Last year I worked with a great group of religious educators on a revision of teaching materials to engage students, be faithful to the Catholic tradition and to draw on emerging teaching and learning methods.

A number of times we wondered about how to present the essence of the Catholic beliefs in a way that is meaningful, accurate and accessible to teachers and students. Of course we looked at the Nicene and other Creeds. We believe in the statements of the Creed. But the language is remote and it is hard to see direct connections to how Catholics live.

For example

We believe in one Lord, Jesus Christ,
the only Son of God,
eternally begotten of the Father,
God from God, Light from Light,
true God from true God,
begotten, not made,
one in Being with the Father

doesn’t give the reader or believer clear indications of what to do as a result of this statement.

So we had a go at expressing a concise list of key Catholic beliefs and included some of the implications for living out these beliefs. We were thinking of the situation in Catholic Schools in a particular way but I’d like to hear your feedback on this list which was jointly written by Dr Sally Liddy, Mrs Carolyn Perryman and myself. If you decide to use for any purpose it for any purpose, please acknowledge us as authors.

  1. God of love
    Catholics believe God is a communion of love, creator, redeemer and sustainer THEREFORE
    Catholic live hopefully and listen to, trust in and celebrate the living God in prayer and liturgy.
  2. Positive Understanding of the Person.
    Catholics believe God created and loves every person THEREFORE
    Catholics see goodness in every person.
  3. Committed to Community
    Catholics believe God created us to be responsible to and for each other THEREFORE
    Catholics are called to community and the common good.
  4. Sacramental Outlook
    Catholics believe God’s Spirit is active in the world THEREFORE
    Catholics are open to the work of God in their lives and celebrate this awareness in the seven sacraments.
  5. Scripture and Tradition
    Catholics believe Scripture and Tradition guide and nourish the life of the Church THEREFORE
    Catholics learn about, pray and discern with Scripture and the teachings of the Church.
  6. Committed to Justice
    Catholics believe Jesus revealed God’s way of compassion, justice and care for the poor THEREFORE
    Catholics endeavour to contribute to creating a more just and fair society.
  7. Catholics are called to dialogue
    Catholic believe that goodness and truth are to be found in other religions THEREFORE
    Catholics are called to respect and dialogue with people of other faith traditions.
  8. Devotion to Mary
    Catholics believe Mary is the mother of Jesus and the first disciple THEREFORE
    Catholics learn from Mary who has a special place in Catholic life and devotion.

© Dean, Liddy and Perryman 2014

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