The Catholic Discipleship College on Auckland’s North Shore held a twelve-week night school that allows people to go deeper into their faith.This was the first time the college has done this.

CDC formation and household leader Dr Cameron Surrey said the classes include formation in theology, philosophy and Scripture, taught by various lecturers. The classes started on July 12. The last class was on September 27.

“We wanted to make good Catholic formation accessible to more people and to go deeper than a one-off seminar,” said Dr Surrey.

“The twelve week night school is like a mini version of the formation that our students receive over nine months at CDC. It comprises two nights each of philosophy, sacred Scripture and theology,” he added.

The class was broken into two 45 minute lectures. In between the lectures, there was a short period for eucharistic adoration and prayers.

Dr Surrey explained that there were connections between the topics. “For example, Ethics and the Philosophy of the Living Being provide a good foundation for Theology of the Body, while the Four Senses and Matthew’s Gospel lead well into Living the Beatitudes,” he said.

Dr Surrey gave the last two lectures on Living the Beatitudes.

College chaplain Fr Dominique Faure from the Community of St John lectured on Ethics and Philosophy of Life for four Wednesdays.

At the Philosophy of Life lecture, he explained the three levels of life which are vegetative, sensitive and spiritual.

The vegetative, he said, is the instinct for life. It is the level of eating, breathing and reproducing. It is propelled by the need of the species to survive. The sensitive life is at the level of knowledge that is self-centred while the spiritual life is at the level of knowing and loving others.

“There will always be a tug of war between my sensitive life and the spiritual life. The more I develop my spiritual life the more I develop my sensitive life to be used for the other one, instead of being used for myself. The more I develop my spiritual life, the more I allow my sensitive life to be at the service of knowing and loving the other,” he explained.

Fr Faure’s lectures were followed by Fr Jeremy Palman’s lectures on Four Senses of Scriptures and Fr Christopher Denham’s lectures on the Gospel of Matthew. Fr Palman is to return with a back-to-back talk on the Theology of the Body.

“We hope to offer the night school again next year with new topics,” Dr Surrey said.

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