Date of Award


Degree Type

Thesis - Restricted

Degree Name

Master of Arts (MA)




The general purpose of Practical Aids for the High School Catechist through Life Situations is to assist the teacher in making the Catechetical truths function in the life of her pupils and, thereby, develop good Christian characters. The pupil is to be guided, in the light of the teachings of the Catechism, to solve t he various moral problems he may meet in life. The teacher's task is to change the formal school room into a nursery of right living by bringing the realities of living situations into the school room and, by a process of leveling them down to the comprehension of the adolescent youth, aid him by discussion, investigation, comparison, study, and guided research, to form solid principles which will dominate his life. The sources from which these practical situations have been drawn are numerous. Some have been drawn from the immediate experience of the pupils and will function directly; others are those which people, in general, have encountered and which the boy and the girl may some time encounter; while still others are found in the Bible, in the Lives of the Saints, in History, in Literature. Certain situations have been selected primarily to provoke discussions which are eventually to lead to the development 5 or definite principles. These offer occasions for serious consideration of the results of the action and form a very fruitful medium for moral instruction because, after all is considered, the greatest safeguard . that right conduct gas is the development of the habit of reflection and conscientious thought about what is the proper thing to do for right living. A question or a series of questions has been added to each situation to encourage thinking along desired trends. Sometimes, too, a question may be thrown in, which in a more or less remote way related to the problem under consideration and which will stimulate discussion and which, when correctly solves, will put a new evaluation to the subject and thus make it function more actively in the individual. As an example of this, situation number seven or the First Commandment may be cited. The question, "Where, in a brief. form, can be found all the truths a Catholic must believe?" is only distantly related to the question, "Why are you a Catholic?" and yet the correct answer to the first question is the more worthwhile because it is the epitome of our Holy Faith~ The cases herein included have been used variously in different High Schools with very encouraging results. In one High School the cases were the starting .point for all religious instructions for a course extending over a school year. Here the cases were presented to the pupils and in the process or solution, by a method or induction·-, the Catechetical points o relating to the specific situation were developed. This method proved very popular among the students. In another High School the Catechetical truths were taught first and the cases were used to clinch the material and to provide application of the subject matter. No matter which method of teaching is adopted, it is essential in all cases for the pupil to make personal application and to use as the criterion of all solutions: "What would the Captain of my soul expect of me in this situation?" Whenever possible the situations should be given a local . coloring or better still, cases should be selected as they occur "here and now." Under no consideration should the teacher feel bound to use all the situations - some would not be applicable to certain types of High School pupils.