A school chaplain’s penchant for pop culture has become a mainstay in his religion lessons to Catholic students near Edmonton.
VIDEO: Youtuber ‘ReligionForBreakfast’ compares the Christian biblical canon to the Star Wars ‘canon’
Mike Landry, a Spruce Grove-based chaplain in Evergreen Catholic Schools, turns to the Jedi, the First Order and the Resistance to teach about the Bible and talk to students about their problems.
“When you’re sitting in a religion class, you’ve got people from all these backgrounds who come from all these different perspectives, and you’re trying to see how you can meet all of them where they are without them feel pushed, or judged, or forced, but inviting them into something that I believe will help them,” Landry said in an interview last week.
The chaplain made his case to teachers for drawing meaningful parallels between the Star Wars movies and Christianity at the Greater Edmonton Teachers’ Convention last week.
Not the first Edmonton chaplain to take advantage of these corollaries, Landry said he’s continuing the work of the late Father Michael Mireau, a beloved Edmonton Catholic Schools chaplain who died of cancer at age 42 in 2014. Mireau was known to wave a light sabre around from the pulpit and weave Star Wars references into his homilies.
Landry, who is based at St. Peter the Apostle School and visits the other nine schools in the division, said he works in collaboration with counsellors, a social worker and other support staff to help students with personal or family problems.
Some students come from devout families and others know little of Catholicism, he said.
Star Wars creator George Lucas borrowed generously from Christianity when creating the first two movie trilogies, Landry said.
The Jedi Council is like popes and bishops making decisions for the collective good, and the Jedi Academy is a bit like seminary school, he said.
The Force — an energy that binds the galaxy together and that both Jedi and their foes, the Sith, wield in the movies — is somewhat like the Holy Spirit in Christianity, Landry said.
This article continues at [Edmonton Journal] Star Wars a vehicle for engaging students in religion class, chaplain says