I have come to fall in love with teaching in Catholic schools. What are YOU in love with?...

"Nothing is more practical than finding God, that is, than falling in love in a quite absolute, final way. What you are in love with, what seizes your imagination, will affect everything. It will decide what will get you out of bed in the morning, what you will do with your evenings, how you will spend your weekends, what you read, who you know, what breaks your heart, and what amazes you with joy and gratitude. Fall in love, stay in love, and it will decide everything." - Pedro Arrupe

Sunday, April 13, 2014

How do you spell f-r-i-e-n-d-s?

Oh, I've got friends in...


What's the best word to use here?

I really can't describe my friends - they are amazing and selfless. Let me give two examples to illustrate my point.

Example 1 --> In efforts to address how the Catholic faith goes together with science/reason, I sent out an email SOS to friends both near and far. This is basically what my email said:

 "I wanted to reach out to you in the hopes of being pointed toward some good articles & resources regarding the (rather vague and large) topic of the Catholic Church and science/advances in technology. 

Some brief background info: I teach a very intellectual (and questioning) 8th grade class, and we're just finishing up a unit on Catholic Social Teaching. As the central tenet is life and dignity of the human person, we've faced issues like abortion, euthanasia, the death penalty, and cloning. (As you can imagine, we've had some pretty meaty discussions.) 

 Now, one of my students is very intent on pitting science/technology against the Catholic Church and its teachings. I've tried to explain multiple times that the Church is not so set in its ways that it does not consider advances in technology (Pope Benedict XVI being the first example I can think of when he made statements about adult stem cell cloning), and that the Church and science/technology are not mutually exclusive. However, I am having a very hard time getting this point across. I keep trying to frame it as, "Are these advances for the betterment of human life? or are these advances for the sake of doing it because we are able/playing God/out of pride or accomplishment?" (Ethics is a very hot topic!)"

Well, much to my relief, a number of my friends wrote back with resources, insight, and ideas for how to present the Catholic Church's stance in a way that will hopefully hit home and lay some misconceptions to rest. I'm planning to present all of my gathered/received info on Tuesday, so say an extra prayer for me that I don't get twisted of tongue. (Thanks!)

Example 2 --> As an enrichment opportunity for my 6th graders who just finished studying up vocations, I invited my friend in the seminary at Holy Cross to Skype with my students, and he graciously did so (for 2 different class periods on a Friday afternoon!). He was great about explaining how he heard his own call, and he also answered all of the students' questions, ranging from "Is it hard to be in the seminary?" to "Have you ever doubted your call?" to "What'd you give up for Lent?" While the first class got a little restless at the end of the period, I still think they got a lot out of it.

So, like I said, my friends are amazing and selfless. They inspire me to keep giving my best every day because I know they are behind me and will help me in whatever capacity they are able. Man, I wish there were more people in the world like all of them. They give me hope and keep me going!

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