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The Fortified School

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 Contents - Mar 2006AD2000 March 2006 - Buy a copy now
Editorial: The challenge facing Pope Benedict - Peter Westmore
Documents: Benedict's first encyclical 'Deus Caritas Est' speaks to the heart of the Faith - Michael Gilchrist
News: The Church Around the World
Archbishop Hickey: how to address the crisis of faith - Archbishop Barry Hickey
Mass: How can differences over the Liturgy be resolved? - Fr John O'Neill
Liturgy: Eucharistic faith: why the Mass needs re-enchanting - Alvin F. Kimel Jr
Modernism: 'New Church' not true Church: what modernists believe - Pastor Remotus
Vocations: Dominican Sisters: religious vocations continue to rise in Nashville - Tracey Rowland
The distribution of Holy Communion past and present: an historical survey - Fr Sebastian Camilleri OFM
Media: Archbishop Hickey presents the Christian message on TV - Daniel Tobin
Letters: The Fortified School - Chris Hilder
Letters: The Eucharist - Jim Howe
Letters: Adore 2006 in Brisbane - Tim Wallace
Letters: New Age - Richard Congram
Letters: Intelligent Design - Peter Barnes
Letters: Canadian Lectionary - Matt Walton
Letters: St John Vianney - Maureen Wright
Letters: Guitars - John Daly
Letters: Elitism - Jeff Harvie
Letters: Relic of the '70s - Don Gaffney
Letters: Vaccines and abortion - Judy Law
Letters: Gender neutral - P.F. Gill
Books: 'The Case For Marriage' by Linda J. Waite and Maggie Gallagher - Kerrie Allen (reviewer)
Books: Edith Stein Discovered: A Personal Portrait, by Pat Lyne OCDS - Michael Daniel (reviewer)
Books: Black Robe And Tomahawk: Fr Pierre-Jean De Smet SJ (1801-1873) - Michael Daniel (reviewer)
Books: Golden Priest, Wooden Chalice, by Fr Tim Norris - Michael Gilchrist (reviewer)
Books: Stimulating reading from AD Books
Reflection: Bringing Christ's love to the bereaved: a ministry for Catholic parishes - Fr Dennis Byrnes

Some advice from St Teresa of Avila to the problem presented by Br Luke Saker and Bishop Geoffrey Jarrett (February AD2000) on the dismal performance of our Catholic schools in instilling love of the Catholic faith in its students could be:

"[W]hat is necessary is the approach of a lord when, in times of war, his land is overrun with enemies and he finds himself restricted on all sides. He withdraws to a city that he has fortified well and from where, sometimes, he was able to strike at his foe.

"[W]hat we must ask God is that, in this little castle, where there are already good Christians, not one of us will go over to the enemy, and that God will make the captains of this castle, or city [the preachers and the theologians], very advanced in the way of the Lord - that they advance very far in the perfection of the religious life and their vocation." (The Way of Perfection, 3, 1-2).

The strategy that I garner from the above advice is to regroup and refocus. In Saint Teresa's time the enemy was the Reformation, in our times it is a lack of faith. For my purposes the "captains of this castle" are the religious educators.

To be effective teachers of the faith they must be holy. They must live lives of constant prayer. The days of our schools having access to an abundant supply of religious teachers has passed, but I suggest that all religious orders give consideration to having present in schools for religious education those of their order who are very advanced in the way of the Lord.

Parish priests and bishops must also be resolute in ensuring the holiness of their schools' religious educators, both religious and lay. Ultimately, only holy witness to truth, mystery, transcendence, awe and prayer supported by knowledge will instil faith.

Queanbeyan, NSW

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Reprinted from AD2000 Vol 19 No 2 (March 2006), p. 14

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