AVAILABLE SUMMER 2019

Introducing Soul Seekers, the new
series for Junior Cycle from Veritas
Soul Seekers is a new series for Junior Cycle Religious   The First Year Soul Seekers programme includes six
Education by Veritas that fulfils the requirements        modules, the details of which are given below. This
of the new NCCA specifications for Junior Cycle.          sampler features Module 1 Belief: Unit 1 The Power
The series has been written in consultation with          of Beliefs, Unit 4 Beliefs in a Catholic School, Unit 5
teachers from across the country and provides             Beliefs in a Synagogue and Module 1 Reflection and
opportunities for students to engage with the             Action.
key skills outlined in the specifications, thereby
equipping them for lifelong learning.

                               Soul Seekers Table of Contents
                                     F irst Y ear J unior C ycle

                   MODULE 1 BELIEF                        Unit 1 Story
Learning outcomes                                         Unit 2 The Four Gospels
1.1 present the key religious beliefs of the five major   Unit 3 The Oral and Written Traditions
    world religions found in Ireland today                Unit 4 Parables
1.3 engage with members of a faith community              Unit 5 Miracles
    associated with one of the five major world           Module 2 Reflection and Action
    religions studied in the specification and show
    an appreciation of how the religious beliefs of                          MODULE 3 RITUAL
    the community influence the day-to-day life of        Learning outcomes
    its members                                           1.6 examine and appreciate how people give
                                                              expression to religious belief in religious rituals,
Unit 1 The Power of Beliefs                                   in formal places of worship and other sacred
Unit 2 Beliefs in the Monotheistic Religions                  spaces
Unit 3 Beliefs in the Eastern Religions                   1.7 discuss the significance of non-religious rituals/
Unit 4 Beliefs in a Catholic School                           celebrations for people’s lives
Unit 5 Beliefs in a Synagogue
Module 1 Reflection and Action                            Unit 1 The Meaning and Place of Ritual in People’s
                MODULE 2 SACRED TEXT                      Unit 2 The Elements and Purpose of Ritual in
Learning outcome                                            People’s Lives
1.9 explain what was involved in the development          Unit 3 The Rites of Passage as Ritual
    of a sacred text that is foundational within          Unit 4 Ritual and Worship in Hinduism and Islam
    Christianity or Judaism or Islam and consider its     Unit 5 Eucharist: The Central Ritual in Catholicism
    continued significance for the lives of believers     Module 3 Reflection and Action

                                                                  Follows the NCCA specifications
                                                                  Supports school ethos and vision
                                                                  Is inclusive of diverse faith
                                                                  Is written in student-friendly
                                                                  Supports online learning
                                                                  Is approved by the Irish Catholic
                                                                  Bishops’ Conference
                                                                  Includes videos created specially
                                                                  for the series

      MODULE 4 CHRISTIANITY AND IRISH CULTURE            Unit 3 Expressions of Prayer
Learning outcomes                                        Unit 4 Prayer and Pilgrimage
1.4 investigate how Christianity has contributed to      Module 5 Reflection and Action
    Irish culture and heritage
1.5 explore the presence of religious themes in                     MODULE 6 COMMUNITIES OF FAITH
    contemporary culture through an examination of       Learning outcomes
    art, music, literature or film                       1.2 investigate two communities of faith that have a
                                                              significant presence in their locality/region (the
Unit 1 In the Rocky Places                                    communities of faith chosen must be associated
Unit 2 Land of Saints and Scholars                            with two of the five major world religions
Unit 3 The Church’s Contribution to Ireland                   studied in the specification)
Unit 4 Christian Themes in Literature, Film, Art         1.10 discuss the importance of dialogue and
  and Music                                                   interaction between major world religions and
Module 4 Reflection and Action                                within major world religions in promoting peace
                                                              and reconciliation in the world today
                   MODULE 5 PRAYER
Learning outcome                                         Unit 1 Belonging to a Community
1.8 describe the role of prayer in the lives of people   Unit 2 Christian Communities of Faith
    of faith                                             Unit 3 A Muslim Community of Faith
                                                         Unit 4 Interfaith Dialogue
Unit 1 The Role of Prayer                                Unit 5 Ecumenism
Unit 2 Images of God and Prayer                          Module 6 Reflection and Action

Expressing               Exploring                Living our
      beliefs                questions                  values



                  Reflection and Action

Soul Seekers empowers students to be involved         Soul Seekers uses the three elements, enquiry,
in student-centred learning, enables them to          exploration and reflection and action, to lead
engage in research and encourages them to work        students through a process that is rooted in the
independently as well as with others.                 philosophy of the NCCA specifications.

Soul Seekers enables students to acquire real-        REQUEST MORE INFORMATION
life skills through engagement with a variety of      Contact Caroline Teehan:
materials supported by a wealth of resources on our   caroline.teehan@veritas.ie
digital platform.

Meet the Soul Seekers Lead Editor
    Soul Seekers has been developed by a team of multi-disciplinary
    educational experts led by writer and teacher Tom Gunning.
    Tom is currently on secondment from Loreto Secondary School,
    Wexford. He is the author of the Senior Cycle textbooks The Inner
    Place and Into the Deep, along with being a contributing author to
    the Faith Seeking Understanding series. Tom studied at the Gregorian
    University in Rome and received his Masters in Religious
    Education from the Pontifical University of Maynooth. He is the
    co-author with Fr Michael Drumm of A Sacramental People, Vols I &
    2, published by Columba Press, and has lectured at the Mater Dei
    Institute of Education on sacramental theology. Tom is also the co-
    founder of the Parable Garden Education Project.

The symbols used in the Soul Seekers exercises correspond to the key areas outlined below:

              Exploration                          Being literate

              Enquiry                              Communicating                   Staying well

              Reflection                                                           Working with
              and Action                                                           others
                                                   and thinking

                                                   Being creative                 Being numerate

     Further resources that dig more deeply
     into many of the topics covered can be
     found in the online digital library. Links
     to the digital library will be featured in these

 MODULE 1 

Learning Outcomes                                        STRAND LINKS

                                                    2.2 consider responses from one major world
1.1 present the key religious beliefs of the five        religion and from a non-religious world-
    major world religions found in Ireland               view to some big questions about the
    today                                                meaning of life, such as, why are we here?
                                                         How should we live? What happens when
1.3 engage with members of a faith community             we die?
    associated with one of the five major world
    religions studied in the specification and      2.6 construct a timeline of one major world
    show an appreciation of how the religious            religion, making reference to key people,
    beliefs of the community influence the day-          times of expansion and times of challenge
    to-day life of its members
                                                    3.2 reflect upon and discuss what it means to
1.12 synthesise and consider the insights               be moral, why people living in society need
     gained about how people express and live           to be moral and what are the influences
     out their beliefs, religious or otherwise          on and sources of authority for a person’s
                                                        moral decision-making

6                                                                                      MODULE 1: BELIEF
The Power of Beliefs                

                   UNIT ONE
                                         Looking at the impact of beliefs, how
                                         they influence our lives; exploring
                                         how beliefs can have a negative or a
                                         positive influence on our lives

                                         Beliefs in the
                                         Monotheistic Religions
                   UNIT TWO

                                         Exploring the beliefs of Judaism,
                                         Christianity and Islam
                                LO 3.2

                                         Beliefs in the
                   UNIT THREE

                                         Eastern Religions               
                                         Exploring the beliefs of Hinduism and
                                LO 2.2

                                         The Catholic School as a
                   UNIT FOUR

                                         Community of Faith              
                                         Examining how a Catholic school is a
                                         community of faith
                                LO 2.6                                      13

                                         The Synagogue as a
                                         Community of Faith             
                   UNIT FIVE

                                         Examining how a synagogue is a
                                         community of faith


                                         Module 1: Reflection and
                   UNIT SIX

                                         ‘Our Catholic School’
                                         presentation/’Imagining a New
                                         Catholic School’ plan/’Advice for First
                                         Years’ article                    28

MODULE 1: BELIEF                                                                   7
 UNIT 1 

                                                      The Power of Beliefs
                                 IN THIS UNIT I WILL:
                                 ❖❖ explore the important role that beliefs play in all our lives
                                 ❖❖ explore how beliefs play an important role in people’s lives from a religious

                                Reading with understanding                         LOST IN THE JUNGLE
                                                                                   World War II ended in 1945 with the surrender of
             INDIVIDUAL ACTIVITY                                                   the Axis powers, among them the empire of Japan.
             >>    Read the story of Hiroo Onoda and discuss the                   Japanese soldiers laid down their weapons, but one
                   questions that follow.                                          Japanese soldier was unwilling to believe that his
                                                                                   country had surrendered.
                                                                                       Hiroo Onoda had heard rumours about
                                                                                   surrendering but dismissed them as propaganda
                                                                                   stories spread by the Allies. So he retreated deep into
                                                                                   the jungle and went into hiding. When the world
                                  Space Exploration
                                                                                   was at peace, Hiroo continued to fight. When he saw
                                                                                   anyone approach, he would lift his rifle and shoot at
                                                                                   them. Nobody could tell him that the war was over
                         1955                          1965                        because nobody could approach him.
Television                                                           Beatlemania
                                                                                       The years went by. Life all around the jungle
                                                                                   returned to normal, but not in Hiroo’s head. He
                  1950                                        1970                 continued to believe that the world was at war. He
                                                                                   hunted and foraged in the undergrowth for berries
                                                                                   and root vegetables. He kept his service rifle fully
                                                                                   oiled, cleaned and in perfect firing order. This
                         1945                          1975
                                                                                   continued for thirty years, until eventually it was
                                                                                   decided that Hiroo had to be saved from his own
                                                                                   beliefs and that he might listen to his commanding
War Ends                                                             Video Games
                                                                                       The officer travelled to his hideout. He called on
                                                                                   Hiroo to put down his weapon. The war had ended
                                                                                   thirty years ago, he explained. There was movement
                                                                                   in the bushes and slowly Hiroo emerged. He fell to
                                                                                   his knees and wept uncontrollably. Some people
                                                                                   called Hiroo a hero, but others just scratched their

             8                                                                                                            MODULE 1: BELIEF
According to neuroscientists (those who study
                     the brain), there is no such thing as being smart
                     or not smart.

heads and didn’t know what to call him. Hiroo left     you are very good at some subjects, for instance, but
the forest and spent the rest of his life setting up   hopeless at others. According to neuroscientists (those
nature camps for children in Brazil. He died in 2014   who study the brain), there is no such thing as being
at the age of 91.                                      smart or not smart. Rather, they believe, it sometimes
                                                       comes down to how much effort you’re willing to put
              Listening and expressing myself          in and how much belief you have in yourself.
                                                           That would mean that we are all far more capable
WHAT DO YOU THINK?                                     than we think. So what holds us back? Very often,
1. What feeling did Hiroo’s beliefs create in him?     like Hiroo, it all comes down to our beliefs. These
2. How did they affect his life?                       beliefs are called self-limiting beliefs and they are
3. Were his beliefs a good or bad influence? Why?      very powerful. Neuroscientists would argue that
                                                       self-empowering beliefs are very important in how
OUR BELIEFS                                            well we get on in school or in life. Review the table
As you sit in your new classroom in first year, you    on the next page for some examples of both.
might believe certain things about yourself: that

MODULE 1: BELIEF                                                                                            9
 I could never play basketball         I’m no good at sports.                 Not all sports need hand–eye
 because I’ve no hand–eye                                                     co-ordination. I’ll try athletics!
 My best friend became friends         There’s something wrong with           Friendships change all the time.
 with someone else in fifth class.     me.                                    We can still be friends, and I can
                                                                              make new friends.
 I was never in the cool group in      I’m not popular.                       In the real world, popularity
 school.                                                                      means nothing. Being a good
                                                                              friend is what counts.
 Everyone is musical in my family I’m not talented.                           I just haven’t found my talent yet.
 except me.

            Using digital technology to access content                 Knowing myself

DIGITAL WORK                                              PERSONAL REFLECTION 
>> Log on to the digital library to see a video on        >>   Take some time to reflect on the role that beliefs
   what some students say about their beliefs and              play in your life. Can you identify some of the
   how they influence their lives. Then discuss                different beliefs that you have? Are they self-
   these questions as a class:                                 limiting or self-empowering? What impact do
1. Do you think a person’s beliefs are important?              they have on your life and do you need to take
   Why or why not?                                             any action? You will find the table on the next
2. How do their beliefs affect the lives of the people         page in your workbook. Fill it in to identify the
   you saw in the video?                                       beliefs in your life.

10                                                                                                MODULE 1: BELIEF
                                                                                         TO BE TAKEN



Empowering beliefs motivate
us to grow and develop our
potential. If we believe that we
can do something, we are more
likely to succeed in doing it.
People’s religious beliefs also
strongly influence how they live
their lives.

             Learning with others

>>   Make a list of any beliefs you are aware of that
     are part of any religion in your locality. How do
     people express these beliefs? How do they show
     or practice their beliefs in what they do in their
     daily lives? Look at the table below for examples,
     then come up with two more examples, share
     them with your partner, and then share them
     with your class.

 BELIEF                                                   PRACTICE
 Catholics believe Jesus is present in the Eucharist      They go to Mass on Sundays and sometimes on
 Buddhists believe in the teachings of the Buddha.        In their temples they have statues of the Buddha.
 Muslims believe Mecca is a special place of              They have a special pilgrimage called the Hajj
 religious significance.                                  when they visit Mecca.
 Hindus believe in many gods.                             They have special shrines in their homes where
                                                          they can worship the gods.
 Jews believe the Sabbath is a day of special religious Jews visit the synagogue on the Sabbath.

MODULE 1: BELIEF                                                                                              11
Listening and expressing myself

>>   What do you think are some beliefs shared by
     members of the main world religions? Here are
     two; can you come up with more?
     –– We are loved and we are asked to share this
        love with others.
     –– We have been given the earth as a gift. We are
        empowered to mind it for future generations.

               ❖❖ What effect do self-limiting beliefs have on your life and how do you deal
                  with them?
               ❖❖ How can you strengthen your self-empowering beliefs so that they might
                  lead you to a more fulfilled life?

12                                                                                             MODULE 1: BELIEF
 UNIT 4 

                       The Catholic School
                     as a Community of Faith
              IN THIS UNIT I WILL:
              ❖❖ explore the development of Christianity
              ❖❖ examine how the Catholic school acts as a community of faith

CHRISTIANITY: A TIMELINE                                organise themselves. They appointed leaders called
                                                        presbyters. Later they would be known as priests.
 LO 2.6      STRAND 2 LINK
                                                        They also appointed bishops and deacons. One
After Jesus rose from the dead and appeared to his      role that the priests, deacons and bishops fulfilled
disciples, he promised that he would send them          was that of leading the people in ritual. At the Last
the Holy Spirit to be with them during the difficult    Supper, Jesus had blessed and shared bread and
times ahead. His followers would miss him and they      wine among them. He told them that the bread and
needed strength to spread the Good News he had          wine had been changed into his Body and Blood.
taught them. Jesus promised, ‘The Helper, the Holy      He asked them to come together to do what he had
Spirit whom the Father will send in my name, will       done in memory of him. He also promised that when
teach you everything and make you remember all I        they did this, he would be with them. After he was no
have told you’ (Jn 14:26). At Pentecost the followers   longer with them, the early followers of Jesus began
of Jesus received the Holy Spirit and they began to     to gather in each other’s houses to bless and share
preach openly that he was the Messiah.                  bread and wine. In the Acts of the Apostles we are
   His followers, the early Christians, began to        told the early Christians ‘… remained faithful to the
                                                                                      teaching of the apostles,
                                                                                      to the brotherhood, to
                                                                                      the breaking of bread
                                                                                      and to the prayers’ (Acts
                                                                                          The early Christians
                                                                                      also marked special
                                                                                      times in the year when
                                                                                      they remembered Jesus
                                                                                      and the key events in his
                                                                                      life. This special calendar
                                                                                      became known as the
                                                                                      Liturgical Calendar.
                                                                                      The most important
                                                                                      time was Easter when

MODULE 1: BELIEF                                                                                              13
Early Christian Church

                                                                        THE GREAT SCHISM (1054)

                               REFORMATION (1500s)
                                                         Roman Catholic                    Orthodox
                                                            Church                         Churches
   Anglican (Church of
  Ireland), Evangelical,
Methodist, Presbyterian,         Churches
Baptist, Quaker, Lutheran

they remembered Jesus’ death and resurrection. The      that eventually were gathered together to form the
most important day in the week was Sunday because       New Testament. To this day, when Christians meet
Jesus rose from the dead on a Sunday. When they         as a community they have sacred places, times and
gathered together they met at first in their homes      symbols, and they read from their sacred text, the
but later, as their numbers grew, they met in bigger    Bible, in order to remember their founder and his
buildings called churches. These celebrations of the    teachings.
Eucharist were led by ordained ministers, priests or        Throughout history there were times when
bishops.                                                Christians disagreed with each other on teachings
    The first Christians also began to write down the   about Jesus. These disagreements led to divisions
stories about Jesus. Until then stories about Jesus     within Christianity. The word for a division within the
were passed on by word of mouth. This was called        Church is a ‘schism’. The first great schism occurred
the oral tradition. But when people who witnessed       in 1054. The Church split in two, into the Roman
key events in Jesus’ life began to die, the community   Catholic Church under the leadership of the Pope
decided that it was necessary to record the events      and the Orthodox Church under the leadership of the
of Jesus’ life in writing for their descendants. Four   Patriarch. In the sixteenth century there was another
main accounts were written about Jesus’ life. They      split which is called the Reformation. After that
are called the Four Gospels and were written by         there was the Roman Catholic Church, the Orthodox
Matthew, Mark, Luke and John. The gospels can be        Church and the Protestant Churches. Another term for
found in the second part of the Bible.                  the different Christian Churches is denominations.
                                                            Despite the divisions that have occurred
Note: You will learn more about the Four Gospels        throughout history, all Christians today strive
in Module 2 ‘Sacred Text’.                              to build good relationships across the divisions
                                                        because Jesus wanted his followers to be united. The
When the early Christians met in their sacred           term for the efforts Christians make to build good
places on Sundays or on special occasions such as       relationships with each other, despite divisions, is
Easter, they read from the gospels or other books       ‘ecumenism’.

14                                                                                                MODULE 1: BELIEF
Evaluating my learning                                   Using digital technology

WRITTEN WORK                                            RESEARCH
1. When did the followers of Jesus receive the Holy     >>   If you are in a Catholic school, that school will
   Spirit?                                                   more than likely be connected to a religious
2. Name three different leadership roles that                order or to a Catholic diocese. Find out as much
   developed within early Christianity.                      of the following information as you can in the
3. Name two sacred times that emerged in                     digital library about your school:
   Christianity.                                        1.   Which religious order runs your school?
4. How did the early Christians remember stories        2.   Who was the founder of that religious order?
   about their founder?                                 3.   What is the story of that founder?
5. Identify two different splits or schisms that        4.   What are the beliefs of the religious order?
   occurred in the early Christian Church.              5.   What are the values of the religious order?
                                                             When you have found the answers to these
                                                             questions you will have an understanding of the
                                                             ethos of your school.
Today there are a variety of schools catering to
the different types of faith communities that live                                    Log on to the
in Ireland. There are Jewish and Islamic schools,                                     digital library
Christian schools such as Church of Ireland                                           and look up
schools, Catholic schools and Orthodox schools.                                       ‘Founding
   There are many Catholic schools in Ireland, both                                   Stories’ to find a list
primary and post-primary. Most Catholic schools                                       of religious orders
have a founding story which tells how the school was                                  and the schools they
established. It is usually linked to the man or woman                                 set up.
who set up the religious congregation.

‘There is no longer Jew
or Greek, there is no
longer slave or free,
there is no longer male
and female; for all of you
are one in Christ Jesus.’
(Gal 3:28)

MODULE 1: BELIEF                                                                                                15
1. E xpressing B eliefs in a C atholic S chool                                   Expressing belief: The sacred space
In Unit 2 we examined the key beliefs in                                         A Catholic school will probably have a sacred space
Christianity. A Catholic school is a Christian school.                           or a special room called a prayer room. This is a
Catholicism is a Christian denomination. Here are                                room set aside for religious activities only and is
some of the ways in which beliefs are expressed in a                             the room where the Eucharist will be celebrated.
Catholic school:                                                                 The Blessed Sacrament is kept in a special container
                                                                                 called a tabernacle. A teacher might also bring a
❖❖ The characteristic spirit and values of                                       class group to this room for meditation or a prayer
     Christianity are evident in school life.                                    service because it has a special atmosphere that
❖❖ The school community celebrates important                                     helps people to be silent, to meditate or to pray.
   Catholic rituals like the Eucharist.
❖❖ A sacred space is provided where people can                                   Expressing belief: Christian festivals
   gather to pray in private or together.                                        In a Catholic school, the entrance hall will often
❖❖ The school community marks important                                          be the place that is used when the school wants to
   Christian festivals like Christmas and Easter.                                mark special religious occasions in the school year
❖❖ The school community expresses its beliefs in                                 like Christmas or Easter. Religious objects, pictures
   the teachings of Jesus through social action                                  and symbols will be placed here so that people who
   and through the way in which people treat one                                 are visiting will know they are entering a Catholic
   another in the school.                                                        school that has a range of beliefs that are important
                                                                                 to that school community. They will become aware
                                                                                 of the vision and identity of the school.

                                                                                                                                          Photo by Tiernan Dolan

 Tabernacle in St Mel’s Cathedral, Longford, designed by Imogen Stuart and Vicki Donovan

16                                                                                                                     MODULE 1: BELIEF
A crib is an important symbol because it tells
                          the story of the birth of Jesus.

             Listening and expressing myself                  Every week, Christians celebrate the Eucharist, to
                                                           remember the Last Supper that Jesus shared with his
WHAT DO YOU THINK?                                         disciples on the night before he died. In the Easter
1. Why is it important to be aware of the founding         ceremonies, people remember and celebrate the
   vision of a school?                                     death and resurrection of Jesus. At Christmas, people
2. Why is it important to have a special room in           remember and celebrate the birth of Jesus.
   the school that is set aside for religious activities
   only? How should this room be treated by                Christmas in school
   everyone in the school?                                 The school community can also remember the birth
                                                           of Jesus in a variety of ways. A crib is an important
2. R ites and R ituals                                     symbol because it tells the story of the birth of
Throughout the year, people gather to celebrate key        Jesus. The crib might be put in a prominent location
moments in their lives such as births, deaths and          in the school along with a Christmas tree. In this
weddings by taking part in rites and rituals to mark       way the foyer or entrance hall can be made into a
the occasion. (You will learn more about rites and         sacred space. An advent wreath may also be created
rituals in Module 3.)                                      to mark the different Sundays in Advent. The school
                                                           might encourage the students to put on a nativity
                                                           play or a Christmas carol service.

MODULE 1: BELIEF                                                                                             17
Easter in school                                          and resurrection of Jesus. The seasons of Advent,
Christians prepare for Easter by marking the forty        Christmas, Lent and Easter are especially linked to
days that Jesus spent in the wilderness after he was      those key events.
baptised by John the Baptist in the River Jordan.
This period is known as Lent. Christians often take       A dvent
on a special activity or give up something during         Advent is the time when Christians prepare for
Lent. They also make an extra effort to think about       the celebration of the birth of Jesus. It begins four
others and their needs. The school might celebrate        Sundays before Christmas and ends on Christmas
the Eucharist each week during Lent.                      Eve. The Liturgical Year begins on the first Sunday of
                                                          Advent. During Advent the feast of the Immaculate
             Learning with others                         Conception (8 December) celebrates the importance
                                                          of Jesus’ mother Mary in the Church.
>>   Make a list of the things that the schools you       C hristmas
     have attended did or do to celebrate Christmas       The liturgical season of Christmas begins on
     and Easter. Discuss your answers with the            Christmas Eve. On Christmas day, Christians
     person beside you and then share them with the       celebrate the birth of Jesus and the coming of the
     rest of the class.                                   light of hope and love into the world. Twelve days
                                                          after Christmas day, the Church celebrates the feast
THE LITURGICAL YEAR                                       of the Epiphany. The Magi are placed in the crib and
The Liturgical Year marks the special events in           because they were non-Jews their arrival signifies
Jesus’ life. The year follows a cycle of feast days and   that Jesus is the saviour of the whole world.
seasons that remember in particular the birth, death

18                                                                                               MODULE 1: BELIEF

                                                The Immaculate                     CH R
                                                  Conception                      Christmas Day
                                                                                   Holy Family
                                                                                  Mary, Mother
                                                                                     of God

                                                                                                                      RY TIM
                                                                                                             D I NA
                                                                                                        OR                  E
                                                                                                           The Baptism
                                                                                                            of the Lord
                                                                                                       The Presentation
                    RY                                                                                   of the Lord
           O   RDINA TIME

               Trinity Sunday
         Feast of the Body and
           Blood of the Lord
        The Assumption of the                                                                                            LENT
         Blessed Virgin Mary
               All Saints’ Day
                                                                                                                 Ash Wednesday
               All Souls’ Day
                                                                                                                      Palm Sunday
            Feast of Christ
               the King


                                                                                                   Holy Thursday
                                                                                                    Good Friday
                                                                                                   Holy Saturday
                                                                                                    Easter Vigil

                                                                    E A ST E R

                                                                  Easter Sunday
                                                                 Ascension Day
                                                                  Pentecost Day

L ent                                                          E aster
Lent is the liturgical season of preparing for the             The Easter Triduum (three days) begins on Holy
death and resurrection of Jesus. It lasts for forty            Thursday. A special Eucharist remembers the
days, recalling the forty days that Jesus spent in the         Last Supper. On Good Friday the arrest, trial and
wilderness after his baptism. The first day of Lent            crucifixion of Jesus are remembered with special
is Ash Wednesday when Christians have ashes                    ceremonies. The Easter Vigil on Holy Saturday
put on their forehead. Palm Sunday recalls Jesus’              night remembers the resurrection of Jesus from the
entry into Jerusalem before his death. Lent ends on            dead. The paschal fire is lit to symbolise how the
Holy Thursday morning as Christians prepare to                 light and hope of the resurrection overcomes the
celebrate the special three days of Easter.                    despair of death.

MODULE 1: BELIEF                                                                                                                19
Trinity Sunday
                                                          Christians celebrate the mystery of the three
                                                          persons of the Trinity: Father, Son and Holy Spirit.

                                                          The Assumption of Mary the mother of Jesus
                                                          This takes place on 15 August and recalls how
                                                          Mary was taken into heaven. Pilgrimages to places
                                                          associated with Mary take place.

                                                          All Saints and All Souls
                                                          These two days on 1 and 2 November allow
                                                          Christians to remember and pray for all who have
                                                          died and gone to heaven.

                                                          3. S ocial A ction
    The Easter season begins on Easter Sunday when        Jesus spent much of his time helping other people,
the story is told of the followers of Jesus finding the   especially those most in need. He performed
empty tomb. The angel tells the women that Jesus          miracles to heal people who were sick or who
is risen and to go and tell his other followers. On       had disabilities. If a person was excluded from
Ascension Day the ascension of Jesus to his Father        society, Jesus included them and urged others to
is recalled and on Pentecost Sunday Christians            do the same. In many of his parables and in the
celebrate the coming and gift of the Holy Spirit.         way he treated other people, Jesus taught about
                                                          compassion and forgiveness.
O rdinary T ime                                               The Catholic school expresses these beliefs by
Ordinary Time is the period outside of the seasons        encouraging students to be socially aware. Whenever
of Advent, Christmas, Lent and Easter. Some events        people join together to help others in need in society,
which are important are:                                  it is called social action.

20                                                                                               MODULE 1: BELIEF
Evaluating my learning

                                                          WRITTEN WORK
                                                          1. Name three key beliefs in a Catholic school.
                                                          2. Identify two key ways in which a Catholic school
                                                             expresses its beliefs.
                                                          3. Identify how the founding story could be
❖❖ At Christmas the school might collect money or            presented in a Catholic school.
   food for the St Vincent de Paul Society or another     4. Identify two examples of how a Catholic school
   charity.                                                  expresses its beliefs through social action.
❖❖ The school might participate in the Shoebox            5. Give two reasons why it is important for a
   Appeal, with students filling a shoebox with gifts        Catholic school to have a sacred space.
   for children in need in other countries.
❖❖ Catholic organisations like Trócaire hold special                  Being spiritual
   collections for people in need during Lent. The
   school might hold different events to collect money.   PERSONAL REFLECTION
❖❖ The school might become involved in activities         >> Watch the video ‘Team Hope 2015
   to raise awareness for care of the environment.           Christmas Shoebox Appeal’ to see how
                                                             children react when they receive their
            Listening and expressing myself                  shoeboxes at Christmas , then answer these
WHAT DO YOU THINK?                                        1. What feelings do you have when you watch this
>> Can you think of other examples of your school            video?
   helping people in need through social action?          2. This is an example of how a school community
1. Were you involved in any of the activities? If so,        helps others. Based on this video, why is it
   did you enjoy it? Will you get involved again?            important to get involved in social action
2. Can you think of any activity that might be a             projects like this? What social action activities
   good idea for the school to become involved in?           might you be able to get involved in?

                    REFLECTING ON LEARNING
                    ❖❖ How do the beliefs in a Catholic school influence that school? Do the
                       beliefs have a good influence? Why or why not?
                    ❖❖ What other types of schools might have different beliefs? How might
                       they be different to the beliefs of a Catholic school?

MODULE 1: BELIEF                                                                                             21
 UNIT 5 

                         The Synagogue
                    as a Community of Faith
             IN THIS UNIT I WILL:
             ❖❖ explore the Jewish moral code of the Ten Commandments
             ❖❖ examine how the Jewish synagogue acts as a community of faith

 LO 3.3     STRAND 3 LINK
The Jews call themselves the Chosen People
because God invited them into a relationship with
him. They became his people and God promised
that he would be their saviour and protector. The
earliest Jews found it challenging to follow just
one God when there were lots of gods to choose
from. During their history, the Jewish people had to
learn to worship only one God through a series of
covenants. When the Jews entered into a covenant
with God it became a very special, sacred agreement.
The most important covenant that the Jews made
with God was when Moses received the Ten
Commandments on Mount Sinai after they were
freed from slavery in Egypt.
   The Ten Commandments are very important for
the Jews because they act as their moral code. This
means that the Ten Commandments tells them what
are the right and wrong things to do.

  Log on to the digital library and look up
  ‘World Religions – Judaism’ to find out
  more about the story of when the Jews
  were slaves in Egypt and how they were saved
  on the night of Passover.
                                                       MOSES AND THE TEN COMMANDMENTS

22                                                                                      MODULE 1: BELIEF
Listening and expressing myself                important stories that the
                                                           Jews have written down          Log on to
WHAT DO YOU THINK?                                         throughout their history        the digital
1. What are the advantages for a religion to have a        so that they will never         library to
   moral code?                                             be forgotten. The most          find out more
2. Look up the Ten Commandments in Exodus                  important stories are about     about Abraham
   20:1-17. Why was it important for God to give the       the special agreements or       and the Hebrew
   Jewish people a written code?                           covenants that God made         scriptures.
3. Do you think the Ten Commandments were                  with his people.
   written in that order for a reason? Why might
   some argue that the first commandment is the            I nside a S ynagogue
   most important for the Jewish people?                   When the Jews gather together as a community in
                                                           the synagogue, the most important thing they do is
THE SYNAGOGUE                                              read their sacred texts from the Torah. Jews can go
One feature of the five major world religions is that      to the synagogue every day but the most important
they all gather together to worship as a community         day is the Sabbath: the special day set aside to meet
of faith. Jews gather together to worship God in the       together as a community to pray to God and reflect
synagogue.                                                 on their sacred texts. The Jewish Sabbath begins at
    At the time of Jesus, every town or village would      sundown on Friday evening and ends at sundown
have had its own synagogue. This was a sacred building     on Saturday evening.
set aside for religious activities. The synagogue is the      All synagogues face east so that they are pointed
focus for the Jewish community because it contains         towards Jerusalem. In some synagogues, men and
their sacred texts. The sacred texts contain the most      women sit separately.

MODULE 1: BELIEF                                                                                              23
The Ten C ommandments                    FEATURES OF A SYNAGOGUE                  T he S tar of D avid
Above the Ark is a copy of                                                       The Star of David is one
the Ten Commandments.                        T he E ternal L ight                of the symbols of Judaism.
It reminds Jews how they                This is a light that is kept             David was one of their most
should live their lives and             burning in front of the Ark              important kings. He built the
most importantly that there             at all times. It is another way          original Temple in Jerusalem
is only one God. This is the            the Jews demonstrate their               and he protected the Jewish
most important belief in                belief that the Torah scrolls            people from many of their
Judaism.                                are very important.                      enemies when they returned
                                                                                 from slavery in Egypt.

                                                T he B imah
                T he A rk               The Bimah is a raised                            S eating
      The Ark is the focal point        platform in the centre of the         Orthodox and Reform are
      of the synagogue. All seats       synagogue. This is where the          two different traditions
      point towards the Ark as it       Torah scrolls are read during         within Judaism. In Orthodox
      contains the scrolls of the       a Sabbath service. It is raised       synagogues there is separate
      Jewish sacred texts called the    to show that Jews believe             seating for men and women.
      Torah scrolls. The Torah is       the Torah scrolls are very            In a Reform synagogue they
      written in Hebrew.                important.                            sit together.

     The Temple in Jerusalem                             Mount Sinai, and was housed in an important room
     At the time of Jesus, the most sacred place for     in the Temple. The Temple no longer exists, but
     the Jews was the Temple in Jerusalem because        Jews can still visit the Western Wailing Wall, which
     it contained the Ark of the Covenant. This was      is part of the ruins of the original Temple that was
     a special container which held the original Ten     destroyed by the Romans in 70 CE.
     Commandments that Moses received from God on

     24                                                                                       MODULE 1: BELIEF
Evaluating my learning                                 Learning with others

WRITTEN WORK                                          THINK, PAIR, SHARE
1. What is the name of the building where Jews        >>   If you visited a Jewish synagogue, what
   gather to worship?                                      important beliefs would you be able to identify
2. Why does the synagogue face east?                       from the features of the synagogue? Share your
3. Name the symbol of Judaism that you might find          answers with the person beside you and then
   in a synagogue.                                         discuss them with the rest of the class.
4. What features of the synagogue are linked to its
   sacred texts?

                                 THE SYNAGOGUE AS A COMMUNITY OF FAITH

   I mportant P eople                     R ites and R ituals                        S acred T imes
❖❖ The Rabbi                           ❖❖ Bar Mitzvah and Bat                   ❖❖ The Sabbath Service
❖❖ Chazan                                 Mitzvah                               ❖❖ The Passover
❖❖ Gabbai                              ❖❖ Marriage                              ❖❖ Yom Kippur
                                       ❖❖ Funerals

MODULE 1: BELIEF                                                                                         25
IMPORTANT PEOPLE                                       C hazan
T he R abbi                                            The chazan is a member of the Jewish community
The Rabbi is the leader of the Jewish community.       who leads the people in prayer during the
The Rabbi leads the synagogue service on the           synagogue service. The chazan also leads the
Sabbath. The Rabbi can be male or female               community in singing during the service. Jews do
depending the Jewish tradition the synagogue           not play musical instruments in the synagogue
belongs to (Orthodox or Reform). The Rabbi             so leading the community in singing is very
removes the Torah scrolls from the Ark and then        important.
reads them from the bimah. This is an important
part of the synagogue service. The Rabbi also leads    G abbai
                             the celebration of        The Gabbai is the person who has responsibility
                             marriages, funerals and   for the Torah scrolls and reads the scrolls from the
                             Bar and Bat Mitzvahs.     bimah. It is an important role in the community
                                                       because the most important part of the synagogue
                                                       service is to read from the Torah scrolls.

                                 The Rabbi is the
                                 leader of the Jewish

RITES AND RITUALS                                      F unerals
B ar M itz vah and B at M itz vah                      Jewish funerals can take place in a variety of
A Jewish boy or girl around twelve years of age        places including the synagogue. It is a time for
takes part in a special ceremony to mark them          the community to gather around the family of
becoming an adult Jew. In Orthodox Judaism,            the person who has died. There are many special
boys celebrate Bar Mitzvah. In Reform Judaism,         rituals surrounding death in a Jewish community
boys celebrate Bar Mitzvah and girls celebrate Bat     and the body is usually buried within twenty-four
Mitzvah. It is a very special ceremony because after   hours.
it, the boy or girl can read from the Torah scrolls
during a synagogue service. The boy or girl is
now fully part of the Jewish community.

M arriage
Jewish marriages are celebrated in the
synagogue and the Rabbi leads the ceremony.
The couple exchange vows, and blessings
are given to the couple. The ceremony is
followed by a special celebratory meal. At
the end of the ceremony, a glass is broken to
remember the sadness of the destruction of
the Temple in Jerusalem even on the happy
occasion of marriage.

26                                                                                          MODULE 1: BELIEF
SACRED TIMES                                             Y om K ippur
 T he S abbath service                                    The Jewish new year begins with Rosh Hashanah,
 The Sabbath service takes place on Saturday              which occurs in Autumn. Ten days later Jews
 morning. The Rabbi begins by reading a psalm             celebrate Yom Kippur. This is a time when Jews
 from the Hebrew scriptures. The Ark is opened            seek forgiveness for their sins. They reflect on how
 and the Torah scrolls are brought in a procession        they can be more faithful to the moral code of the
 to the bimah where they are read. A special pointer      Ten Commandments. The community gathers in
 called a yad is used so as not to touch the scrolls      the synagogue for a special service and the Rabbi
 in order to protect them. The Rabbi then teaches         teaches about how to live according to the laws in
 the community about the readings from the Torah          the Torah scrolls.

 T he P assover
 Jews celebrate one of the most important times in
 their history with the annual springtime festival
 of Passover. They remembers their escape from
 slavery in Egypt. The Jewish community gathers
 in the synagogue to listen to the story of Passover
 and reflect on what it means for their lives today. A
 special meal called the seder meal is celebrated in
 the home.

            Evaluating my learning                                   Reflection and action

WRITTEN WORK                                              PERSONAL REFLECTION
1. When does the Jewish community gather                  >> Research shows that some people who belong
   together?                                                 to communities of faith live longer, are happier
2. Why does the Jewish community gather                      and say they have a greater sense of belonging in
   together?                                                 their lives.
3. What stories do they listen to from their sacred       1. In your opinion, what are the advantages of
   texts?                                                    belonging to a community of faith?
4. What important people lead them in their               2. Are there any disadvantages?
   celebrations?                                          3. Do you belong to a community of faith? If you
5. What event does the Jewish community celebrate            do, what are the advantages or disadvantages?
   during Passover?

              ❖❖ The key beliefs that Jews have about God are reflected in the features of the
                   synagogue and in their sacred times and rites and rituals. What were the
                   features that you found most interesting? If you met a rabbi, what questions
                   would you ask him or her about the synagogue?

MODULE 1: BELIEF                                                                                            27
 UNIT 6 

                         Reflection and Action
You will now reflect on the material you covered in
this module and put what you learned into action.


Key skills:
❖❖ Working with others
❖❖ Being creative
❖❖ Being literate
❖❖ Managing information and thinking
❖❖ Communicating
                                                         ❖❖ Camera/phone to take pictures
>> Working in groups of three or four, create a          ❖❖ Copy to record what you find
   presentation on how your Catholic school              ❖❖ Pens, pencils for drawing or taking notes
   displays its Catholic ethos. Your presentation        ❖❖ Map of your school – you’ll need one if it’s
   can be displayed on an A2 sheet or in PowerPoint         a big new school!
   form and should be made up of text and images.
   Find evidence in your school of how the following     FOLLOW-ON ACTIVITY
   aspects of Catholic school life are expressed:        Are there some areas where the school could
❖❖ the founding story as part of the school’s identity   improve? Were there areas where you found no
❖❖ school life based on certain values                   evidence? What can you do to implement new
❖❖ sacred space where people can pray                    ideas into your school?
❖❖ sacred times such as Christmas and Easter
❖❖ involvement in social action or care for the

28                                                                                          MODULE 1: BELIEF
OPTION 2: ‘IMAGINING A NEW CATHOLIC SCHOOL’ PLAN        ❖❖ How would you show that the school cares for
                                                             the environment?
Key skills:
❖❖ Being creative                                       >> Write up details on each point to show how you
❖❖ Being literate                                          would develop that new building into a school
❖❖ Managing information and thinking                       displaying the Catholic ethos and include the
                                                           following elements:
>> Working on your own, imagine that you have           ❖❖ pictures of important people from the founding story
   been given a new building for a Catholic             ❖❖ details on sacred objects to be displayed
   secondary school. What would you have to do          ❖❖ details on how the school will be involved in
   to transform that building into a place that            social action projects
   reflected a Catholic school with that founding       ❖❖ details on recycling activities, for example, to
   story? Consider the following:                          show the school cares for the environment
❖❖ How would you create a sacred space or prayer        ❖❖ details on statues and pieces of art work to be
   room?                                                   displayed
❖❖ Where would you put pictures of the founder?
❖❖ How would you demonstrate or display the
   founding story of the school?
❖❖ How would you display the characteristic spirit           Log on to the digital library to see
   and values of the school?                                 a video on how a new building in
❖❖ What sacred objects would you place around the            Wexford was transformed into a school
   school to show that it is a Catholic school?              based on the founding story of Mary Ward, the
❖❖ How would you display evidence that the school is         foundress of the Loreto Order.
   involved in social action and charitable projects?

MODULE 1: BELIEF                                                                                             29
OPTION 3: ‘ADVICE FOR FIRST YEARS’ ARTICLE               >> Include the following:
                                                         ❖❖ a title for your article
Key skills:                                              ❖❖ an introduction detailing the difficulties first year
❖❖ Being creative                                           students can face
❖❖ Being literate                                        ❖❖ tips for how to manage each of these difficulties
❖❖ Managing information and thinking                     ❖❖ the importance of looking out for others and
                                                             being kind to others
>>   Working on your own, write a short article giving   ❖❖ a conclusion on where first year students can go
     advice and tips to incoming first year students         to for advice or help
     on how to navigate life in their new school.        In order to help you with your article, you might like
     Include the most important tips for surviving       to interview some second year students or current first
     the first few weeks in secondary school, e.g. the   year students and ask them what issues they think
     layout of the school, the names of teachers, etc.   incoming first year students might need help with.

30                                                                                              MODULE 1: BELIEF
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