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Cdl. Burke ‘strongly’ endorses new virtue education program for young people

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October 26, 2018 (LifeSiteNews) – Cardinal Raymond Burke, one of the Church’s most outspoken defenders of life, marriage, and family, has “strongly” endorsed a new virtue education program for children. 

“Alive to the World” is a continuous, story-based virtues/values program. Much of it is based on the writings of  Saint John Paul II and Viktor Frankl. It uses a teaching method its inventors call “The Pedagogy of the Integration of the Human Person.” The program is aimed at all children, religious or not, from Kindergarten to Grade 12. The program has already been adopted by teachers of many faith backgrounds in 22 countries.  

The Cardinal praised the program in a June 8, 2018 letter to potential readers of the series for meeting “effectively and rightly the plea for help from parents and families” in giving their children a moral formation. 

“Many parents and teachers come to me for advice on the formation of their children's personhood,” he wrote.  

“Education in the dignity of the human person, especially in relationship to human sexuality which is integral to God's gift of human life to each of us, is an irreplaceable part of the formation of all children and adolescents. It is essentially linked to virtues such as friendship, fidelity, companionship, honesty and respect for nature,” he continued. 

“It is, in the end, education for love, in the noblest sense, with an authentic responsibility that goes deep into the truth of what it is to be a human being.”

Burke said that “Alive to the World” is admirable in its method of teaching natural truths, “the condition sine qua non for religious education.” 

“I, therefore, strongly recommend this series. I am confident that it will be of great benefit to families, schools, and especially to the many children and adolescents who are seeking their way in life,” he said.

The Cardinal urged parents and teachers to implement the program in their own schools and curricula. 

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The program has been successfully implemented at Trinity Academy in Pewaukee, Wisconsin, where Cardinal Burke is the Chairman of the school’s Board of Trustees. 

The program’s student texts and teacher guides are now available for download over the internet, and Christine de Vollmer, the President of the Latin American Alliance for the Family, hopes sales will be sufficient to fund the education of children in impoverished Venezuela. 

Once the richest country in Latin America, Venezuela’s economy has imploded, thanks to the policies of its far-left government headed by Nicolas Maduro and his predecessor Hugo Chavez. 

De Vollmer told LifeSiteNews that more awareness of “Alive to the World” in North America is what “we desperately need to continue to fund the impoverished and truly needy in Venezuela, where [the program] is having very good results, but few can afford the books.”

Venezuela has hundreds of schools needing this program, and De Vollmer says they need funding in order to satisfy the need.  

“We calculate about $15 per student to cover the cost of the books and the teacher training,” she explained. “This is a 16-hour course in our pedagogy, the PIHP, or Pedagogy of Integration of the Human Person. The integration of Head, Heart and Hand (as Likona calls it) is to integrate the three levels of action: the spiritual (intelligence and will); the emotional, or sentiments; and the bodily action. [This is] also known as Knowledge, Motivation and Skills.  The schools love the program as teachers find that chaos and violence disappear and troublemakers often become positive leaders.”

De Vollmer said it was “quite amazing” that this “solution to Venezuela's woes, which are entirely due to lack of clarity in how to live the universal virtues and values,” has come to fruition just as the country seems to be falling apart. 

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