Monday, August 04, 2008

Being Disagreeable

is a lot easier if you're articulate. For three years I was on the parish RCIA team. Each year I raised concerns with the team leader and fellow team members. These concerns fell into two broad areas: catechesis and discernment. But I was unable to persuade my co-workers that there was actually any problem to be addressed.

There may have been several reasons for this. One of them, almost certainly, was my inability to clearly express how the perceived issues were problems. Would that I had a resource like this to point to:

Catechesis in the Catechumenate:

Download and read the PDF article titled: The Standard of Teaching: Catechesis in the RCIA Catechumenate Period to find the answer to the question: What do I teach and when should I teach it?

A quote from the above article:

Catechesis cannot be considered systematic and organic solely because it covers a great deal of material or is lengthy. A defining characteristic of a systematic and organic catechesis is its presentation according to the hierarchy of truths (see CCC 90, 234; GDC 114-115). Participants need to understand certain truths first in order to be able to understand others, and as catechesis proceeds, each truth needs to be linked to those taught previously.

An example: In their catechesis, the catechumens and candidates must come to understand the person and work of Jesus before they explore the Marian dogmas. Then, when Mary is presented, her Immaculate Conception, Perpetual Virginity, Divine Motherhood, and Assumption are shown to have relevance insofar as to who her Divine Son is and what his plan is for her. ‘What the Catholic faith believes about Mary is based on what it believes about Christ, and what it teaches about Mary illumines in turn its faith in Christ’ (Catechism of the Catholic Church, #487).

(Via The Blog That's All About R.C.I.A..)

Friday, August 01, 2008

While You Are Waiting

for the miraculous breakthroughs that you've been told are coming from embryonic stem cells, here's what's happening with adult stem cell research. (Keep in mind that I'm using adult more as "everything other than embryonic"):

From Newsday:

Another adult stem cell breakthrough!

'Harvard University researchers have made motor neurons, the brain cells that degenerate in patients with Lou Gehrig's disease, from skin cells taken from two elderly sisters with the condition.

The advance, published yesterday in the journal Science, used a technique developed during the last two years that gives adult cells the same power as those from embryos to turn into any cell type in the body. '

How many more times is this going to happen before people wake up to the fact that moral stem cell research is possible and already fruitful?"

(Via Gen X Revert.)