29 May 2013

Calling All Catholic Education Nerds!

Next semester I will teaching a course at Notre Dame Seminary called, "Teaching and Preaching the Word of God."

The course is designed to teach seminarians who to teach the faith to children/teens/adults. 

The General Directory of Catechesis and the USCCB's United States Catholic Catechism for Adults will feature prominently, but we still need a good book or two on theory/method in faith formation pedagogy.

Any suggestions?

P.S. Thomas Groome's work has been mentioned as a possibility. . .but I'm pretty sure his stuff (or some really bad uses of his stuff) has been partly responsibile for the collapse of good faith formation in the last 40 yrs.


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  1. I'm more inclined to blame the (mis)application of Groome's work than his methodology, although he himself does hold some fairly unorthodox views. His latest book, Will There Be Faith?, is a good overview of his methodology.

    I can recommend "Catechism of the Catholic Church and the Craft of Catechesis" by Cointet et al. I own and have glanced through "The Mystery We Proclaim: Catechesis for the Third Millennium" by Kelly et al, but haven't read it yet. Both are good examples of the "divine pedagogy" school or catechesis.

    I'd also recommend some reading from the Rite of Christian Initiation of Adults, especially no. 75, which has some direct application to our understanding of all catechesis.

  2. LudiDomestici1:23 PM

    Young people need to be aware of Pope Francis' call for worldwide economic reform, and his condemnation of the pursuit of capitalist profit over the needs of the poor:


    To quote one of country's great founders who is perfectly in line with our new Pope:

    “I had come to realize the importance of the Nation, and of shared, communal, social responsibility, to be held as equally important as individual concerns. The elderly, the widowed, newly married couples, the poor, the unemployed, disbanded soldiers and children, who would be required to attend school, must be provided for from state funds. And all this support is not the nature of charity, but of a right.”

    - Thomas Paine, 1792

  3. You left out the Holy Father's condemnation of socialist collectivism and its desire to destroy the family. . .

    1. LudiDomestici2:04 PM

      You mean the condemnation exposed as a fake, or some other one?


    2. Nope. Never read that. I mean all the times he's repudiated socialist collectivism as plan to destroy the family and the Church.

  4. Fr. Powell, here's a couple of titles that might work out for you: "The Pedagogy of God" edited by Caroline Farey and Sr. Johanna Paruch, "O Timothy" by Michael McKeating, and "The Mystery We Proclaim" by Francis Kelly.

    Please don't use Groome. I think your assessment of his legacy is pretty accurate.

    1. Marc, thanks for these suggestions!

  5. Fr. Philip -
    I know that your Dominican sisters up in Nashville are big proponents of the Catechesis of the Good Shepherd. I have no idea what the readings for your level of instruction might be...but as Dominicans in the trenches they may be a good resource.

    1. CGS is really good for children. What I'm looking for is a college-level text to use in teaching seminarians how to teach the faith. In other words, a book on faith formation pedagogy: teaching teachers how to teach.

  6. You should definitely assign "The Enduring Chill." It contains one of the greatest scenes of adult catechesis in American literature.

  7. Don't forget Humbert of Romans, "Treatise on Preaching" - Hey, good OP stuff!

    Regarding Groome; find a copy of "A Generation Betrayed: Deconstructing Catholic Education in the English-Speaking World", by Eamonn Keane

    A bit on the subject here: