Education & Formation
Catholic Mission offers a range of resources and programs which aim to immerse the participant.
Mission Education/Formation is a transformational process. It refers to the forming or shaping of the whole person, not just the cognitive but the spiritual, to take up and carry on the mission of Jesus Christ in the world. It helps individuals explore how to be Church in their context, how to live by Gospel values and how to work so that all people have a ‘fullness of life’. Such a transformed world is what Christians refer to as the ‘Kingdom of God’.
Catholic Mission uses the methodology of immersion. For over 15 years Catholic Mission has taken groups of teachers and students to communities we are supporting so that they may learn from them. The power of this immersion methodology led us to explore how this learning model could be adapted for the classroom and the local context.
In essence ‘immersion’ encourages participants to cross borders into another reality. As the prominent theologian Rev. Peter C. Phan notes this crossing provides a new way of looking at the world, seeing through the eyes of ‘the other’. Borders become “the privileged meeting places where different persons and peoples will come together to form a new and most inclusive humanity.”
The pedagogy that informs the ‘immersion’ process is Paulo Freire’s Pedagogy of the Oppressed which aims to implicate the whole person; immerses the participant in a real problematic situation; allows the participant to see how they are implicated; helps participants to seek solutions and challenges them to act, inspired by Gospel values in our case as Christians.
This methodology is especially useful in a Religious Education context as it answers many of the challenges presented to RE teachers. Because it engages participants through the lived or simulated hands-on interactive experience, it facilitates learning on many different levels and caters for many different learning styles. It also engages participants on an emotional level with the potential to lead to personal transformation.
Finally the praxis of immersion integrates faith, social analysis and action. By shedding light on how God is at work in our world through people and structures, it demonstrates concretely how to ‘live the Gospel’ here and now... How to carry on the mission of Jesus in the world today.