Missionary leadership in Fiji for Catholic teachers
A group of early career teachers and youth ministry officers travelled to Fiji to visit local schools in July for Signum Fidei.
The faith formation program, offered by Catholic Education Canberra Goulburn and the Australian Catholic University La Salle Academy for emerging leaders in evangelisation, equips participants for missionary leadership in Catholic Schools and church contexts.
The group visited six Catholic schools in Suva, working with more than 3,000 students and teachers and sharing the work achieved in religious education and student formation at Archdiocesan schools.
St Gregory’s Primary School in Queanbeyan Year 2 early career teacher Riley McDonald said the trip was something she would always remember.
“Signum Fidei and the cross-cultural immersion helped me to grow deeper in my personal faith,” she explained.
“The whole experience and encounter with the Holy Spirit has deepened my personal relationship with Jesus. As a teacher with a vocation, I have realised this is the cornerstone of my teaching. This mission experience has called me on in my personal prayer and brought to life the impact of my faith in my classroom at Queanbeyan and witnessing that to the students and families.”
Ms McDonald said during the Suva school visits, the group shared the student formation experiences that animated Religious Education curriculum in Catholic Education Canberra Goulburn schools.
“These experiences involved dramas, games, testimonies, and inputs which allow the students to deepen their relationship with God,” she said.
Ms McDonald said her experience at the Evangelisation School held particularly poignant memories.
“Being able to share about my faith journey with people in a different context allowed us to join together in unity through our vocation in Catholic Education,” she said.
The St Gregory’s teacher said the formation experience had deepened her own relationship with God – something she would share with her school community back home.
“I feel it is important to allow my students to feel and experience those encounters too, through prayer, song, meditation and dramas,” she said.
“These are all things that will be implemented in my classroom and taught using high impact teaching practices.