Catholic Identity - Faith Formation

Catholic Professional Formation Allowances

In 2022, 227 teachers received Level 1 Catholic Professional Formation (CPF) Allowance, 134 teachers received a Level 2 CPF allowance, and 339 teachers were paid Level 3 CPF allowance following successful completion of study in the Catholic Studies domain as per the SA Catholic Education Enterprise Agreement. There were also three CEO staff members who received a CPF Allowance.

Professional Learning Workshops

In 2022 the REFF Advisors embarked on a new initiative to deliver professional learning via online Mini Modules – a ‘choose you own adventure’ style of online learning. This was in response to the need for professional learning to be more flexible and accessible. The application of MS Forms was used to contain the modules which consisted of video presentations/lectures and opportunities for participants to reflect and respond.

The Mini Modules were also utilised by APRIMs to assist them in facilitating professional learning for their school community.

Twelve Mini Modules were developed in 2022 exploring various Catholic Identity topics including, Scripture, RE curriculum, prayer, and social justice. Feedback about the Mini Modules was overwhelmingly positive as teachers could choose to engage in professional learning which enriched their interests, supported their school context, and could be accessed at a time which best suited them.  A total of 256 teachers registered for the Mini Modules online learning over the year.

Some face-to-face workshops were offered by the Catholic Identity and Mission Team with 30 teachers participating. A total of 21 workshops were offered by external agencies with a combination of face-to-face and online modules offered.

Prayer and Liturgy Support

The REFF Team continued to support schools in their delivery and understanding of prayer in ways that aligned to the CESA Being with God prayer and liturgy Resource. Online prayer and liturgy resources were provided through the CESA learning online website as well as through the Induction process for teachers new to CESA.

Made in the Image of God

All schools in the state continued to trial the human sexuality curriculum - Made In The Image of God (MITIOG) in 2022. This curriculum is still awaiting final approval from the local Bishops.

REFF Advisors (Tracey Lacoon and Deborah Lubatti) delivered the mandated teacher training for the MITIOG curriculum to 212 teachers centrally over the year. Online training modules were reviewed and updated to reflect new curriculum content and were made available for MITIOG Key Teachers to train teachers in their school (a train the trainer model). 18 schools accessed these online modules with approximately 200 teachers undertaking the mandated MITIOG training this way. REFF Advisors also provided regional training for schools in the Riverland, Port Pirie and Murray Bridge areas with 52 teachers participating. Over the course of the year, approximately 464 teachers participated in mandated training in the MITIOG human sexuality curriculum.

Collaborating with Boylen, the MITIOG curriculum was added to the Crossways website for schools to access. Features of the MITIOG website include: a log-in requirement for CESA teachers to view MITIOG content, a new MITIOG graphic featuring the 4 threads, and   expansion views for doctrinal background information and teaching ideas and links.  REFF Advisors facilitated 3 online sessions for teachers and APRIMs to assist them with navigating the MITIOG website platform and accessing curriculum content and resources.

Staff Spiritual and Religious Formation

The Staff Spiritual and Religious Formation (SSRF) team provided a range of formational experiences and programs designed to provide effective, localised and engaging opportunities for leaders of schools to lead spiritual and religious formation with their staff.  These opportunities were designed to support schools in staff formation which builds on the CESA framework which is outlined in like a mustard seed: A CESA Stimulus and Foundation Paper for Staff Spiritual and Religious Formation.

The early career teachers formation program was further developed in 2022 with a trial group of 20 teachers participating in an overnight retreat. Planning was undertaken to broaden the number of offerings and participants in 2023 and beyond.

The Making Nests program provides a professional and collaborative learning community to develop capability for planning and leading Staff Spiritual and Religious Formation. Participants engaged with the text Let us Dream: The Path to a Better Future by Pope Francis as a touchstone for developing capabilities in cultivating engagement with scripture in staff formation.

The REFF team continued to support school leaders in enhancing the Catholic identity of their schools through formation in leadership, prayer, scripture, and theology. The team continued to develop tools and scaffolds for school leaders to be able to strategise and plan for staff formation, shared these at regional and system gatherings and companioned and consulted with leadership teams to support their work with this. The team worked with individual school teams outside of the initiatives mentioned above as they planned staff spiritual and religious formation using the Living Learning Leading and Leadership Standards.

Graduate Certificate in Catholic Education

In 2022 there were 364 enrolments, all CESA teachers, across the University of South Australia’s Graduate Certificate in Education (Catholic Education). The four courses (Christian Scriptures, Theology, Teaching Methodologies and Curriculum Design) were taught in a total of 20 classes by the Religious Education Team and University of South Australia personnel, in fully online mode.  Teaching Methodologies and Curriculum Design courses were delivered in the Port Pirie Diocese.

The 135 teachers who completed the Christian Scriptures course had their course fee paid as part of the Study Incentive Program (SIP). By special arrangement between CESA and UniSA, no course fee applies to the other three courses.

Formal course evaluation and feedback indicated that teachers valued the professional learning and formation offered through these courses; the links with classroom practice in Religious Education and other learning areas; the opportunity to develop learning communities and networks with colleagues from other schools; and the deepened sense of the Catholic school’s overall purpose and mission. There was particular appreciation of the way these courses address common misconceptions around scriptural and theological interpretation, which invites a renewed response to the ‘abundant life’ and ‘joy of the gospel’ that are central to the Catholic ethos.

The explicit nexus between the personal and professional aspects of Catholic school teaching and learning was also noted by course participants, who appreciated the formational aspects of their studies. It is significant that an increasing number of secondary teachers decide to teach Religious Education for the first time, after completing this program. With a renewed focus on ‘Catholic identity’, the courses also complemented the Enhancing Catholic School Identity Research project.

These four ‘Catholic Studies’ courses meet the CESA Teacher Accreditation higher education requirements.

University Partnerships

In 2022 the CESA-University of South Australia partnership continued to educate and form pre-service teachers for their future roles as Catholic-school educators and religious leaders.

The two RE Team staff seconded to UniSA (1.6 FTE) coordinated and taught a total of eight Catholic Studies courses, offered to both undergraduate and postgraduate pre-service teachers at the Mawson Lakes and Magill campuses: ‘Christian Scriptures’, ‘Theology’, ‘Contemporary Catholic Schools’ and ‘Religious Education’.

These four courses are taken as a ‘specialisation’ in the Primary and Early Childhood programs, which then qualifies pre-service teachers to teach Religious Education in Catholic schools. The specialisation also meets the CESA Teacher Accreditation higher education requirements. A significant number of UniSA students take the first course ‘Christian Scriptures’ as an elective, which can be credited toward the Graduate Certificate upon employment at a Catholic site.

In addition to these courses, four additional Catholic Studies courses were offered in 2022, as part of the ‘Catholic Studies’ sub-major in the Bachelor of Secondary Education (Honours) program: ‘The Four Gospels’, ‘Being Human in a Relational Universe’, ‘Contemporary Church and School’ and ‘Catholic Theology, Aboriginal Spiritualities and World Religions.

Formal student evaluation of these undergraduate and post-graduate ‘Catholic Studies’ courses continued to highlight deep student engagement with the knowledge, skills and dispositional aspects. Student responses emphasised the impact of the formative dimension of their studies, especially the ways in which new learnings and insights touched and shaped their faith and life perspectives. Many of the responses articulated a deepened vocational approach to the role of Catholic-school educator. In these anonymous evaluations, students frequently identified ‘Catholic Studies’ as their favourite university subject.

The REFF Team continued in its collaboration with the Adelaide campus team of the Australian Catholic University’s (ACU) Faculty of Philosophy and Theology (situated on the CEO’s Thebarton site). The RE Team worked with the Leadership Development Section and with the ACU to develop new ways of supporting teachers and leaders accessing master’s courses offered by the ACU, particularly those in Educational Leadership, Theological Studies and Religious Education. Rev Dr James McEvoy was endorsed in 2022 as theological advisor to CESA.

Ecological Advisory Committee

The Committee commenced 2022 with the new Chairperson and Assistant Director of Catholic Identity and Mission, Dr Jill Gowdie.  Embracing a new phase in CESA in both strategic direction and ecclesial dialogue, it was timely to re-commit and deepen our system-wide commitment to the vision of Laudato Si.  This discernment began with a review of the story of this committee and of the call to Ecological Conversion and Action Plan. It was identified that there was a need to provide a system thinking paper that identified key actions moving forwards in response to this; the Committee developed the ‘Strategic System Thinking Paper: Living Laudato Si’.

The Paper outlined the key system-wide initiatives the Advisory Committee has identified to strategically deepen both action and traction into the next 5 years. Six system initiatives seek to animate and channel the energies and activities of schools and offices in order to:

  • strengthen connection between sustainability and formation; theology and action
  • broaden the direct engagement of schools and parishes in a common impulse
  • focus a Laudato Si lens in a way that builds culture change.
  1. The development and marketing of Laudato Si Week as a system focus of the year. This includes the introduction of a Laudato Si Award in the Catholic Education Week Excellence Awards (which immediately precedes Laudato Si Week).
  2. Schools and offices articulate and commit to a Laudato Si goal within their strategic plan and annual improvement plan.
  3. A Student Voice initiative is developed that genuinely harnesses the passion and conviction of students towards social action and dialogue.
  4. Schools and offices demonstrate the integration the principles of Laudato Si into the pre-planning, building and reviewing processes of built and natural spaces.  
  5. Schools and offices engage prayerfully with the Season of Creation during Spring-time beginning on the World Day of Prayer and ending on the Feast Day of St Francis.
  6. Schools and offices engage staff in formation grounded in ecological conversion and spirituality.

The Catholic Identity and Mission Section has explicitly articulated these commitments in its annual plan for 2023.

Round 2 of the Student Call to Ecological Conversion and Action Grant was awarded to seven schools across both dioceses. Project outlines and updates were shared on CESAShare as a resource for all schools.

Family Faith Formation Team

The Family Faith Formation Team supported and worked with family and parish-based ministries for families and children through a variety of ongoing initiatives in 2022. The team provided support to parishes in preparation for Sacraments of Initiation and facilitated training for parish personnel in leading ‘Liturgy of the Word with Children’ within various parish and school communities. Utilising the 2014 Archdiocesan document, Partnerships in Sacramental Catechesis: The Pastoral Framework for the Sacramental Catechesis of Children and the report for the Archbishop, Review of the Implementation of the Pastoral Framework and the parish and school surveys, the Family Faith Formation Team engaged with parishes looking to review their Sacramental process. The Family Faith Formation Team has had ongoing conversations with the parish teams towards making the Sacramental process a family-centred journey within parish-school communities and to respond to the Pastoral Framework question: What does authentic and healthy Sacramental catechesis of children and their families look like?  The Family Faith Formation Team has continued to build and strengthen the collaborative partnerships between the parish and the school. The development of Sacrament teams mentoring and resourcing continued as needs were identified.

The Faith Formation team, together with the Office for Worship and Pastoral Services team collaborated on resources for the World Meeting of Families as well as World Grandparents’ Day in July 2022. The Family Faith Formation team contributed by launching the ‘Say A Little Prayer Booklet’ which was distributed to families in parishes and Catholic schools. Following this, booklets were distributed to each child in Catholic Primary schools across South Australia by request of the Director. Other booklets in this series are in the process of being created.

The newsletter, Making Connections: Children’s Ministry Update was published and distributed to parishes and those involved in children’s catechesis.  Other initiatives continued: Faith Facts, Lenten & Advent Calendars and resources for Sacramental catechesis.  Resources were also developed for distribution across parishes and schools for the annual Commissioning of Catechists and also the Blessing of the Cribs. Through a collaboration with the Catholic Resource and Information Service further resources were added to the CRIS collection.

Youth Ministry – Adelaide Catholic Office for Youth and Young Adults

In 2022 the Catholic Office for Youth and Young Adults (COYYA) underwent a major change in staffing, with a new coordinator and diocesan youth ministry officer. COYYA continued to focus its work on leadership development for youth ministry leaders, youth events, and the Diocesan Youth Assembly.

Aware of the staffing changes within COYYA, the beginning of 2022 was spent visiting parishes and communities, schools and youth groups to listen and discern the needs of young people, and to hear the voices of our future leaders. This allowed COYYA to understand the ongoing needs of the archdiocese and our catholic schools.

COYYA hosted ‘Pentecost Encounter’, a youth and young people orientated event which celebrated the birthday of the church, the coming of the holy spirit and allowed young people & youth ministers to encounter with various formational activities including prayer art, via lucis (stations of the resurrection), a presentation from Fr Anthony Beltrame, and a workshop on discovering your spiritual gifts. The Archbishop also attended the final session where he addressed the young people in attendance and enjoyed the live music and reflections.

COYYA continued to support the archdiocese movement of synodality in 2022, ‘together on the way’. Following on from the success of the Diocesan Youth Assembly (DYA) in 2021, COYYA again hosted a DYA in September 2022 at St Thomas School Goodwood, in preparation for the Diocesan Assembly. DYA participants were asked to discern the priorities for young people in the Archdiocese of Adelaide and submit their recommendations in readiness for the Diocesan Assembly. Twelve delegates chose to represent and bring forth the voice of young people to the Diocesan Assembly which was held in October 2022 at Nazareth College, Flinders Park.  COYYA strongly supported the Diocesan Assembly by assisting in many areas of the event including setup, presenting a workshop and facilitating. ArchD Radio and Podcasting continued to grow in 2022 to encompass more schools, and developed several new podcast series for schools, Catholic Education Office projects and the Archdiocese of Adelaide. ArchD Radio and Podcasting impact and growth was acknowledged at the inaugural Catholic Education Awards on 12 May 2022, where the program received the Innovative Program award for 2022. The Arch D Awards, held at the Capri Theatre in Goodwood and Sacred Heart College, Somerton Park celebrated the achievements from students across primary and secondary schools who engaged with ArchD Radio and Podcasting in 2022.

COYYA continued to support the Council for Ministry for Young People which met monthly to focus on the strategic direction of youth ministry throughout the Archdiocese of Adelaide.

Catholic Resource and Information Service

The Catholic Resource & Information Service (CRIS) supports the mission of parishes, schools, church agencies and the broader Catholic community with the provision of resources in the areas of contemporary religious education, liturgical and sacramental practice, Scripture and theology, adult faith formation, pastoral care, Indigenous studies, contemporary issues, and the needs of the Catholic and wider community.

During 2022 the CRIS catalogue moved to a new library management system (LMS), Accessit.  This is the same LMS that is being rolled out in Diocesan schools, with a view to linking catalogues across the system in the future. During 2022 there were 338 new bibliographic records added to the CRIS catalogue bringing the overall collection to 34,151, with 8,829 registered borrowers. We did not hold a book sale this year but have amassed some donated titles along with titles removed from the CRIS collection.  We hope to host a book fair in 2024, to which we will invite Pauline Books & Media and ATF to provide new resources for sale alongside second hand books collected at CRIS.

National School Chaplaincy Program

CESA funded 58 schools in 2022 with the Federal Government funded and State administered National School Chaplaincy Program (NSCP).  The REFF Team provided the administration of this program for CESA schools, which included calling for and processing applications for funding toward the employment of school chaplains, youth ministers and, where appropriate, pastoral care workers. Support was also given for the School Chaplaincy Network, which provided professional learning and support for people employed in these positions. 

Of the 58 CESA schools which received NSCP grants: ten received $6,000, 22 received $9,000 and 26 received $12,000.  Three schools received a 20% remote school loading afforded by the Program. Ten schools withdrew from the 2022 program and this amount was reallocated to schools which demonstrated an interest in additional 2022 funding. The total of CESA NSCP school grants for 2022 was $680,813.

All 58 schools funded in 2022 expressed that they intend to continue in the program for 2023. 2022 is the final year of the current program but this will now carryover for another year into 2023 as a new 4 year program is yet to be approved and released by Cabinet.