Magazine article Momentum

Behold the Heritage: Foundations of Education in the Dominican Tradition

Magazine article Momentum

Behold the Heritage: Foundations of Education in the Dominican Tradition

Article excerpt

Behold the Heritage: Foundations of Education in the Dominican Tradition Sister Matthew Marie Cummings, OP, and Sister Elizabeth Anne Allen, OP Angelico Press, Tacoma, Washington 2012, 292 pages, $27.95 (paperback) ISBN 13:978-16213 80078

In this Year of Faith, the Holy Father has urged us back to basics: confession, catechism and prayer. Catholic educators wishing to return to these essentials now have their own catechism: "Behold the Heritage: Foundations of Education in the Dominican Tradition." Edited by teaching veterans Sister Matthew Marie Cummings, O.P. and Sister Elizabeth Anne Allen, O.P., "Behold the Heritage" is a comprehensive single anthology of essential church documents on Catholic education and its essential mission in the world.

Church documents? Before packing up and heading for the exits, rest assured: compassion, clarity and economy abound in every document in the anthology. It is writing worthy of any teacher's highest goals for his or her own students. Further, as embattled Catholic educators fight to defend their relevancy in an increasingly secularized world, they will find their greatest advocate in the church herself. As The Congregation for Catholic Education eloquently noted in the document "The Catholic School on the Threshold of the Third Millennium" (1997), "Teaching has an extraordinary moral depth and is one of man's most excellent and creative activities, for the teacher does not write on inanimate material, but on the very spirits of human beings." What educator wouldn't stand a little taller after reading that?

This book is Catholic education catechesis on-demand for the overwhelmed, time-strapped educator. Each document's content is numbered, facilitating easy reference at virtually any point in the book. To be Catholic is to be universal and these documents cover nearly every salient issue facing parents, teachers and administrators today. Looking to strengthen the Catholic identity in your school? There's a document for that. Fighting for a content-rich curriculum in the midst of educational relativism? …

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