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CATECHETICAL WORKSHOP

The Catholic Faith and Science, Austin, TX

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Diocese of Austin Pastoral Center

6225 E US 290 Highway Service Road East Bound
Austin, TX 78723 United States

November 16, 2023

9:00 am - 3:30 pm

Workshop Overview

Join our Workshop staff and Fr. Robert Spitzer, S.J., Ph.D. for a one-day program on the connections between faith and science. Explore ways to help students confront today鈥檚 biases towards atheism, relativism, and scientism. Deepen your faith by examining what science shows about the Shroud of Turin, Eucharistic miracles, the age of the universe, and more.

This Workshop blends scholar presentations with interactive pedagogical sessions, giving you a chance to explore content with a respected scholar, as well as explore and simulate practical teaching strategies with ready-to-use classroom materials. Share best practices with your fellow teachers, enjoy catered breakfast and lunch, and engage in both formal and informal discussions.

Registration for this event is being handled by the Diocese of Austin Office of Catholic Schools.聽Click here to register.

Schedule

  • 9:00-9:30am

    Breakfast and Check-In

  • 9:30-9:45am

    Program Introduction

  • 9:45-10:15am

    Wonders of Nature

    Spend time reflecting on various visual images of creation to explore how faith and reason go together.

  • 10:15-11:15am

    What Students Need to Know to Maintain their Faith in College and Beyond: Scientific Evidence for God, Jesus, and the Eucharist Part 1

    Enjoy the first talk by Fr. Spitzer, followed by Q & A.

  • 11:15-11:30am

    Break

  • 11:30am-12:15pm

    Scientific Evidence for an Intelligent Creator

    Engage in interactive activities that will show your students how scientific evidence鈥攆rom the expansion of the universe, to entropy, to the fine-tuning of physical laws鈥攎ake belief in God completely reasonable.

  • 12:15-12:45pm

    Holy Mass

  • 12:45-1:15pm

    Lunch

  • 1:15-2:15pm

    What Students Need to Know to Maintain their Faith in College and Beyond: Scientific Evidence for God, Jesus, and the Eucharist Part 2

    Enjoy the second talk by Fr. Spitzer followed by Q&A

  • 2:15-2:25pm

    Break

  • 2:25-3:20pm

    Exploring Eucharistic Miracles

    Participate in memorable hands-on activities so your students will not only be familiar with Eucharistic miracles, but know how science consistently confirms their authenticity.

  • 3:20-3:30pm

    Additional Resources, Evaluation

Join us, and you'll receive鈥

Catechetical Formation

Engaging sessions by a catechetical scholar provide background knowledge.

Practical Application

Research-based teaching strategies, and concrete tools to apply this knowledge in the classroom.

Spiritual Formation

You'll explore your vocation as a teacher, and your calling as a witness to Christ.

Ready-to-Use Materials

Receive a free supplemental guide featuring 10-12 lessons with activities and sacred art.

Presenters

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Fr. Robert Spitzer, SJ, Ph.D.

Fr. Spitzer is currently the President of the Magis Center of Reason and Faith (www.magiscenter.com) and the Spitzer Center (www.spitzercenter.org). The Magis Center produces documentaries, books, high school programs, college courses, adult-education programs, and social media materials to show the close connection between faith and reason in contemporary physics, philosophy, and historical study of the New Testament. Fr. Spitzer was President of Gonzaga University from 1998 to 2009. While president, he significantly increased the programs and curricula in faith, ethics, service, and leadership, and led the efforts to build 20 new facilities, increased the student population by 75%, and raised more than $200 million for scholarships and capital projects. He has made many TV appearances including: Larry King Live (debating Stephen Hawking and Leonard Mlodinow), the Today Show (debating on the topic of active euthanasia), The History Channel in 鈥淕od and The Universe,鈥 a multiple part PBS series 鈥淐loser to the Truth,鈥 and the Hugh Hewitt Show. He currently appears weekly on EWTN in 鈥淔ather Spitzer鈥檚 Universe鈥.

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Jose Gonzalez

Jose Gonzalez joined the team at Sophia Institute for Teachers in 2014 after more than 10 years as a Catholic high school teacher. In addition to teaching, Jose has experience working in parish and diocesan ministry. Jose has been leading Workshops in over 60 dioceses for more than 8 years, and contributes regularly to our teacher鈥檚 guides and digital instructional resources. He has a BA in theology with a concentration in religious education from Franciscan University of Steubenville, and an MA in evangelization and catechesis from the Augustine Institute. Jose and his wife, Mary Beth, have four children.

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Donna Maus

Donna Maus teaches Biology at St. Mary鈥檚-Colgan High School in the Diocese of Wichita, Kansas. She has over 30 years of teaching experience, having taught at the middle school, high school, and college levels. She is passionate about sharing the revelation of God through His creation with her students and incorporating our Catholic faith into class topics such as biotechnology, medicine, and evolution. She has been a contributing author for Sophia Institute for Teachers since 2014. Donna has a BS and MS degree in Biology and is a certified Natural Family Planning instructor. She lives in Arma, Kansas with her husband Henry, they have four children and four grandchildren.

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