On our road trip to our sunny New Years holiday destination, a bunch of mates were discussing Catholic education in the car. Goodness knows how we got on to that topic, given not everyone was a practising Catholic.
We were discussing how weak our Catholic religious education had been at school – we all attended various Auckland Catholic colleges. We remarked that it was a real shame that we all learnt more about Buddhism and New Age philosophy, than about Catholicism. And that this greatly affected the formation of a couple of guys who thought Mass was all there was to being Catholic. The church has a rich history, sometimes full of bloodshed and intrigue, and scholars and brave martyrs. We have the Vatican, the Pope, Infallibility, saints, Transubstantiation and then there’s all the Catholic history.
So why don’t we learn any of it at school? Why is our RE so appallingly bad, and is it a surprise then that young people aren’t interested in a religion they’re not included in?
I know this has been discussed heaps here on Being Frank, and around dinner tables all over New Zealand, but worth thinking about over the holidays as we take a break from the world.
Isn’t it time our Bishops pulled up their socks and devised a curriculum worthy of our enduring, rich, passionate and fascinating Catholic faith?
St Augustine, doctor of the Church, pray for us.