New podcast brings faith to students


A new podcast is helping deliver Religious Education (RE) to Catholic schools in Sydney.

Called RE Search, the podcast explores key areas in the primary and secondary curriculum in ways that are readily accessible to all students – whatever their faith background.

Sydney’s Archdiocese in partnership with Sydney Catholic Schools is behind the new approach.

The weekly 20-minute podcast’s presenter is Andrew Martin, a senior RE teacher with over 20 years’ experience.

Interviews with special guests explore RE curriculum topics. These include everything from saints’ personal stories to interfaith dialogue.

“We’re addressing the same questions that students raise in religious education classrooms,” Martin says.

Students want to know who wrote the Gospels, Martin says. They ask “How did they know Jesus? Were they eyewitnesses and if they weren’t, how can we trust what they’re saying?

“They’re hard questions and it’s not every day that the students benefit from being able to ask those questions of a bishop”.

Bishop Daniel Meagher thinks the new delivery method will  complement the RE syllabus.

“Teaching isn’t a matter of just having an excellent syllabus. It’s also about the delivery which needs to be interesting and engaging.”

Many RE teachers have great demands placed upon their time, Meagher says. He hopes the podcast helps ease these.

“It will help teachers who are, for example, teaching geography, economics, history and English and also religion and it gives them an extra complement in their suite of classroom tools.

“We need to think creatively and be responsive to the way our students are learning in contemporary society,” he says.

This will “more effectively respond to their hungering for knowledge and hungering for God.”

The podcast adapts the RE curriculum “to deliver it in a way young people are used to receiving it, so the Gospel can be ever fresh in our times”, Meagher says.

Martin hopes to explore wide-ranging topics in upcoming episodes.

“I’m very interested in exploring the whole nature of Church in the modern world and what Church means to young people and how, through the Church, they can engage in the world and do good works,” he says.

“Young people have a lot of questions about how to serve marginalised and vulnerable people well, ethically and morally, in keeping with the wonderful teachings that we have in Catholicism, but they’ve got lots of questions about those teachings and what that looks like in practice. So I’d very much like to explore that further in the near future.”



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