The Lighthouse Programme is a religious faith development programme undertaken voluntarily by transition year or fifth year students – ‘Lighthouse leaders’ – and sixth class pupils who will be receiving the Sacrament of Confirmation. Comprising a leadership training module and a peer ministry module, the programme invites the older students to become actively involved in leading catechesis for Confirmation.
Taking the Faith Friends programme as its inspiration, this programme comprises eight–ten sessions of Christian leadership training for the transition year/fifth year students, followed by five peer ministry sessions with the sixth class Confirmation pupils of participating primary schools led by the newly trained Lighthouse leaders. In all, the programme takes a recommended fifteen school weeks. Those who will be involved include students, teachers, secretaries, caretakers and management in the primary and secondary schools, boards of management, chaplains and parish priests.
The Lighthouse Programme issues a proposal to those who wish to seek and to develop their faith by sharing it with others, and in so doing to open themselves, by the grace of God, to strengthening it. A basic tenet of learning theory is that people learn by doing, and so it is important that the student leaders not only learn about leadership but that they also perform leadership tasks. For a faith development programme to achieve its aim, it is imperative that the adolescent participants lead in religious faith. This means that the senior students spend time exploring and articulating their own understanding and experience of faith. They in turn lead the sixth class pupils in articulating their own religious faith from a position of religious faith.