Newspaper Archive of
Arkansas Catholic
Little Rock, Arkansas
March 15, 1974     Arkansas Catholic
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March 15, 1974

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THE GUARDIAN, MARCH 15, 1974 PAGE 5 Is "[']aer'e Room for Surprise in Religion Courses? ather Carl J. Pfeifer, S.J. he I YOUR mode] of religious SI Iti0n is there any room for ise?', asked Dr. Robert a Auburn Theological vc ary, at a meeting in Id % on the future of bus education. I found his on stimulating. It seems nc te that we religious tt tots often fall into a kind "'seriousness that strives at dUce surprise to a ff urn. Or Of Ikxng back over recent , 0us education history -- at )  In our Catholic experience T all a periodic resurgence of KNOW YOUR FAITH Sponsored By Arkansas State Council Knights of Columbus approaches to catechesis that tend to rule out surprise. At various times we have tried to explain everything about God [1111 WORTHEN Bank & Trust Company, N.A. A Natponal Bank !00bm PKuettr Member FDIC and Federal Reserve System Forest Heights St .opping Center Nenghts ] [wnrrnu.D Toy Center- ] I oiAMONOS I WATC.. -- Jr*lt, 4eLUSIVE TOYS" I | Wake Repairing ,tlfi63-8383 - 5918 "R" I I Cantrell & Grant - 666-6651 k, Arkanlas J [ Heights Shopping Center , kl,-qndeble Service Call" R'ST PLUMBING .HONE 666-t474 kla of Pfeifer & Hetinl Co., Inc. .._WHgM, Manager ,IDERS MODEL KAVANAUGH PHARMACY * FREE DELIVERY * Phone Knvannugh 664-3844 MARKLrlr 6o8 "R" st.- 666-,.628 Little Rock, Arkansas "--0oO-.- LARGE SELECTION OF in Corder SILK AND PARCHMENT "q}o0-- SHADES Large Variety of Quality V $911 NAME BRAND LAMPS & N A U G H "Bring Your Lamp In for a Fitting" , ]I" Infants and Children's ?he  READY-TO-WEAR McCain Mall and 5701 Kavanaugh closely related, and all good education -- particularly religious education -- needs to leave room for both surprise and humor. They are constant reminders by a playfully serious God, that His ways are not our ways, that He cannot be boxed into our narrow categories. Tills IS NOT to say we should not strive to clearly describe and define our experience of God. Nor does it imply any "breathes where He will." Surprise is the beginning of wonder, and wonder is a step toward awareness of God's presence. As we help our youngsters grow, we do them a great service by never giving the impression that God can adequately be named, that religion is reducible to definitions and clear logic, that the past is the full measure for the future, that God's Spirit can be fully prepared for. Today many lose faith because the God they have learned about is too small, reduced to the image of ITlan. WIIETIIER we are parents, classroom teachers, priests, or directors of religious education, we should reflect on Dr. Lynn's provocative question: "In your model of religious education is there any room for surprise?" 1974 NC News Service and life in clear and distinct ideas. At other times we boxed God into our formalized structure of "salvation history." More recently we find religious educators laboring to pin down predictable measurable "behavioral" or "instructional" objectives. Overly serious advocates of any of these systems tend to rule out the element of surprise both in religious education and life. IN TilE OIJ)ER system the questions were already determined by previously formulated answers, or one's expectations were limited by past historical events. More recently religious educators strive to structure the learning easing of our attempts to un- 1 I I I I I I 1 I I I I I I m I 1 II IB Nil derstand the present by pan- l dering the marvels of God's l -- TUTORING! past interventions into man's history. Least of all does it suggest that we not make good: lly ff n use of the very helpful findings 98 rea ective ! of the social sciences regarding that __ e planning.edueatinal objectives and Il :) To enable our youngsters to I Park Plaza Center grow in knowledge and love of l y Phone 664-2880 : God, parents and teachers alike I must explore the best ways to develop that growth.'  Foundations | Systematic procedure - lear- I ning, skill, careful preparation - I - are essential, but none of us should ever become so tied to il The Tutoring Center I our plan or approach that we fail to take advantage of the lllUllllllllUllllllllll unexpected, surprising hap- pening. situation in a way that enables them to predict and measure SOME OF MY most meaning- the expected learning ob- ful experiences as a catechist jectives. Pushed to an extreme occurred when something out of by overzealous advocates, any the ordinary interrupted my of these approaches tends to careful lesson plan. The ability reduce the element of surprise to respond creatively is a key lo a minimum., not only to good education, but Yet it seems to me that to religious education in par- surprise is a sign of the tran- ticular, because surprise can scendent, ever-free, God. remind us of the free, creative Surprise and humor seem presence of.God's Spirit, who Vatican Council H Unmistakably Supports Religious Freedom By Father Peter Henriot, S.J. "THE CATHOLIC Church has finally caught up with the Bill of Rights?" That was the remark of a friend of mine a few years ago when the Second Vatican Council approved the very important Declaration on Religious Freedom. Indeed, one of the greatest achievements of Vatican II was the clear and unmistakable support for religious freedom. Our U.S. Bill of Rights says that "Congress shall make no law respecting an establish- ment of religion, or prohibit the free exercise thereof .... " This means that the government can't show favoritism to any religion and also can't hinder the practice of any religion. In short, the state has no business mixing in the affairs of the church. SUCH A GUARANTEE is one which the Catholic Church can live with -- and has lived with -- quite happily. The Declaration on Religious Freedom em- phasizes that governments should safeguard the religious freedom of all citizens and see to it that an equality before the law is never violated for religious reasons. Tensions in church-state relations do frequently arise in the United States. Aid to parochial schools, prayers in public schools and other issues create political debates and struggles which are often highly emotional. Catholics should recall in these debates and struggles that the principle of religious freedom -- along with a healthy respect for a pluralism of ideas and actions - should. always guide our involvement. ONE CHURCH-state topic tha?ne&lS some very careful reflection is the question of an "American religion." Sociologists speak of a "civil religion/' a kind of national church Which mixes Protestant, Catholic and Jewish elements with secular values and high- powered patriotism. We Catholics can't accept a "civil religion." We must be very wary of any absolutizing of an American creed or practice. True patriotism will mean that we are always able to be critical of American values if these values don't promote the peace, justice, equality, and general welfare for which our nation was founded. True Christianity will mean that we never identify narrow national interests with the Gospel or never forget that we are citizens of the globe, brothers and sisters to all of humanity. WHEN THE SECOND Vatican Council ended in 1965, its closing message contained a very clear picture of the basis for proper church-state relations. In addressing civil rulers, the message asked: "What does the Church ask of you today?" The answer was simple yet profound: "She asks of you only liberty, the liberty to believe and to preach her faith, the freedom to love her God and serve him, the freedom to live and to bring to men her message of life." That kind of freedom -- not privilege or special consideration or power or honor - is the most important guide for church-state relations. 1974 NC News Service Sto Andrew's Day Care 503 E. 6tb St. (One block west of Sheraton Hotel) Little Rock, Ark. Children 3 - 6 Open 6:30 A.M. to 6 P.M. Licensed by Health Department For Information, Call 374-0520 - ALSO - BENEDICTINE STUDIO OF MUSIC Classes in Piano, Organ, Accordion and Guitar. For Information Call: Sister Philippa, O.S.B. 376-2703 Sister Dominica, O.S.B. SOUL SEARCH A vocation is a beautiful happening. The spectacular ufllimited loveliness of the Person of Christ is everything and everywhere. The Olivetan Benedictine Sisters know Him as teachers, nurses, laboratory technologists, artists, musicians, domestic service, administrators, pharmacists, day care work and in all ways they can show their love for Him. Remember, a vocation is non-existent unless the soul sings out to meet it. Thoughts of peace are illusive if not caught by the desire to find it. A Christ for life exchange void of self-bargaining is the sweetest glimpse of heaven but free will stands at the altar of decision. How will you serve Him? How much do you care? How much love can you give? Vocation Directress Holy Angels Convent Jonesboro, Ark. 72401 HOLY YEAR 1975 Holy Year begins December 24, 1974. Plan now to visit Rome during this historic Occasion. We are now accepting applications for Tour Hosts from Priests, Clubs and Parishes. For information on Holy Year Tours, please send your name, address and phone number to: Mark Johnstone Alitalia Airlines 211 N. Ervay Building Dallas, Texas 75201