DAGUPAN City, June 17, 2013—With the start of the new school year, the outgoing chairman of the Episcopal Commission on Catechesis and Catholic Education (ECCCE) of the Catholic Bishops’ Conference of the Philippines (CBCP) has challenged educators and campus ministers to teach the Faith beyond the classroom.
Lingayen-Dagupan Archbishop Socrates Villegas said that while the academe is a great venue for evangelization, the potential is not maximized because of a wrong approach in teaching religion.
“Teaching of the Catholic Faith should not be limited in the classroom because students perceive it as just part of the curriculum which they will leave behind as soon as they graduate, whereas if the Catholic Faith is presented as a way of living, then students would continue to live the faith beyond their academic studies,” he said.
Villegas urged Catholic educators and campus ministers to be more organized and structured in reaching out to the youth in the academe because unfortunately students, even those educated in Catholic schools and universities, tend to outgrow the Catholic Faith after leaving school.
The Church official also dared campus ministers and religion teachers to create “happy Christians” out of their students.
“The presentation of the Catholic Faith should be with a happy mode. We in the Church are guilty in presenting the Faith as a series of obligations. But evangelization is not telling people what to do, it is telling people what God has done for us, making us important, beautiful and good,” he said.
Villegas said reviving the element of celebrating the Catholic Faith is what is lacking in the academe, and is something that Catholic educators and campus ministers should look into.
“The Gospel is not about obligations, obligations, and obligations. It is about proclaiming your beauty, the good in you because God has done something beautiful in you. This for me is [what is] lacking in the way we approach [the faith],” he added. (YouthPinoy)