Every Fall we have the great fortune of participating in When Faith Meets Pedagogy, a conference for Catholic teachers from across Ontario. The conference offers us the opportunity to meet with leading religious educators and discuss the many ways we can support our Catholic schools. As in previous years, we’ve come to hear of the profound need for books and resources that help teachers and parents cultivate Catholic identity at school and at home. Many educators will remind us that without Catholic education, many of our youth may never come to experience the richness of the life of the Church and its impressive contribution to society and culture.
This year we were pleased to share with our friends at When Faith Meets Pedagogy the release of three titles to help educators as they promote Catholic identity in their schools. The first of which is Richard Olson’s It Began with a Promise: Demystifying Biblical Narratives for Teachers. Olson, a vice-principal at Bishop Macdonnel Catholic High School in Guelph, Ontario, offers to teachers an essential guide to the Bible. Olson’s engaging overview of the Bible provides teachers — and all of us — with the fundamentals necessary for sharing the central text of our faith.
Long-time educator Ted Laxton builds upon the teachings of the Bible and draws upon the theological, cardinal and communal virtues to show us that it is possible to foster a Catholic identity in our schools with his book Building a Virtuous School: Guided Reflections on Catholic Character Formation. Laxton shares stories from his many years as a teacher, chaplain and principal and leads us on a reflection on the many ways administration and teachers can further Catholic identity in their schools. His book is both insightful and though provoking and will inspire all Catholic educators.
Finally, we announced the release of the first title in our Faith & Society Series, Faith and Science Matters. A collection of essays by leading scientists and theologians, Faith and Science Matters helps teachers make the connections between science and faith. The authors illustrate the importance of faith in scientific discourse and that the two are not in opposition to each other. The essays succinctly and clearly demonstrate Catholicism’s relevance to contemporary discussions on cosmology, creation, evolution, bioethics, ecology and technology. They remind us that faith need not be set-aside for genuine discussion, but rather can help us understand more fully the issues of the day.
-Don Beyers, Marketing Manager