the commonly raised answers to ‘the problem of evil’, and evaluates them in the context of the drought. In the reflections and activities, students will be asked to evaluate the writers’ responses, to explore ‘the problem of evil’ for themselves, and to think about how they might respond to ‘evils’ like drought.

7 March: Opening up to First Nations peoples

One of our young writers interviews Aboriginal Catholic Ministry Victoria Co-ordinator Sherry Balcombe, asking her about the Uluru Statement and how encapsulates the dreams and hopes of First Nations peoples in Australia. The article explores what real reconciliation might look like, as well as the impact of Pope John Paul II’s 1986 visit on Aboriginal people. The reflections and activities will take a deeper look at the Uluru Statement, and ask students to consider what’s needed for Reconciliation to take place with Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander people in their own communities.

14 March: A tree of healing

Sharing the story of Tom Powell, a Warramunga man from Central-West NSW, who developed Red Dust Healing, a program that helps people cope with grief and loss. The model of the program is a tree, whose roots provide both good nutrients like love and acceptance, as well as bad nutrients like family violence and neglect. The reflections and activities will explore how perspectives like Tom’s can enrich our way of seeing the world, and consider where we find ‘good’ and ‘bad’ nutrients in our lives.

21 March: A teen with a mission

An interview with Sophia Skarparis, a Sydney schoolgirl who launched a campaign to ban plastic bags in NSW. In the questions and activities, the students will explore why people are looking to ban plastic bags, and consider what local campaigns they could launch to make the world a better place.

28 March: The Easter Story: Why did Christ die for our sins?

Taking a deeper look at reconciliation, particularly in the context of the Easter story. What does it mean when we say that Christ ‘died for our sins’? How does Christ’s death and resurrection change everything for Christians? The reflections and activities will consider these questions and offer some paths for inquiry for students.



Young Journalist Award 2019: The journey of a family

Our Young Journalist Award this year is asking students to find and share the story of an inspiring family in their community. It might be a migrant family, a musical family, a family of successful sportspeople, or a family of volunteers. Find out more here.

Media Internship Program 2019

The Australian Catholics Media Internship Program is back again this year. We’re giving students in Years 10 and 11 the opportunity to spend a week working with our editorial team to plan and write articles for our 2019 Spring edition. The program will take place from 13 to 19 May, and applications will open soon. Stay tuned for more details.

Prayer resource: Season of Consolation

Following on in our series of reflections on the rosary, in Lent this year we’ll be launching our Season of Consolation reflections on the Sorrowful Mysteries. Each week, we’ll be looking at one of the five sorrowful mysteries, looking at the Gospel story, providing a personal reflection, and some questions for personal reflection. The resource will be ideal for staff prayer. Stay tuned for more details.



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