As part of Catholic Schools Week 2022, Bishop Brendan Leahy, Chair of the Bishops’ Council for Catechetics, launched Credible Catholic, a new religious education programme for Catholic Voluntary Secondary School in Ireland. The launch took place as part of a Webinar on Zoom on Wednesday 26 January.
Bishop Leahy was joined at the webinar by Dr Alexander O’Hara, National Director for Catechetics of the Irish Catholic Bishops’ Conference; Dr Tom Finnegan, lecturer in theology and religious education, Mary Immaculate College, Limerick; and by Ms Kate Liffey, Chaplain at Saint Brendan’s Community School, Birr, Co Offaly.
Credible Catholic aims to stimulate dialogue, encourage reflection and critical reasoning, foster religious literacy, build community, and nurture faith, and in doing all of these things, to promote student wellbeing. It is an optional resource which will be very helpful to teachers of religious education. The programme speaks to, and is built around, very important questions young people of all beliefs (religious and non-religious) have about themselves, their world, God and others.
Highlighting the benefits of the programme, Dr Tom Finnegan said, “Credible Catholic is a new approach to RE that is exciting and intellectually stimulating. It encourages students to critically reflect on and debate a wide range of fascinating topics. The programme supports both faith and reasoning in the lives of adolescents by engaging with many of the most important questions in theology, philosophy and science.”
A unique feature of the Irish version of Credible Catholic is a helpful introductory lesson for teachers which prepares students for engagement with the programme modules. This introductory lesson reminds students that ultimately, in the Christian tradition faith is a gift and God is mystery.
The Credible Catholic programme, which features seven modules, is free and the multi-media materials can be downloaded from www.catholicschools.ie/crediblecatholic