Why Implement a
Why virtue? It is very simple: being a disciple of Christ is a way of life that must be taught, nurtured and practiced daily; we must strive to love Jesus Christ and thereby imitate him. The culture teaches us that we must be successful at what we do… sports, education, our jobs and even our ministries, often times without attaching importance to our interior disposition. Being a disciple of Christ means following him, imitating him; a disciple of Christ lives virtuously not only in what he does, but who he is.
The good news is that the theological virtues of faith, hope and love are literally infused into our souls at Baptism. Not only do we freely receive the theological virtues, but we also receive the Gifts of the Holy Spirit at Baptism and they are strengthened at Confirmation.
Shouldn’t this be enough? God gifts us with all that we need to follow him, the rest, through the grace of God, is up to us. The theological virtues are gifts that must be nurtured. The cardinal virtues must be learned and practiced … daily, at home and in school. As Christian leaders, it is imperative that we nurture spiritual gifts in ourselves and in our students and families. Otherwise, these gifts will not flourish as they should. It is imperative that we cultivate an environment of virtuous living through our example and through everything we teach. We live in a culture that is contrary to virtuous living; our job is great.
Through the Education in Virtue program the Dominican Sisters of Mary, Mother of the Eucharist provide educators and families with the tools that lead students to a way of life that imitates the person of Jesus Christ. This program can be integrated into any school or parish catechetical series, into any discipline program and into any subject taught in the classroom.
Education in Virtue is not made up of books for study, it is not a separate subject or curriculum, rather it includes simple tools for the parent or educator to intuitively integrate the materials into any religious education series, or even better into any school or parish mission. Christ commissions us to “go forth and make disciples”. The New Evangelization reiterates this mission. Amidst a culture that opposes Christianity, our mission field is in our own families, parishes, schools, and communities. Our first mission is to become like Christ, using the very gifts he gave to us. Education in Virtue gives you the tools.
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Develop an all-school format where there is a weekly or monthly virtue to be cultivated. Individual classrooms use virtue cards, posters, and saint cards. Integrate discipline program as found in Educator’s Guide on pages 96-100.
Coordinating Virtues with Lesson Plans
Choose a virtue that correlates with specific religious education lesson (or other subjects). Use virtue cards, posters, and saint cards. Integrate discipline program as found in Educator’s Guide on pages 96-100.
“Leaders of Catholic schools who have been searching for a practical, virtue-based response to the challenges of student discipline need look no further. Disciples of Christ - Education in Virtue helps teachers, students, and parents alike grow in their understanding and practice of the virtues. The materials are attractive, engaging, and infused with Sacred Scripture, insights from the lives of the saints, and a Thomistic understanding of the virtues and gifts of the Holy Spirit. Catholic schools need to form disciples of Christ. That's what Education in Virtue does so well, and it’s why I can’t wait to get it in all our schools.”
~ Fr. Steve Mattson
Superintendent of Schools, Diocese of Lansing
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Develop a Discipleship Program for All Parishioners
In small group format, using the Educator’s Guide, parishioners can study and discuss Disciple of Christ philosophy, theological and cardinal virtues with added auxiliary virtues, vices and corresponding gifts of the Holy Spirit as found in the Educator’s Guide. Scripture, Catechism and saint references are provided. Use Disciple of Christ Journals as year 2 and 3 follow up for small groups.
Teens and Confirmation Programs
Use the Disciple of Christ Journals to supplement any Confirmation preparation program. Being confirmed in Christ means becoming his disciple and living virtuously by coming to know Jesus Christ. Through lectio divina and beautiful sacred art, students encounter Christ in preparation for Confirmation.
Restored Order of the Sacraments
For dioceses that restore the order of sacraments to younger ages, it is very effective to present the gifts of the Holy Spirit and their corresponding virtues. The virtue tree is a visual aid for all ages to see how the gifts of the Holy Spirit correspond to virtues. With the virtue cards, posters, and saint cards, any age level come to an understanding of becoming a disciple of Christ.
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Make the Most of the Education in Virtue Products!
Education in Virtue provides an excellent means to educate children and nurture the virtues in the home. Virtuous living is a way of life that begins at home and every family can benefit from a Starter Pack which includes everything you need to begin (Educator’s Guide, a Virtue Chart Pack, a Virtue Card Set and Saint Cards). Create an environment in the home where virtue is understood and practiced with the help of these clear and practical aids for children. Adults will learn a lot too!
The Educator’s Guide helps the parent understand virtue and vice. It even breaks out what virtuous behavior to expect at different age levels, how to create discipline with these resources and how to nurture virtue. The same principles used for school can be used at home. With a glance at the charts in the Virtue Chart Pack, parents can quickly understand each virtue as well as its opposing vice that a child might be demonstrating at home. Virtue Cards specifically show children what certain virtues “look like” and “sound like”. Reinforcing positive action, a virtue card can also show a child how he could have better handled a situation. Saint cards can be used in many ways. Introduce a virtue for the week and at each meal, display a saint card for that virtue, or use the saint cards as rewards for good behavior, or as an inspiration to improve behavior. Kids love cards.
How to Cultivate Posters (not included in the starter pack) are optional tools for discussing with a child different ways he can practice a certain virtue in his daily life. These dry erase posters can be used over and over and changed each week for example to work on a specific action for that week. Then post it in a prominent place in the home for all or use a different poster in each child’s bedroom.
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Although the full Education in Virtue line was designed for catechesis in schools, parishes, and homeschooling families, this treasure trove of formation and personal growth is also available as self-study. Now anyone can enrich their daily spiritual life with our simple Disciples of Christ Journals, featuring Scripture readings, beautiful religious images, and questions to help readers meditate on the Word of God using lectio divina. Pick up a journal and get started today!
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