Years ago I might have used the word ‘catechesis’ to speak of these many opportunities, fearing the words teaching/learning could evoke images of a classroom, a blackboard, a lecture, and taking notes. However, nowadays, even in elementary schools (certainly ours!), blackboards are gone, replaced by interactive ‘smart boards’. The teacher standing in front of class lecturing is almost passé, learning groups and hands on learning are in the ascendancy.
Hopefully we all realize learning is an interactive multifaceted process, not just giving information to be absorbed. Not only that, most folks also understand that, while we may not do it sitting in a classroom, we all do keep learning our whole life long.
Call it learning, catechesis, mystagogia, didache, or kerygma; disciplemaking, faith formation, growing in faith: call it what you will, this is at the heart of being church, along with worship, community building, and service.
Learning’s centrality is why St. Louis School is such an important mission of our parish, and who we are; why we offer a variety of faith formation or religious education programs for children, why sacramental preparation is so essential, why we offer a variety of ways and opportunities for adults to keep learning and growing in faith.
Every week our bulletin includes opportunities to learn and grow in faith. Do you sometimes find the Sunday readings hard to connect to your life? The bulletin provides a few thoughts to make the readings more accessible every week. We have regular Bible studies. Often you can join a group looking into one or another aspect of our faith right here on campus, and we also try to keep you aware of learning opportunities nearby. The Fruit of the Vine conversation series always offers a wonderful venue to meet new folks and share in exploring a variety of topics. Does being stretched by a theatrical performance appeal to you? Frank Runyeon’s Luke: Stories of Mercy and James: Works of Mercy will certainly help you experience the Bible in a whole new way.
If you haven’t tasted the joy of learning lately, give it a try. You will be glad you did! Peace, Fr. Bob