Thursday, 16 August 2012 13:34
By James Bitting
“Inter Mirifica,” a Vatican II decree about medial and social communications states: “Man’s genius has with God’s help produced marvelous technical inventions from creation, especially in our times…The Church, our Mother, is particularly interested in those which touch man’s spirit….”
As a wise mother, the church accepts the instruction of St. Paul to “test everything; [and] retain what is good” (1 Thess 5:21). The church throughout her 2,000-year history has been prudent, patient, and pioneering when it comes to technology. In the area of internet technology she is responding no differently. The church is cautious and prudently active. She wasn’t the first with a website or twitter account but today the pope has both. The church has embraced internet technologies as one means to reach to the “end of the earth” (Acts 1:8).
Our diocese, the local church of Wichita, is happy to announce that these technologies are one means of evangelization and catechesis that will be employed to a greater degree in the near future. To that end, the Office of Faith Formation would like to introduce My Catholic Faith Delivered as an online resource that offers several opportunities for faith development including, catechist formation, classroom tools for catechists, and a tracking feature to follow ones progress of online study.
For catechist formation, MCFD has online courses covering the content of our faith as well as a course on the nature, content, and valid methodology of catechesis. As a classroom tool My Catholic Faith Delivered has the entire “Faith and Life” elementary textbook series, the entire “Didache” high school textbook series, as well as “Theology of the Body for Teens” available online for use by the catechists. The lessons typically go as follows: listed objectives, opening prayer, initial assessment, vocabulary, class/chapter content, repeat assessment, some game/activities, and closing prayer.
From a catechist’s perspective, some of the most attractive features are the ability (if one is blessed to have internet and a projector in the classroom) to project the page on a screen or whiteboard to an entire class of students and use that as a tool for teaching. A catechist could have a page with vocabulary and beautiful sacred artwork projected on the whiteboard, and refer to the projection while giving explanation to the students. There is an audio feature, which enables the students to hear each page being read aloud. The audio feature can be paused or muted at any time at the discretion of the catechist.
The tracking feature of My Catholic Faith Delivered is an answer to many prayers! Whether it is being used for catechist formation or as a classroom tool for catechists, the amount of time spent on each course is permanently recorded. A catechist can track his or her own progress towards certification. A catechetical leader can track his or her catechists’ progress as well. The Office of Faith Formation can add teachings on our My Catholic Faith Delivered storefront which can be used by catechists and tracked as well.
Any questions regarding My Catholic Faith Delivered should be directed to Mr. James J. Bitting Jr. M.A. in the Office of Faith Formation:
. Bitting is coordinator of Catechist Formation for the diocesan Office of Faith Formation.
Want to learn more?
Cost varies for the courses. For example, “Catechesis 101” costs the users $29 dollars for 18 months of access. A link to MCFD will be available on the new Office of Faith Formation web page.