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Friday, October 14, 2011

High School: Moral Theology—How Shall I Live?

(link on course title for registration page)

Class dates: Tuesdays, March 6 to May 1, 2012. No class April 3 (Holy Week)
Total classes: 8
Starting time: 1:00 pm Eastern (Noon Central)
Duration: 1 hour
Fee: $90 if you register on or before November 1, 2011. $120 after Nov. 1 for entire 8-week course.
Course instructor: Monica Ashour, MTS; M Hum
Prerequisite: None.
Suggested grade level: 10th to 12th
Suggested high school credit: 1/2 semester credit in theology

Course Rationale: Every human person is called to the perfection of charity (cf. LG #40). This vocation has been revealed through Jesus Christ and can be accomplished only in and with Jesus Christ, whose Paschal Mystery is made present in the Church’s liturgy—the “great work in which God is perfectly glorified and men are sanctified” (SC #7). To further man’s sanctification, the Second Vatican Council has asked that “. . . special care should be given to the perfecting of moral theology. Its scientific presentation should draw more fully on the teaching of Holy Scripture and should throw light upon the exalted vocation of the faith in Christ and their obligation to bring forth fruit in charity for the life of the world” (OT #16). Therefore, this course will attempt to focus upon the moral life, first of all, within the context of man’s vocation in Christ, the model of holiness, who took the form of a slave, emptied himself, and learned obedience through suffering; secondly, within the context of man’s natural endowments, his capacity for virtue; and finally, within the context of charity as the form of the virtues and the goal of all man’s strivings since “God is love” (1Jn 4:8). The course will investigate concretely those challenges to the Catholic Church’s teachings and respond with solid, pastoral answers.
Course Goal: Each student, having been challenged intellectually with various doctrinal teachings, will be challenged to be open to ongoing conversion so as to offer himself along with Jesus, the Sacrificial Victim, to the Father in the love of the Holy Spirit both now and for all eternity. Concretely, this will manifest itself in life in Christ through virtuous living and a deeper understanding of and participation in the Liturgy.

Homework: Weekly Quizzes, Major Project, and Final Exam: Graded by the parent. (Answer key provided, with reference to powerpoint.)
Course Reading: The reading will assist the student in delving into a deep understanding of the human person and how (s)he is to act, along with its application to one’s relationship with Jesus and the Church. Please note that several of these are available free online and others are available used inexpensively. Please click on the hyperlinks below for free downloads or purchase information:
1. The Bible 2. The Catechism of the Catholic Church; 3. The Documents of Vatican II; 4. Veritatis Splendor (Pope John Paul’s encyclical on morality) 5. The Weight of Glory and Man or Rabbit, both by CS Lewis;
Optional: 1. Peter Kreeft’s A Refutation of Moral Relativism, Ignatius Press  2. Fr. Basil Maturin’s Christian Self-Mastery;, Sophia Institute Press 3. Hayes, Hayes, Kelly, & Drummey’s Catholicism and Ethics: A Medical/Moral Handbook, C.R. Publications, Inc. (and for those interested—Leader’s/Catechist’s Manual of the same name and publisher).
For those who want more of a challenge and more credit earned: 1. Charles Rice’s 50 Questions on the Natural Law, Ignatius Press; 2. Peter Kreeft’s Snakebite Letters, Ignatius Press. Even deeper challenge: National Catholic Bio-ethics Quarterly.
Recommended future reading, to form the imagination in morality: Dante’s Inferno, Dostoevsky’s Crime and Punishment, and Shakespeare’s Hamlet.

Instructor's biography: Having had 20 years of experience in the classroom, 3 years of experience working at St. Mary’s Catholic Church at Texas A&M University as one of the Campus Ministers, and Master Degrees in Humanities and Theological Studies from the University of Dallas, Monica Ashour comes to us with a breadth and depth of vision that will solidify and electrify high school students. Orthodox, passionate, and pedagogically adept, Miss Ashour reaches youth especially in the areas of Christian Anthropology, Moral Theology, and Social Ethics. Her former students come to her often with gratitude in preparing them for the various experiences that they faced in college. She is also a gifted speaker for the Theology of the Body Institute.

Equipment requirements: Classes are online, live and interactive. Students are required to have high-speed internet and a headset with microphone.
Miss Ashour will be available via email in between classes for questions and comments.
Recordings of classes are provided to students within 24 hours and available for 6 months.
Homeschool Connections does not provide record keeping services.

(link on course title for registration page)

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