The Bishop of Ragusa, Mgr Giuseppe La Placa, met with the religious teachers of the diocese as part of the training organized for the current school year by the Office for the Teaching of Catholic Religion, under the direction of prof. Carmelo La Porta.
The meeting was introduced by the director of the office, who focused on the professionalism of the body of the religious professors, also recognizing the diocesan boundaries and the result of the many energies that the diocese spent on training, which has always been regarded as a cornerstone. of the Education Mission. of the professors of religion.
The bishop emphasized the beauty of the meeting between teachers and the sharing of didactic experiences; that is a great force and a great treasure for the local church, which can be a ram’s head in the hearts of the students and the school world in general. Underlining the importance of the school service that is carried out in the current cultural complexity, Mgr. La Placa invites teachers to see a “different” and “high” presence compared to the often ephemeral culture in which we move. For this presence, the bishop wanted to thank the teachers for what they do in the school world, and recall that their specific responsibility is twofold: at the level of personal faith and at the level of vocation that comes from God, who has set the desire. . in his heart.to respond to this service.
Archbishop La Placa stressed his concern to ensure that the teachers of the religion are consistent with the correct doctrine, give authentic witnesses to the Christian life and possess adequate pedagogical skills. These are the criteria on which the characteristics of teachers for religious professors are based, on which the bishop, in addition to the simple formal duty, demanded three times excellence: excellence in doctrine, excellence in the testimony of the Christian life, excellence in pedagogy. Ability.
Archbishop La Placa highlighted the need for continuous updating in theology and doctrine of the Church, the Magisterium of the Pope and the bishops. Doctrine, in fact, presupposes the adherence of faith to doctrine, in order to be able to learn it. This protects us from falling into the crystalline adaptation to the dominant relativism, for which it shines sensitive issues and on which Christianity can affirm fundamental values, even if it differentiates with respect to a downward culture. The task, in the goals of the school, must be to train men and Christians who are able to fly high.
To be credible educators, the bishop asked the teachers to be excellent witnesses in the Christian life and to live these witnesses in the church life. It is not enough that the teacher of religion is simply a practicing Christian who goes to Mass on Sunday, but he is the one who cares about his own Christian life, with prayer, study, commitment to the Christian community, with a continuous community. Attention to growth. spiritual. It is inconceivable, he added, that religious teachers have no contact with their own pastor, with their own parish, who are unrecognizable by the Christian community. Equally important is the connection with the school environment where the students live and the relationship with the families. Therefore, religious instruction should not be a profession, but the translation of faith into the liturgy of life.
Finally, Archbishop La Placa sought excellence in pedagogical ability to promote an effective educational service for the maturity of students. The growth of non-recruits has to do with this ability, though it is not the only reason, so professional updating must be associated with an authentic style, which must be a great pedagogical passion for the religious teacher. “It is always love,” says the bishop, “that opens all doors!”
At the end of his speech, Mons La Placa gave the office and teachers some real guidelines for a training program and a professional style: great pedagogical passion; Unity among religious teachers because loneliness discourages; full participation in the school pastoral care; Faith embodies and ethical choices based on the gospel of Jesus; Care of one’s own spiritual path; specific moments of spirituality for all the IdRC, organized in the strong times of the liturgical year; great attention is paid to professional updating, not excluding periodic checks on training.
The words of the bishop had a great resonance among the teachers, who received stimulation and encouragement for their educational mission and were confirmed in the daily work in the educational institutes of the diocese. The work proposed by the Office on the formation is in full accordance with what the bishop asked and was enriched by the suggestions arising from the meeting.
The conclusion of the work was entrusted to Ms Paolo La Terra, in charge of training, who introduced the topic of synodality as a resource for the IRC. In his speech, he invited teachers to welcome and encourage those living in the school environment to offer a reflection on perspectives and suggestions on the future of the Church. Synodality must – concludes Don Paolo – be given a style of the presence of religious professors in the school world, in the awareness that school work is already a special contribution to give to the Church.
The training day concludes with the mass celebration offered in suffrage to the recently deceased schoolteacher Daniela Sanfilipppo and to family members who have passed away in recent months.