The Church constantly invites its members to take an active role in the apostolic dynamic. The Holy Father, with his constant exhortations to reach out to the boundaries of societies to bring the light of Christ, couldn’t be more clear: we are all called to do apostolate!
We are happy to report that Outstanding Initiatives is back on its search for Catholic initiatives and projects that aim to carry out the evangelical mission of the Church. Today, we present to you a set of carefully curated initiatives, which we hope will generate inspiration and imitation.
The Lord Jesus Christ did so many things during His ministry on earth (and continues to work today through the Holy Spirit). He was known to everyone as “Teacher”. Get to know two organizations that carry out the teaching mission, educating today’s generation of young Catholics:
Sophia’s Sketchpad is a website that presents video materials created by a Catholic organization of educators known as Sophia’s Institute for Teachers. Founded in 2013, Sophia’s Institute for Teachers seeks to “renew and rebuild Catholic culture through service to Catholic education.” The core of this initiative is to “nurture the spiritual, moral and cultural life of souls and an abiding respect for the role and work of teachers.” They provide materials and programs that aim at helping Catholics to better understand their faith. The materials they produce are strategically designed to be both content-rich and practical. An excellent example of the organization’s output is an animated series published in a stand-alone website called, Sophia’s Sketchpad.org.
True to its name, Sophia’s Sketchpad contains videos that explain topics about the Church, the Gospel and their connections; presented through a sketch. These innovative and fun videos are perfect for classes, for personal use and for social media sharing. They also include free viewing guides and lesson plans to help teachers.
We share with you this fun and highly informative video about the Eucharist, which explains its true meaning using the words of our Lord Jesus in the Gospel.
The Religion Teacher
Founded by author Jared Dees of the book 31 Days to Becoming a Better Religious Educator, The Religion Teacher is a Catholic website that focuses on providing materials and calibrating Catholic educators to effectively meet the needs of their students, especially in helping them establish a personal relationship with Christ. The organization’s mission statement reads: “As Christ’s witnesses, we make disciples everywhere. (Acts 1:8, Mt 28:19).” Their mission begins in the classroom, but it doesn’t end there. They push users to take Catholic education forward by passing it on to others.
The Religion Teacher provides free resources like e-books, lesson plans, related videos and tutorials, and even activities for each season in the Liturgical calendar to effectively apply the lessons in class. We highly recommend this website for catechists and anyone aspiring to become one. This may be used in a formal classroom setting or in your own little work in the community; “the peripheries,” as Pope Francis likes to say.
We share with you this video from the archives of the website that talks about the true meaning of the word “Gospel”. The video discusses its etymology and its connection and relevance to the faith.
Check out The Religion Teacher’s awesome materials.
As Catholics we are called to aggressively learn more and take to heart the true meaning of our Faith. Being Catholic does not end in observing Holy Days of Obligation, going through all the Sacraments and sharing quotes from the Bible on your Facebook timeline. We need to take our knowledge of the Faith forward by educating ourselves about the meaning behind Holy Days of Obligation, the Sacraments, the Holy Mass, their relevance to our spiritual growth, and how all these help strengthen our relationship with God. Sophia’s Sketchpad and The Religion Teacher show us just that: we should never stop learning and re-learning the Faith.
That wraps up this edition of Outstanding Initiatives MMXV. We highly recommend that you check them out and support these projects by helping spread the word about them. We also hope that our featured initiatives inspire you to start your own project and contribute to the mission of the Church. We encourage you all to keep testing your ideas and to start them now.
If you know of any group or individual project that is 100%-Catholic and very promising, please feel free to shoot us an email at firstname.lastname@example.org so we can give them a shout-out on the next edition of Outstanding Initiatives.
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