Welcome to our final installment of Six Keys to a More Evangelizing Catechesis, as we look at the notion of “entering through their door” and focus on using technology in faith formation.
St. Ignatius of Loyola said that, when teaching or speaking to a group, it is always best to “enter through their door, but be sure to leave through your door.” His advice is that we need to meet learners where they are and move them to the next step in their journey. And where are today’s learners? They are in the digital world!
Not long ago, my wife and I were babysitting our grandson, who was on the verge of crawling. We tried putting various toys a few feet away from him to entice him to crawl, but nothing worked. Finally, I set my cell phone down on the floor and BOOM, our grandson crawled right to it! Today’s young people are digital natives, while many of us catechists are digital immigrants still trying to “learn the language” of the digital world—which, by the way, the pandemic forced many of us to do.
So, what does this mean for us as catechists? It means that we must engage our young people with some degree of technology. We don’t have to become tech nerds, but we do have to find ways to engage them through technology, which is something they expect. In fact, the new Directory for Catechesis warns us that “Failing adequately to consider [digital] phenomena leads to the risk of appearing insignificant to many people.” (213)
Today, there are numerous ways that catechists can engage young people with technology in the faith formation environment. The most exciting opportunity to make this happen on a regular basis can be found in the Finding God 2021 edition, which features integrated multimedia in both the student books and catechist guides. Take a look at the following:
The challenge before us is no longer just how to use technology in faith formation, but rather, how to be an evangelizing presence on the “digital continent,” because this is where our young people “live”!