Faith Formation of the Laity in Catholic Schools

The Influence of Virtue and Spirituality Seminars

Sister Patricia Helene Earl I.H.M., Marymount University

A volume in the series: Research on Religion and Education. Editor(s): Larry Burton, Andrews University. Anthony J. Dosen, DePaul University, Chicago.

Published 2008

Two major real-world problems prompted this study: maintaining the Catholic identity of the Catholic schools, and increasing interest in character education. Traditionally, Catholic schools in the United States were staffed exclusively by priests, sisters, and brothers. Today, they are predominately staffed by laypersons. This change has influenced the essential religious character and culture of Catholic schools. While Religious filter their teachings through their own religious training and emphasize the mission and charisma of Catholic education, lay staff often lack the same intensely religious experiences to bring to the teaching/learning environment. This qualitative interview study explored the influence that a series of spirituality and virtue seminars had on lay teachers’ perceptions of the Catholic school and character education.

Prologue Series Introduction Acknowledgments 1. The Context of Catholic Schooling 2. Current Issues of Staffing the Catholic School 3. The Value of Faith Formation 4. Theoretical Foundations of Faith Formation 5. Faith Formation Research Design 6. A Guide to Basic Catholic Doctrine 7. Overview of the Virtue and Spirituality Seminars 8. Teacher’s Response to Faith Formation Strategies 9. Teacher Growth in Faith Formation 10. Changing Teachers through Faith Formation 11. Improving Teacher Pedagogy 12. Faith Formation and Character Education 13. Understanding the Mission of Catholic Education 14. Faith Formation and the Future of Catholic Schooling References About the Author