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THE LASALLIAN CATECHETICAL METHOD. The foundation was the “ Great Mysteries“ of SALVATION, God, Incarnation & Redemption;. These MYSTERIES were taught and celebrated on Feast days & Sundays in the classroom;. - PowerPoint PPT Presentation


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THE LASALLIAN CATECHETICAL METHODThe foundation was the Great Mysteries of SALVATION, God, Incarnation & Redemption;These MYSTERIES were taught and celebrated on Feast days & Sundays in the classroom;There was no distinction in seating between the better-off & the poor [as was the case in Saint-Sulpice];The Brothers carefully prepared questions & sub questions were to ensure the pupils understanding of the words before they were to memorize the answers.Use was made of holy cards & prayer cards cards indicating merits or demerits, to evaluate learning ;Every effort was made to avoid punishment during the lesson so as not to associate this lesson with unpleasant memories;Emphasis was more on co-operation and on helping weaker pupils to be able to answer as well as the others, unlike the competitive methods used by the Jesuits and the Saint Sulpice method.The catechism lesson was the Brothers principal duty which he was to accomplish every day.Commenting on Buyns comments on the Method of Saint-Sulpice, Joseph Colomb remarks that teaching [emphasis added] the heart is indisputably the essential purpose, and then goes on to comment that, in a word, it is necessary to begin by winning hearts, [emphasis added] and then all is won. 17thC French spirituality was centered on the heart:It signifies this material and bodily heart it is used in sacred scripture to signify the memory understanding used for meditationthe free will of the superior and reasonable part of the soul the highest part of the soul which theologians call the point of the spirit the whole interior of man it means the divine Spirit, the heart of the Father and the Son

Saint John EudesJacques Goussin reminds us that touching hearts is not peculiar to SJBDLS but was widely used:

To touch in the most expressive sense of the word does not only signify to reach , to graze, to make contact but to penetrate in accordance with its use when dealing with weapons, hence the power of the figure of speech when one refers to the moral sphere. As for the word heart, it stands for what is most intimate, most deep and most personal in man, especially in whatever concerns the will, the intention, the resolution , and the going into action.Saint John Baptist de La Salle uses the expression to touch hearts 25 times. On another twelve occasions he uses expressions where only the verb to touch figures with an identical meaning. We note that it is always in an important context related to the finality of the Institute and the Lasallian charism e.g. the more you will apply yourself to meditation for the good of the souls entrusted to youj, the more God will make it easy for you to touch hearts. (MF 148.3)De La Salles use of different verbs may well be an unconscious appreciation of the different pastoral situations that the Lasallian educator may encounter e.g. you are obliged to insinuate his love into the hearts of those whom you instruct (MF 39.1) and You should apply yourself with the greatest care to imprint [Gods] holy love on the hearts of those whom you instruct. (MF 102.2)The REFLECTION, aimed specifically at touching hearts, became an integral part of the Lasallian catechetical heritageAs the Conduct of Schools specifies:This is why they will speak aloud only on three occasions: first when he has to correct a pupil because none of the pupils can do so; second, when he teaches catechism; third, during the reflections and examinations of conscience. The original five reflections are preceded by the following general remark which reminds us of the Saint Sulpice method: to place ourselves in frame of mind not to fall into any sin today, we must make some reflections and good resolutions. The texts of the five reflections, read aloud each day by the prayer reader, followed immediately by reading the particular reflection for that day on which the Brother spoke:We must consider that this day has been given to us only to work for our salvation.

We must realize that perhaps this day will be the last day of our lives.

We must make a firm resolution to use this day to serve God well so that we can gain eternal life.

We must be prepared to die rather than offend God today through sin.

We must think about the faults that we most usually commit, foresee the occasions that make us fall into them, and seek the means of avoiding them.

REFLECTION AND EXAMENIt is clear in De La Salle's mind that there is an important link between the reflections which follow the morning prayer and the examination of conscience which was an integral part of the afternoon prayers, before the dismissal of the classes. Writing of this examen, De La Salle says:"This examination of conscience is divided into four parts, and each part or article into 5 points."

There is, however, meant to be an integral link with the same points as those for the reflections which follow the morning prayer, as the text clearly indicates:"As regards the five points of the article to be read during the week, the same order and the same practices as indicated with regard to the five reflections for morning prayer, are to be kept."

1838 Development of the founding tradition:

Concerning the Reflections in the morning prayer & the examens of the evening.The book of the Exercises of Piety in use in the Christian Schools contains a sequence of reflections on the principal duties of a Christian. They are divided into five articles so as to serve as topics for exhortations for a month. Each article contains five reflections, one for each school day of the week. Every day at the morning prayer, the reflection corresponding to the day will be read, and the teacher will explain it during the time needed for a good Miserere, making the children aware of their obligations in this matter and suggesting the means and resolutions which they should take to carry out these duties faithfully. There are also for the evening an equal number of articles and reflections which should be read in the same manner In this way, during each month the children will have their principal duties presented to them, as well as the most usual faults common to their age-group. This can be of great benefit to them, especially if it leads them to develop the good habit of foreseeing each morning the faults they are most likely to commit during the day, and to examine themselves in the evening on the resolutions they had taken

This is typical of many of the REFLECTION booklets produced around the world. The aim was to interest the students in something that was part of their ordinary day living. Very often the point was made by a good story which presented its own moral without the need for any prolonged explanation by the teacher. In some ways, it was like telling a good joke: if the joke had to be explained, there was something wrong with the telling. The tradition was for each Brother to collect his own set of reflections.

Recalling from the Conduct of Schools that the Brother was to avoid anything that suggested preaching , the REFLECTION was always spoken as a story from the heart to the students, it was never read. I know that some schools have a common reflection that comes through the address system, either from the Principal or from the person responsible for RE. I feel it works much better if it is part of the daily conversation shared by the teacher with students.

THE EDUCATION OF (THE) FAITHAIM: to develop the faith received in Baptism at the various stages of life CONTENT: Doctrine, Liturgy, Bible, Witness under the guidance of the Church TEACHER/CATECHIST: A fellow believer, faithful to God and faithful to manASSUMPTION: A dialogue of faith, a sharing of faith through prayer , sacraments . Liturgy & paraliturgy..the act of faith by its very nature is a free act and therefore nobody is to be forced to embrace the faith against his own will,,, This Synod forbids every act of coercion in religious matters RELIGION is a distinct form of thought and experience which cannot be subsumed into any other such form It can express itself through History, Literature, Music, Philosophy, Dancing etc. but retains its uniquenessteaching THAT or teaching HOW or teaching WHYEDUCATING IN RELIGIONS such as Hinduism, Islam, Judaism, Confucianism, Tao or in BuddhismRELIGIOUS EDUCATION OR EDUCATION IN RELIGION