Catholic Church

Preaching for suicide awareness: a pedagogical experiment in teaching preachers to engage the topic of suicide from the pulpit

Author
Heidi C Johnson
Abstract
The researcher's work on suicide arose from a concern to take seriously the strength and effective nature of the Sunday homily in light of the growing crisis of the suicide epidemic. The thesis is that the sermon is the appropriate place to address the topic of suicide and an avenue suited for addressing suicide is in a homiletics course. The researcher demonstrated how lectures on suicide awareness and prevention in a homiletics course can be an effective method of preparing young preachers for the preaching ministry. The results were positive in creating confident preachers to preach taboo subjects such as suicide.

BEST PREACHING PRACTICES IN HOMILETIC PROGRAMS IN ROMAN CATHOLIC THEOLOGATES IN THE UNITED STATES

Author
Stephen C Bosso
Abstract
The Second Vatican Council emphasized preaching in the Roman Catholic tradition as a liturgical act. As this emphasis on preaching has become increasingly more important, reflected by post-conciliar documents and statements by the popes following the council, the question remains: has the seminary curriculum changed with this emphasis to ensure that the clergy are properly trained for preaching. This research project reviews the literature of evaluation of preaching over the last three decades along with the changes in requirements for homiletics in the five editions of the Program of Priestly Formation. The author developed a research tool using Appreciative Inquiry and interviewed homiletics professors at six Roman Catholic theologates in the United States to aggregate the "best preaching practices" in these homiletics programs. The aggregated results demonstrate that in fact improvements have been made in the preaching programs. Hopefully, the aggregate of b est practices in homiletics programs of Roman Catholic theologates interviewed will encourage all Roman Catholic seminaries to work continuously to improve their homiletics programs for better preaching from the pulpits of their alumni for the people of God.

Cross-cultural Preaching and Catechesis: Passing on the Faith to the Next Generation

Author
Michael Kueber
Abstract
The United States Catholic Church has experienced remarkable growth since the 1960s because of new immigrants. This thesis project focuses on one immigrant group and their children: U.S. Catholic Hispanics. It attempts to respond to the challenge of these Hispanic parents attempting to hand on the Catholic faith to their children. It makes the unexpected claim that preaching is essential part of helping these parents address this difficulty.
Chapter 1 describes the demography of the U.S. Catholic Church in 2018. The influx of Hispanic immigrants is set in the context of a larger influx of immigrants, such as Asians, Africans, and Pacific Islanders. After considering this broad context, this thesis focuses on Hispanic Catholics and the religious education level of their parents and children. The problem is that Hispanic parents are not transmitting the Catholic faith to their confirmation teenage children. That is one reason among others why their teenagers and young adults disengage from the Catholic Church. The purpose of this thesis is to demonstrate through catechetical preaching that Hispanic parents can learn skills to transmit the Catholic faith successfully to their confirmation teenage children.
Chapter 2 provides the necessary background for the thesis project's intervention: Hispanic Catechesis in the U.S. in 2018. Before arriving at this goal, however, it is necessary to examine the Catholic Church's understanding of catechesis and interculturalism. Effective catechesis will involve not only appropriate pedagogies but also a cultural analysis of the society in which catechists teach.
Chapter 3 starts with the history of the Catholic homily from Vatican II until the papacy of Pope Francis. Next, the chapter introduces catechesis and discusses whether the Sunday homily should be catechetical in nature. These two themes then lead to the culmination of the project: cross-cultural catechetical preaching to Hispanic parents in 2018. The principal investigator will attempt to paint a portrait of this complex reality.
Chapter 4 describes the intervention. The principal investigator developed a thirteen-week course for Hispanic parents and their confirmation children. He employed the tool of Appreciative Inquiry (AI) at the beginning of the course and interviewed all parents and their children both before and after the course. He also took field notes during the course to note observations of growth both in parents and in their children. He then analyzes the qualitative research for the thesis project: the initial two sessions of AI, initial interviews, and final interviews.
Chapter 5 presents the final product created from the thesis project's research data. The product is a syllabus for a thirteen-week course for Hispanic parents and confirmation teenagers during which the religious education instructor preaches catechetically to Hispanic parents and their confirmation age children.

Sharing the Eucharist: Anglican Participation in Roman Catholic Liturgies

Author
Donald H J Hermann
Abstract
This thesis examines the question whether Anglicans can make a compelling claim to greater participation in Roman Catholic liturgies by reception of Eucharistic communion at such liturgies. The methodology is derived from a process proposed by James and Evelyn Whitehead in Method in Ministry. The argument is made that Anglicans should be provided the same access to Roman Catholic Eucharistic communion as that provided to members of the Orthodox churches. Alternatively, it is argued that Anglicans be invited to receive Eucharistic communion at specific Roman Catholic liturgies that they are invited to attend, including marriages, funerals, and baptisms. Further, it is argued that Anglican spouses of Roman Catholics should have greater access to Roman Catholic Eucharistic communion than is now provided.

Ecumenical formation in denominational theological seminaries

Author
Mitzi J Budde
Abstract
Ecumenical formation in denominational theological seminaries is an ethnographic study of four denominational seminaries (the Episcopal Church, the United Methodist Church, the Evangelical Lutheran Church in America, and the Roman Catholic Church). The author describes the current American context for ecumenism and identifies and compares the four schools' approaches to ecumenical education and formation. The effect of ecumenical dialogues and full communion agreements on theological education is analyzed. The thesis describes how an intentional and transformative ecumenical component might be incorporated into theological education in the denominational seminary context for the preparation of ecumenically literate ordained and lay ministers.

Order of Christian funerals: process of remembering and hoping

Author
Margaret J Smith
Abstract
This thesis examines the relationship between the process of grieving and the Roman Catholic funeral rituals with which a Christian's death is marked and celebrated. The thesis draws on the conviction that remembering will play a significant part in the grief process and will make it possible to hope. If such is the case, then our funeral rituals must provide environments of care in which remembering within the context of the Christian story might take place. The conclusion reached is that an imaginative use of the Order of Christian Funerals does indeed offer scope for remembering. The study was undertaken within the Australian context and drew on responses to a questionnaire designed to assess use of the Order in the Australian church.

The emergence of a new Christian community of faith

Author
Philip A Mahalic
Abstract
Subtitle: How to start a new Roman Catholic parish with nothing more than a collection basket and a "field bingo" kit. Project director: Ed Towne. The content and scope of this paper introduces "key" elements within the populace of a particular community which aid in the formation of a new and emerging Christian community of faith, the founding of a new Roman Catholic parish. The method of identifying these elements is through a study of the populace with emphasis upon their spirituality, theological concepts and commitment. An analysis of growth in this case study includes the number of families, programs offered with the new community and financial progress.

A program for ministry to alienated Roman Catholics in the United States

Author
Edward J Kordas
Abstract
Alienation, defined as a crisis in symbolization, is the result of having been taught a religious language lacking the sophistication to define oneself as a Roman Catholic Christian in an increasingly complex and pluralistic society. Through a program based upon the gestalt cycle of experience and conducted in a university context, alienated Catholics were encouraged to redefine their religious symbols. Among the primary findings of this study is the conviction that all alienation is fundamentally self-alienation; that religion is inevitably ambivalent; and that religious alienation manifests as sin, as a development crisis, or as systematically generated hopelessness.

Liberation of the self-mission of the church

Author
Dean P Mattson
Abstract
The project asserts that humankind is created for a loving relationship with God. The mission of the Catholic Church is to promote humanization, i.e. to promote the development of humankind's innate potential for loving relationships. The Church could be much more effective. Object relations theory concepts of true versus false self can help to evaluate the effectiveness of Church ministry. The true self seeks loving relationships; the false self avoids them out of fear. Church teachings and discipline often promotes the false self. To promote the true self, and humanization, the Church needs to promote greater personalism, autonomy, and creativity.
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