Bishop of Sale
At my ordination to the episcopate for the Diocese of Sale, I joyfully proclaimed ‘God is good. God is good indeed’. Each of us is called to work together to help the students, families and staff of our Parishes and our Schools to learn of this goodness and enter into a living relationship with God that helps to build the Kingdom of God here and now. Indeed, this is at the very heart of our work, bringing every child and young person to know God’s love and to respond in love.
In all our endeavours, and most especially through our Religious Education Curriculum, our key objective is to walk alongside our students, listening to their challenges and aspirations, sharing their joy and pain, and helping to create a stillness and an openness in their hearts to the presence and action of God in their lives.
From the very first moment a person enters one of our Parish Schools, we want them to encounter the person, story and message of Jesus Christ. It is through this encounter that a fullness of life is gifted to our School communities and to the individuals that form these communities. We want people in our Schools to encounter an authentic Christian message through their lived experience of the school. In this encounter, and through the formal Religious Education programs offered in our Schools, School community members are called to witness and contribute to God’s plan of salvation.
In our cultural context, where Christian truth is continually rediscovered and made real through a continuous search for it, all School community members are encouraged to be open to God’s revelation as something that inspires and shapes a living faith. Through all the activities of a School’s life, in its teaching and through its prayer, ritual and liturgical life, we want School community members to have the opportunity to have their faith shaped and nurtured. In this, Schools are able to draw on the richness and depth of Christian tradition for inspiration and guidance.
I am happy to offer To Live in Christ Jesus as our Diocesan Religious Education Curriculum and mandate its use in Catholic Schools in the Diocese of Sale. Our Diocese has a rich history of over 130 years and has proudly and faithfully carried out its mission of evangelisation and catechesis over this time. It is my hope that this curriculum will further this wonderful work across the Diocese and be a rich resource for the whole educational community.
To Live in Christ Jesus is the result of genuine collaboration across the Diocese. With leadership and direction provided by the Director of Catholic Education, staff of the Catholic Identity and Religious Education Team, Principals and Religious Education Leaders in Primary and Secondary Schools worked together to prepare an appropriate Religious Education Curriculum that will meet the diverse needs of students in our Schools. As this curriculum was being developed, important feedback was also provided by our official auditor of the curriculum, Reverend Dr Kevin Lenehan, and critical friend, Reverend Dr Brendan Reed.
Catholic Schools, being and integral part of our Parishes, are called, to go out into the world to encounter people and spread the Gospel of Love in the footsteps of Jesus. It is my hope and prayer that our To Live in Christ Jesus will enable this mission to be fulfilled faithfully and with great joy.
I am grateful to all who have contributed in some way to the development of To Live in Christ Jesus and I pray God’s blessing on all who will utilise it in their classrooms, schools and Parishes.
Director of Catholic Education
It is with much pleasure that I present the revised diocesan Religious Education curriculum, To Live in Christ Jesus.
A key finding of the 2014 Review of Religious Education in the Diocese of Sale was the need to revise the Religious Education Curriculum, Journeying Together in Hope, to ensure that it was meeting the needs of students in this very important area of learning and teaching in our Catholic Schools.
With the implementation of the new Victorian Curriculum from 2017, the decision was taken to align the revision of the Religious Education Curriculum with the structure of the Victorian Curriculum. This has been completed and we now have a Religious Education Curriculum that makes explicit a progression of learning with associated achievement standards from Foundation through to Year 12.In undertaking this revision, Ms Debra Punton, Deputy Director, Catholic Identity, Leadership, Learning and Teaching and members of the Catholic Identity and Religious Education team in the Catholic Education Office collaborated with Religious Education Leaders and Principals from primary and secondary Schools across the Diocese. Our auditor, Reverend Dr Kevin Lenehan, and critical friend, Reverend Dr Brendan Reed, worked with us to ensure that the curriculum was an authentic and contemporary expression of Church teaching.
In presenting this curriculum, I am mindful of the aspiration we clearly articulated in our Strategic Directions Document Inspiring Faith Inspiring Learning to help students deepen their understanding of the Christian story and Catholic Tradition in recontextualised School environments. Our Religious Education pedagogy needs to reflect a dialogical approach and support the development of post critical belief. It is my firm belief that To Live in Christ Jesus will support this critical work.
Pope Francis reminds us that educators in Catholic Schools must be, first and foremost, competent and qualified but, at the same time, people who are rich in humanity and capable of being with young people in a style of pedagogy that helps promote their human and spiritual growth. Our challenge in the years ahead is to enact To Live in Christ Jesus in such a way that the person and message of Jesus is central in all our endeavours with students and families present in our schools and brings each to a full and loving relationship with Christ, confidently witnessed in a contemporary world.
As Director of Catholic Education in the Diocese of Sale, I commend to you To Live in Christ Jesus.