I thoroughly enjoyed this retreat and found it extremely beneficial for my faith formation. I really enjoyed a lot of the experiences that I thought I wouldn't.. especially the reflection time. With the hectic schedule I have right now as a beginning teacher trying not to drown under the workload and stresses of external life, it was wonderful to have an opportunity to reflect and be thankful for all the little blessings that get lost in the hustle and bustle of everyday life. In particular I enjoyed the guest speakers - Dr Dan White and Robert Haddad. This retreat focused on this years theme of "Be Not Afraid", it really helped me see the ways in which I have been called to the vocation without even realising. Robert created a rich connection between us as educators and The Virgin Mary, as our vocations which is a feeling/attraction to something we were called to educated parallel to Mary's calling and acceptance of the Angel Gabriel mission.
Dr Dan White:
What is a Catholic Pedagogy & Christ Pedagogy?
A Catholic pedagogy is the connection between the secular and the sacred. Best way to set up a secular learning space is to allow them to be engaging with the Mystery.
Christ Pedagogy - The relationship between the student, the teacher and God. The teacher doesn't stand between the student and God but beside him.
Their are four key characteristics
1. Encountering Mystery
(i) Discover/encounter the mystery - To help lift the 'Word' out of the secular world
(ii) Explore the Mystery - Suspend disbelief - opening the door to mystery by stimulating both sides of the brain - Intuitive & Critical thinking.
(iii) Engaging with the Mystery - Adapting to cognitive dissonance - crossing the threshold to mystery: understanding the catechetical process (inform, form and transform)
*Dissonance - When everything you believe is discovered to be wrong*
(iv) Living with Mystery - Reflections on transubstantiation. Faith - ultimately the gift that allows us to rest comfortably with the mystery of God. A Whisper of God nourished by the Eucharist.
*Transubstantiation - When the Bread and Wine and consecrated into the body and blood of christ.
2. Searching for Truth - "Searching for TRUTH or celebrating the truth"
Fundament truth - died rose again after 4 days, respecting the 2000 year old truth.
- Dilemma - articulating the 'absolute truth of the tradition VS allowing the freedom to explore and shape the truth'
- Scripture allow us to explore the sacred text not as fact but as a core meaning! e.g Red Sea - Red sea extreme low tied landscape you can walk across a section for 6 hours.
- Miracles are not impossible , it is when they felt God's presence to help them survive! That's the miracle! does not have to be scientifically impossible!
3. Asking God Questions
Attentiveness to the life - giving presence of God difference between pilgrim/tourist. The tourists come sand asks man questions, a pilgrim asks God Question.
- Man Q's - Secular pedagogy - search for meaning, values neutral. Mildly informed, entertained but not challenged to reflect on the journet and what it means beyond them.
- Gods Q's - What would God say?
4. Making Jesus Real
Fostering relationships "Love one another as I have loved you" God moments: a person who sees God in all things. Keep Jesus in your heart and you will recognise His face in every human being.