Building a Student Body of Saints.
February 26, 2018
How Catholic are your Catholic School students?
In our anonymous surveys of Catholic high school students, we’ve seen eye-opening responses. In one Junior class, out of 38 students, 21% report their religious affiliation as Agnostic or Atheist. Amazing. One out of five…lost before they even leave the protective Catholic school bubble. And we know the statistics once they leave high school are drastically worse. This raises the question of how well our current catechetical efforts are standing up to the allurements of the world. It might be eye-opening for you to take a similar anonymous one-question quiz in your classroom. “What is your religious affiliation?” It may serve as a good high-water mark as to whether something needs to change now or not.
At the time of this teacher’s survey, this particular Junior class had taken a semester of Called to be More the Grade 9-12 component of ROOTED: Theology of the Body K-12 curriculum. 39% reported that this teaching strengthened their relationship with God. 32% said that it strengthened their faith. And 29% thought that it changed their perspective on life.
What did some of these students report learning?
“Our lives are a gift literally”
“The dating section really changed how I view relationships as a high schooler.”
“The idea that every human is the product of love and is called to give that love to others.”
“The sacrifice of Jesus”
“Dating and relationships”
The good news is…Pope St. John Paul II gave us a beautiful gift of articulating Christian anthropology and God’s boundless generosity and love. Theology of the Body is foundational for young and old, encouraging us to hold strong to our Catholic faith and identity in the maelstrom of the self-indulgent self-effacing Culture of Death. We’ve witnessed this power first hand in the students we have taught over the past 8 years at Ruah Woods—at both the middle and high school levels.
What it takes.
The bad news is…Theology of the Body is not a Band-Aid solution. You can’t just stick it on and forget it and expect healing to happen. The beauty and depth of this perspective on our human identity deserves time to absorb into the system and flourish. It’s more helpful to think of this essential teaching as a vitamin—something you want to infuse into the body on a regular basis. It builds and fortifies over time and is strengthened by regular doses. The high school years are prime for this.
That’s how Called to be More is designed. It’s brilliantly divided into engaging gems of human perspective that dovetail seamlessly into the USCCB’s Doctrinal Elements of a Curriculum Framework. That means it fits—vitamin by vitamin—most high school religion courses.
But as you can see by the rising tide of adversity to God, human love, and authentic freedom—we don’t have time to waste. If you are not teaching Theology of the Body through Called to be More, we encourage you to start building this foundation this semester. The material for Senior year releasing this fall marks the completion of the High School offeri
ng. It’s easy to sign up ($5 per student). And easy to fit into your schedule, and you might find that many students prefer this supplement to the regular lesson they just learned. Begin with the students you have and work to get it throughout the school. You can start with a 5-day free trial here.
What could be more important in our job as educators as forming Saints? Called to be More is a proven way to build up the Body of Christ. We invite you to put it to the test in your class to deepen this essential formation within your student body.