Story by Leigh Calfee
LINCOLN (SNR) - The fall semester of the Benedict XVI School of Catechesis begins Sept. 15.
This will be the second of a two-year program consisting of 96 hours of catechetical formation. Those interested in participating do not need to have completed year one to register for the 2018-2019 sessions.
Father Andrew Heaslip, director of religious education for the Diocese of Lincoln, has been involved with coordinating the curriculum for the school, and he will teach Salvation History this fall.
Father Heaslip says the goal for 2018, and for the program as a whole, is to provide the lay faithful with an opportunity to know their faith in a deeper way, so they can share their faith with others.
“The school provides the chance for a fuller grasp of the faith, in a practical and accessible way,” he said.
According to Father Heaslip, participants are encouraged to take what they learn and use it to benefit others in their parish or community.
Jeff Schinstock, director of youth ministry for the diocese, will also serve as a presenter for some of the upcoming sessions. He believes the school provides a foundation for equipping the laity to better serve their parishes in areas like CCD, RCIA, sacramental preparation and more.
“The Benedict XVI School of Catechesis gives people a fuller picture of the Church, so they can go forth and make disciples. The Gospel isn’t given to us to keep,” Schinstock said.
To that end, participants are assigned to an apostolate for the summer months. This can mean starting a Bible study in a parish, joining a prayer guild, feeding the homeless or visiting the sick. The goal is not only to deepen the faith of those attending the school, but to equip them to share their newly-energized faith with others, in practical ways.
Vern Steiner of St. Peter Parish in Lincoln participated in last year’s school, after being encouraged by his spiritual director to enroll. Steiner comes from an Evangelical Protestant background, and entered the Church just over three years ago.
“I have benefitted from the review, been stretched in areas I had not considered, and grown in ways that will equip me for future ministries as the Lord opens those doors,” he said. “I know this program of study has made me a better servant and teacher by grounding me further in the faith.”
Those interested in the 2018-2019 Benedict XVI School of Catechesis can still register here. Classes are held Saturdays from 8 a.m. to 4 p.m. in Dawson Hall at the John XXIII Diocesan Center, 3700 Sheridan Blvd., Lincoln.
The cost is $100 per semester. The first class is Sept. 15, with participants meeting monthly throughout the fall and spring. Questions can be directed to the Office of Evangelization and Formation at (402) 473-0615.