Religious Subject Teacher Formation held to advance the Theology of the Body Education
Group Photograph of the Instructors and Participants in the Core Programme
The Macau Diocesan Commission for Life and the Diocesan Catholic Education Commission continue to collaborate with the University of Saint Joseph to offer two specialised training programmes for religious subject teachers in the 2023/2024 academic year, namely the Initiation and Core programmes, with a view to actively promote the culture of the Theology of the Body in local Catholic Schools. Both programmes aim at fostering a deeper understanding and pedagogical integration of the Theology of the Body in the schools, and to provide the participants with the essential training in the faith so that they can become more competent and enthusiastic teachers regarding aspects from the Theology of the Body.
The Initiation programme commenced first on 9 October 2023, with the Most Reverend Bishop Stephen Lee Bun-Sang as the sole Instructor. The curriculum is designed to impart foundational concepts and knowledge of Pope John Paul II's Theology of the Body. The goal is to guide educators in reflecting upon the sanctity of the body, sexuality, and marital relationships within God’s divine plan, thereby inspiring them to imbue their teaching with these core values.
The Most Reverend Bishop lecturing in the Initiation Programme
The Core programme followed and commenced on 30 October 2023, it is a continuation of the two previous programmes and is designed for Diocesan school teachers who have already completed the two prerequisite programmes. The aim of the Core programme is to help participants transfer the concepts in Theology of the Body from a catechetical level to a tangible life lesson for their own students, participants will go through a transformative process that combines faith with reason to foster love and life-affirming values in students. Led by the Most Reverend Bishop, the Core programme is lectured by invited instructors including Dr. Francis Chan Nai-Kwok, Dr. Peter Ho Man-Hong along with Therapist Ms. Florença Chong. Through the programme, participants will be able to consolidate their practical application of the teachings while nourishing their own spiritual and physical growth.
The two eight-month-long programmes have enrolled 34 religious subjects teachers from nine Diocesan Schools and three Catholic Schools of different religious orders. Through the formation of religious teachers, the organisers hope that the essence of the Theology of the Body would be spread more widely to reach more students, so that the values of chastity and true love could guide them in their growth, exerting a joint effort to build up a better next generation. By arousing students' curiosity in the three transcendentals truth, goodness and beauty, educators can better assist them to tackle life's moral dilemmas and make the right choices that will bring about a better life. It will be an exciting learning process and a great opportunity for participants to promote the value of the Theology of the Body in schools.