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Educating in Christ

Educating in Christ

A Practical Handbook for Developing the Catholic Faith from Childhood to Adolescence

By Gerard O’Shea

290 pp

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About the Book

Educating in Christ covers the essential practical and theoretical elements of religious education and catechetics for parents, catechists, teachers, and Catholic school administrators. The first part of the book responds to contemporary calls from the popes for a religious education based upon authentic Christian anthropology. It provides a comprehensive outline of religious developmental stages, indicating activities appropriate for each of these from age three years to adolescence. It also takes into account the call of recent Church documents to approach this task from a “mystagogical” angle, linking the sacraments with the scriptures. In the second part, the best of contemporary teaching practices are linked with sound Montessori principles and the Catholic understanding of a pedagogy of God. Busy Catholic school administrators will find the provided summary of Catholic teaching on education since Vatican II a very useful reference tool. Teachers and home-schooling parents will find the sections on classroom methods, and the curriculum outline based on the liturgical year, especially helpful.


“In anxious times, this practical book is good news for parents, teachers, and catechists who introduce Catholic faith and morals to children and young people. The author offers a way forward that is Trinitarian, Christ-centered, and yet fully attentive to the needs of the child.”


Auxiliary Bishop, Catholic Archdiocese of Melbourne

“If you regard the objective of religious education as the formation of a Catholic heart, memory, intellect, and imagination, then you will consider Educating in Christ an indispensable text. Drawing on ideas from Maria Montessori and Sofia Cavalletti, it explains how to hand on the faith at different stages of a child’s development. Every Catholic teacher should read and apply it.”


University of Notre Dame, Australia

“Rooted in the Church’s sacramental traditions, informed by classical virtue theory, and drawing upon the best of modern developmental psychology, Gerard O’Shea’s work is a gem. I heartily recommend this practical, credible, orthodox, organized, and hopeful guide to educating our children in the faith.”


Newman Theological College, Edmonton

“This masterful work is a much needed addition to the literature of Catholic religious education. It offers an integrated vision, bringing together anthropology, curriculum guidance, questions of school ethos and teacher formation, analyses of research findings in children’s learning—all grounded in a coherent and persuasive account of the aims and nature of Catholic education.”


Franciscan University of Steubenville

Educating in Christ has come out of the substantial educational and research experience of the author. It offers guidance to parents and teachers on all of the significant areas of religious education: Scripture, Sacraments, moral formation, doctrine, and prayer.”


Acting Dean of Education, Sydney, University of Notre Dame, Australia

“Balancing the natural and the supernatural, the theoretical and the practical, and combining the best of traditional methods with modern educational theory and psychology (with great prudence), Gerard O’Shea describes how a mystagogical catechesis, rooted in the study of scripture and the actual worship of God, lies at the heart of Catholic education.”


Provost, Pontifex University

“Gerard O’Shea’s new book is an insightful and eminently useful guide for Catholic school teachers, catechists, and home-schooling parents. It provides not only insights into child development and its relationship to religious instruction, but offers practical, easy-to-follow lessons and applications for the teacher—a wonderful contribution to Catholic education.”


author of The Incarnation of the Poetic Word

“Gerard O’Shea has written an extraordinary book that will serve catechists well in these challenging times. In language both insightful and accessible, Educating in Christ engages the question of how today’s religious education can lead people into communion with God. O’Shea answers by bringing the movement towards God in religious education into harmony with a reverence for the capacities and potentialities of those we teach.”


Franciscan University of Steubenville

About the Author

Gerard O'Shea is Professor of Religious Education and assistant dean of the School of Education at the University of Notre Dame, Australia (Sydney campus). He spent over thirty years as a teacher and principal in Catholic schools before taking up an academic position. Gerard is fully trained in Sofia Cavalletti’s Catechesis of the Good Shepherd and was one of the lead writers for the Australian religious education text series “To Know, Worship and Love.” He has consulted widely in the field of religious education for Australian Catholic dioceses and recently recorded eight sessions for the Catechetical Institute of the Franciscan University of Steubenville. His handbook for training parents to educate their own children in a Christian vision of sexuality, “As I Have Loved You,” is being used throughout the English-speaking world.

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