ACU to host religious education colloquium in Canberra
AUSTRALIAN Catholic University’s (ACU’s) La Salle Academy will host a three-day Religious Education Colloquium to explore ‘Ways forward in Religious Education’ at the ACU Canberra Campus from Monday 12 November to Wednesday 14 November.
The Colloquium will explore the challenges, responses and collaborative possibilities for advancing Religious Education in Catholic schools across Australia and will feature 22 presentations to showcase best practice perspectives.
The Colloquium will be opened by Vice President Identity and Mission at ACU Father Anthony Casamento csma Chairperson of the National Catholic Education Commission – Religious Education Standing Committee Sr Elizabeth Dodds RSC will provide a welcome and keynote addresses will be delivered by the Executive Director of Sydney Catholic Schools for the Archdiocese of Sydney Dr Dan White and Associate Dean (Postgraduate and Research) of Catholic Theological College Reverend Dr Kevin Lenehan.
Participants will include Arch/Diocesan Catholic Education Office and Religious Institute personnel and ACU academics and staff who teach in the area of religious education, with parents and students invited to contribute to the discussion.
Awaken, celebrate and imagine
Dean of the La Salle Academy Professor Brother David Hall FMS said, “Our dialogue is designed to awaken, celebrate and imagine possibilities and contribute to streams of thinking and practice in support of Religious Education as the foundational educational discipline of the Catholic school.”
“The model of discernment will draw from what has inspired and gives life, what might need to be let go and what might emerge in order to give new life.”
Deputy Dean of the La Salle Academy and Chair of the Advisory Working Party Associate Professor Bill Sultmann said: “A talented team of ACU scholars have contributed significantly to developing an experience of relevance, meaning and possibility for strengthening relationships among mission partners.”
“We will also be working to establish intentional connections between University and Catholic authorities; sharing experiences that are relevant, current and innovative; exploring connections between religious education and catechesis, the wider curriculum, the religious life of school, and school culture; modelling and learning about processes of dialogue; and recognising and responding to the Spirit.”
Running through the program will be a formative liturgy which seeks to celebrate ‘a gathering in the upper room’ (Acts 2:1-4); ‘fullness of the Spirit’ (Acts 2:2-4); and ‘the consolation of the Holy Spirit’ (Acts 9:31)’.
A report of proceedings will be prepared and circulated to the Catholic education community as a La Salle Academy publication in support of ‘Ways forward in Religious Education’.
In commenting on the preparation, Professor Hall indicated the deep appreciation of the Academy for the comprehensive response of employing authorities and the generosity and creativity of ACU colleagues in fashioning a program of promise guided by the Spirit.
I fear that this suggestion may be waved away as out-of-date and irrelevant but I believe that Catholic schoolchildren should be introduced to our Church’s musical heritage. At present, all most of us hear, despite the earnestness of local choristers, is, compared to past glory, mass- produced and mediocre songs. Perhaps Gregorian chant, not on a large scale,could be tried. The last three popes have lamented this loss and have urged its reintroduction. I am afraid, though,that the loss of Latin may be thrown up as a reason and that the use of chant has been left too long to try reintroducing it.
Well , with the will to do it, I believe it can be done. America is trying it and it seems to be doing famously, especially among secondary school students. The present hymns certainly don’t inspire them.Look up the Catholic Weekly series on Chant within the last year or so.