'The Religion Teacher': A Lenten Reflection

During the Lenten Season, our Brother Martin Faculty has received a Lenten Reflection Booklet. The reflections serve as a daily and weekly reminder about the power of prayer and self-reflection during this time of ‘formation.’ The booklet’s introduction quotes Educational Mission & Ministry, “As Brothers of the Sacred Heart, we inherit a tradition of quality of Catholic education. This tradition stems from the religious commitment, personal dedication, and professional competence of the many men, past and present, who have devoted themselves to the education of youth. Our tradition in education has developed as each generation of teachers has learned the lessons of experience from previous generations… Education according to the tradition of the Brothers of the Sacred Heart is holistic education rooted in religious values, structured through friendly discipline, nurtured by personal attention, and committed to academic excellence.”

The formation of our Brother of the Sacred Heart Catholic education and the formation between our faculty, students and parents is so important during this season of prayer. Read along with our faculty as we share the weekly reflections provided by faculty, staff and administration at Brother Martin.

Thomas_Joshua1025The Religion Teacher
February 26th – March 2nd
Reflection & Prayer by Josh Thomas ‘97

The teaching of religion requires a blend of academic religious studies and the dynamics of human development; it involves instruction, formation, and witness.  As instructor, the teacher is well- prepared and challenging, making the best use of universal pedagogical principles. As an agent of formation, the teacher involves students in friendly interaction and in respectful self-expression.  As witness, the teacher models the integration of faith and life. As a blend of instruction, formation, and witness, the teaching of religion is part of a lifelong search for ultimate values and personal growth.
 – From Educational Mission & Ministry

“Agents of formation”… this is who we are, according to Educational Mission and Ministry.  I like this title, not only because it sounds a bit more dramatic than “Earth Science teacher”, but because it is a reminder of our greater purpose as teachers of the Catholic faith.  It is often challenging to incorporate religion directly into a lesson plan, but on those days, I know that I am still called to find ways to form our students in their faith.  Educational Mission and Ministry says to do this by “involving students in friendly interaction and in respectful self-expression.”  No matter the material being covered on a given day, I know that I should teach our students to treat each other in a Christian manner.  One example that comes to mind is when students are grouped randomly and one student has a visible, negative reaction to the student with whom he has been grouped.  I will later ask this student if he considered how his reaction might affect his classmate and their ability to work together.  However, there are more times when we are blessed to see students, who are not friends outside of the classroom, working in a friendly manner and helping each other to accomplish a common goal.  Finally, Educational Mission and Ministry calls us to be a witness, “to model the integration of faith and life.”  I know that to be a witness, I also need to be formed in faith.  So this Lenten season let us reflect on ways we can continue to be witnesses to our students in the classroom.

Fellow agents of formation, let us pray:


You have called us to teach many subjects to our students,

Help us to teach them the most important subject of all, your love.

Help us to foster friendly, respectful interaction among our students.

Please be present in every lesson we teach.

Give us the courage to be a witness for You in our school.  Amen.

Ametur Cor Jesu…Loved be the Heart of Jesus