A message from the Vice-President, Father Anthony Casamento: Pre-service teachers across the University are being formed to teach and lead in Catholic schools.
A new practical initiative of the ACU La Salle Academy has been implemented over the past two years to complement the academic program of the University and play a primary role in the faith formation of pre-service teachers as well as early career teacher and youth ministers.
Signum Fidei, or Signs of Faith, was launched in 2017 and continued in early 2018 with the first Module (Catholic Life and Practice). The Program has now been implemented for 269 pre-service teachers, 109 early career teachers and 43 youth ministers nationally. Module One includes an intensive retreat experience focusing on signs of faith in the students’ lives. This is followed by engaging students into the life and mission of the Catholic Church within and beyond ACU.
The feedback from participants is overwhelmingly positive, with students saying:
"The retreat definitely opened my eyes to the signs of faith in my life. I am more prepared and motivated to step out and be more involved in my Church."
"The retreat has helped me in preparing to teach in a Catholic school by making me see the importance of faith and being involved in the Church life."
"It was a fruitful experience; warming to the heart…it gave me insight into the function and process of evangelisation and strengthening of faith."
Melbourne and Ballarat staff and student Signum Fidei participants.
The Signum Fidei program is responding to feedback from Catholic Education Offices around the country, who have made teacher formation a key priority. In addition to providing a discriminator that enhances students’ employment in Catholic schools, Signum Fidei is providing a pathway for students to actively participate in the life and mission of the Catholic Church and to understand their calling to teach and lead in Catholic education.
In addition to Module One, the Signum Fidei Catholic Life and Mission Program includes Modules on Faith Formation and Ministry in Catholic Schools and Youth Ministry Experience that will be implemented in 2018.