The Catholic Weekly 20 December 2020

$2 There’s nothing better than to see the light of faith ‘go on’ in someone’s heart and mind. For me that’s one of themost re- warding experiences a bishop can have...” Bishop Columba Macbeth-Green STUDENTS ARE asking about becoming Catholics. Teachers are too. Parents are looking on, surprised – but delight- ed. A new religious education curriculum operating in the Diocese of Wilcannia-Forbes is touching the hearts and minds of students as well as those of their parents, princi- pals, teachers and clergy. The Educating in Christ program, based upon Profes- sor Gerard O’Shea’s book of the same name, builds upon the work of childhood edu- cation pioneer Maria Mon- tessori and creator of the Catechesis of the Good Shep- herd, Sofia Cavalletti. Its success in engaging pri- mary children of varying ages, abilities and interests in learn- ing about the Catholic faith has educators in the diocese talking. Wilcannia-Forbes Bishop Columba Macbeth-Green of- ficially launched the program in Forbes on 3 December along with Anthony Gor- don, the diocese’s director of Catholic Education, and Pro- fessor O’Shea, the assistant director and head of the di- ocesan Mission and Religious Education team. Bishop Macbeth-Green said religious education in the diocese had been long overdue for an update and he was delighted to see the new hands-on program in action. “I’ve watched it in class- rooms being taught and kids just light up,” the bishop said. “There’s nothing better than to see the light of faith ‘go on’ in someone’s heart and mind. For me that’s one of the most rewarding experienc- es that a bishop can possibly ever have.” The bishop thanked the Mission and Religious Educa- tion team for its work getting the “groundbreaking” initia- tive up and running. Mr Gordon said the pro- gram, which has been im- plemented across the 18 diocesan schools this year and already sparked interest across Australia and overseas, was a “world first” in develop- ing the foundational work of Montessori and Cavalletti into CONTINUED P2 FEATURE P14 Winning hearts andminds It’s a remarkable story. A Religious Education curriculumdeveloped in the outback Diocese of Wilcannia-Forbes is a huge success – and could inspire Catholic educators around Australia ¾ Marilyn Rodrigues 20, December, 2020 A TRANS MOVEMENT REALITY CHECK? THE PRIEST OUR SPIES FRAMED P5 Clare Communications Co PTY LTD See our website for more information on our services Mystery and meaning: Students of St Laurence’s Parish Primary School at Forbes discuss key moments of the liturgy with Bishop Columba Macbeth-Green. PHOTO:TRICIAWARD, CATHOLIC EDUCATIONWILCANNIA-FORBES P13