Pope Francis’ reminds us in the encyclical Laudato Si’ that not only are we part of creation, but we have a responsibility to care for creation as well. It is a responsibility we have too often neglected and the repercussions of our use and abuse of resources continue to harm not just the environment, but the most vulnerable in our society. The Society of Jesus has determined to concentrate their ministry over the next ten years on four Universal Apostolic Preferences, one of which is the social justice principle of Care for Our Common Home: “We resolve…to collaborate with others in the construction of alternative models of life that are based on respect for creation and on a sustainable development capable of producing goods that, when justly distributed, ensure a decent life for all human beings on our planet.” In this course, the student will read and research a variety of resources as they endeavor to answer some difficult questions: What does it mean to “Care for Creation?” How do our economic and cultural systems impact the environment? Who is impacted most by our misuse of the natural world? What can be done to correct the damage for future generations? How can I put into practice what I have learned? How can I change my habits and actions to create a real change of lifestyle that takes seriously my duty to care for creation?
Grounded in the Gospel call and the Jesuit tradition, religious education at Seattle Preparatory School blends theory and practice, doctrine and spirituality, academic knowledge and affective formation. Beginning with the student’s experience, this education combines the history, beliefs, and practices of the Catholic Church with a faith-building method that respects the variety of religious traditions alive in the Prep community and the world at large.
Deana Duke McNeill began teaching at Seattle Prep in 2006. Her educational background includes a BA in History (1986) and a MA in International Studies (2002) from the University of Washington. She endeavors as much as possible to combine her love of teaching with her love of travel and has participated in several study abroad and service immersion trips, traveling independently and with students, to a variety of countries including: the Dominican Republic, Israel/Palestine, China, much of Western Europe and Australia. She is the mother of two, grandmother of three and hopes to continue to work with and be inspired by Prep students for a long time to come.
Students can expect faith-based research and discussion of important contemporary ethical issues within broad social categories such as sexism, racism and ecology to name a few. Half the class will be teacher directed and half will be guided by student interest and research. In addition to what the Catholic Church teaches relative to moral decision-making and ethical principles, students will learn to explore the complexities of these and other contemporary issues and will focus on the following questions: What does it mean to be a good person? How can we hold our actions—as persons, communities and institutions—to high ethical standards? When, how and in what ways do we act ethically on behalf of others and the principles we espouse? (senior semester elective)
This course will explore various Sacred Traditions and their spiritual practices. We will experience how their teachings and meditative practices can support personal and global change and transformation. Half the class will be devoted to practicing different meditation/prayer methods and half to researching the teachings, cultures and consciousness within them and out of which they emerge. Various Christian Contemplative practices, Buddhist (Zen and Mindfulness practices), and Coast Salish Native spirituality, along with Yoga, Tai Chi, nature skills, music, and movement prayer all will be explored. (senior semester elective)