Religion classes experience interfaith dialogue

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Religion classes experience interfaith dialogue

Demitri Garcia, Staff Writer

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Since the Council of  Vatican II, interfaith dialogue has been a pillar of the Catholic faith. This message does not fall on faint ears here at Central Catholic High School. In the spirit of multiculturalism, a member of the Central Catholic family has taken this principle to heart. Mr. Aragones (Mr. A), the teacher for Ecumenical and Interfaith Dialogue, has taken it upon himself to invite friends and community leaders to speak about their experience practicing other religions.

Mr. A presented his reasoning to invite these speakers as characterizing his role in teaching as a  “larger…pedagogical move..to understand religion not as something to be explained, but rather to be experienced.” Previously, he invited a community leader, the Rabbi Levi Teldon, within the oldest Abrahamic Religion to speak. This event was duplicated for another collection of individuals  practicing a particular set of beliefs found predominantly within Western Asia, North Africa and most Arab nations. Waheeda Kara, a member of this group and leader within the greater San Antonio community, as well as Mackenzie Hendricks, a former colleague of Mr. A, were both  invited to speak on their experiences within this group.

These individuals gave their testimonies about practicing this certain set of beliefs. Waheeda Kara spoke about her experiences as a lifelong practitioner of the belief system. McKenzie gave her experiences joining and leaving the belief system and how personal belief really is. Mr. A understands his role as a teacher as a process of “unlearning.” It is his view that Central students had met the expectations of this “unlearning” process. A new paradigm of learning in conjunction with character building “speaks to the Catholic imagination.” This imagination makes his students more “Christ-like” and extends our ability to be prepared in the modern world.

Mr. Cassler

Mr. Aragones

Mr. Aragones