What steps are you taking to improve your effectiveness? The Holy See's documents insist that, in order to be worthy of its name, a Catholic school must be founded on Jesus Christ, the Redeemer. It is he who, through his Incarnation, is united with each student. 133). . Education is not a commodity, even if Catholic schools equip their graduates with enviable skills. Traditional Catholic devotions should also have their place: praying the Rosary, decorating May altars, singing hymns, reading from the Bible, recounting the lives of the saints, and celebrating the Church's liturgical year. It is Catholic because it prepares for a fully human life at the service of others and for the life of the world to come. In the measure in which subjects are taught by someone who knowingly and without restraint seeks the truth, they are to that extent Christian. • Catholic schools are instrumental in building communities of faith, hope, and love. The Holy See shares the solicitude of the American bishops about employing teachers with a clear understanding of and commitment to Catholic education. The primary mission is the formation of … The relationship between Catholic education and the state has taken a variety of forms in different countries and at different times in history. Consequently the Holy See's documents pay a great deal of attention to the vocation of teachers and their participation in the Church's evangelizing mission. Catholic educators recognize that the bishop's pastoral leadership is pivotal in supporting the establishment and ensuring the catholicity of the schools in his pastoral care. The documents have been collated and edited with a view to enabling Catholic educators to appreciate more fully the riches of the tradition in which they exercise their vocation. T. S. Eliot puts it just right: "Where is the wisdom we have lost in knowledge? Because of the dignity of each human person from the moment of conception "the social order and its development must invariably work to the benefit of the human person, since the order of things is to be subordinate to the order of persons and not the other way round" (Gaudium et spes, no. 3 in The Holy See's Teaching on Catholic Schools (Atlanta: Sophia Institute Press, 2006): 17-63. Educators, administrators, parents, and bishops guide the school to make choices that promote "overcoming individualistic self-promotion, solidarity instead of competition, assisting the weak instead of marginalization, responsible participation instead of indifference.". A Catholic school is a parochial school or education ministry of the Catholic Church.As of 2011, the Catholic Church operates the world's largest non-governmental school system. Mindful of redemption in Christ, the Catholic school aims to form in its pupils those particular virtues that will enable them to live a new life in Christ and help them to play their part in serving society and the Church. With trust comes dialogue. MISSION OF CATHOLIC SCHOOLS FOR EVANGELIZATION TODAY. He became Archbishop of Vancouver on January 2, 2009. Catholic educators do not want their students to say, "We had the experience but missed the meaning. A primary way to foster a school's catholicity is by carefully hiring men and women who enthusiastically endorse its distinctive ethos, for Catholic education is strengthened by witnesses to the gospel. A fourth distinctive characteristic of Catholic schools is that the "spirit of Catholicism" should permeate the entire curriculum. What is really being proposed by secularist movements is that the pupil should replace whatever god he believes in with the secular god. They are to help one another in carrying out the task to which they are mutually committed. Thus, the state exists to safeguard all human beings in the exercise of their rights and freedoms and to ensure that they can live in dignity. To be sure, "education in the faith is a part of the finality of a Catholic school." Elsewhere the bishops also affirmed, "While some situations might entail compelling reasons for members of another faith tradition to teach in a Catholic school, as much as possible, all teachers in a Catholic school should be practicing Catholics.". Archdiocese of Chicago Catholic Schools exist primarily to evangelize and to educate students for the Church’s mission in the world. What is really being proposed by secularist movements is that the pupil should replace whatever god he believes in with the secular god. Imbued with a Catholic Worldview throughout its Curriculum. ", Intrinsically related to the search for wisdom is another idea frequently repeated in Vatican teaching: the confidence that the human mind, however limited its powers, can come to a knowledge of truth. "The more completely an educator can give concrete witness to the model of the ideal person [Christ] that is being presented to the students, the more this ideal will be believed and imitated.". Prayer should be a normal part of the school day, so that students learn to pray in times of sorrow and joy, of disappointment and celebration, of difficulty and success. This communal dimension is rooted both in the social nature of the human person and in the reality of the Church as "the home and the school of communion." Cardinal Zenon Grocholewski Prefect, Congregation for Catholic Education. It is a fundamental human right and should not merely be a special arrangement for Catholics in countries where Catholics are sufficiently numerous. As an educational mission of the local church, Catholic schools share in the vision and priorities of the Archdiocese of Brisbane. All this says nothing more than the words from the Pastoral Constitution on the Church in the Modern World, so frequently quoted by Pope John Paul II: "It is only in the mystery of the Word made flesh that the mystery of man truly becomes clear. Complementing the primary role of parents in educating their children, such schools, which should be accessible, affordable, and available to all, build up the community of believers, evangelize the culture, and serve the common good of society. The prophetic words of Pope Paul VI ring as true today as they did more than thirty years ago: "Modern man listens more willingly to witnesses than to teachers, and if he does listen to teachers, it is because they are witnesses." Through its Catholic Indian Mission Fund, it raised $48,700 in donations and bequests for the Catholic Bureau and reservation-based Catholic missions and schools. As "experts in communion" because of their experience in community life, religious foster those "human and spiritual bonds that promote the mutual exchange of gifts" with all others involved in the school. As John Paul II wrote in his 1979 Message to the National Catholic Educational Association, "Catholic education is above all a question of communicating Christ, of helping to form Christ in the lives of others." . He was a Catholic school governor for 20 years. Catholic schools participate in the evangelizing mission of the Church, integrating religious education … ", A Catholic school, therefore, cannot be a factory for the learning of various skills and competencies designed to fill the echelons of business and industry. Teachers, both religious and lay, together with parents and school-board members, are to work as a team for the school's common good. In order for Christians to be able to effectively promote the true, the good and the beautiful, there is the vital need for coherence in word and deed. As we have seen, there is a role for the state in education. Alting von Geusau lectures and publishes extensively in the areas of law, philosophy and education with a special interest in Christian identity and human dignity. The Congregation's Religious Dimension of Education in a Catholic School sums up this new emphasis: The declaration Gravissimum Educationis notes an important advance in the way a Catholic school is thought of: the transition from the school as an institution to the school as a community. The Mission of Catholic Schools & the Role of Teachers A Catholic school has the mission to be a communion of persons that seeks to give a sacred gift. It is Catholic because it provides an education in the intellectual and moral virtues. The relativistic mindset that reigns at most schools and universities, including many of those calling themselves Catholic, proclaiming that all truths are equal and the secular truth more equal than others, tells us that religion and education need to be separated because they have nothing to do with each other. All instruction, therefore, must be authentically Catholic in content and methodology across the entire program of studies. Principals, pastors, school-board members, parents, and bishops share in the serious duty of hiring teachers who meet the standards of doctrine and integrity of life essential to a flourishing Catholic school. Gen. 1:26-27). But, while the Church institutionally must have the right to establish schools, the freedom to educate children ultimately belongs to parents:  "Parents who have the primary and inalienable right and duty to educate their children must enjoy true liberty in their choice of schools" (GE, no. Excerpted from Catholic Education in the West:  Roots, Reality and Revival (2013) by Christiaan Alting von Geusau and Philip Booth, the latest volume in Acton's Christian Social Thought Series. It does not exist to acquire for itself arbitrary rights over human persons and families. Mission Catholic schools in the Archdiocese of Baltimore provide a Christ-centered education … But the mission must never be lost sight of: the educator can never forget that students need a companion and guide during their period of growth; they need help from others in order to overcome doubts and disorientation. Booth has worked on a number of projects developing insurance and finance education in Central and Eastern Europe. Expanding opportunities to choose schools, however, have often been accompanied by more extensive regulation of schools. Schools form students within their own culture, teaching them an appreciation of its positive elements and fostering a more profound integration of the gospel in their particular situation. This includes an adequate physical plant and adequate equipment. Catholic schools have the task of being the living and provocative memory of Christ. Unwavering commitment to truth is at home in an authentically Catholic school. Catholic theology teaches that grace builds on nature. With Catholic Schools Week upon us (Jan. 28-Feb. 3), families are invited to recommit to Catholic education and register their children for the upcoming school year. The Incarnation, which emphasizes the bodily coming of God's Son into the world, leaves its seal on every aspect of Christian life. This excerpt originally appeared as an Acton Commentary. Mission Statement. Michael Guerra, former president of the National Catholic Educational Association put the challenge succinctly: "The first and most important task for Catholic schools is to maintain and continually strengthen their Catholic identity.". Our Mission. Pope John Paul II reminded a group of American bishops during their 2004 ad limina visit: It is of utmost importance, therefore, that the Church's institutions be genuinely Catholic: Catholic in their self-understanding and Catholic in their identity. Firstly, because education cannot be separated from the formation of the human person and the development of his vocation — whether secular or religious — restricting basic freedom in education is a restriction on freedom of conscience, the rights of parents and the freedom of religion more generally. Catholic schools in the Archdiocese of Baltimore nurture and sustain the God-given gifts of every person, especially students, to be used in service to the Mission of Jesus. Central to the Catholic school is its mission of holiness, of saint-making. Thus, every educator and witness finds an unequaled model in Jesus Christ, the Father's great witness, who said nothing about himself but spoke as the Father had taught him [cf. If a Catholic school is to deliver on its promise to provide students with an integral education, it must foster love for wisdom and truth, and must integrate faith, culture, and life. To fulfill their responsibility of speaking about the Father, educators in Catholic schools, with very few exceptions, should be practicing Catholics who are committed to the Church and living her sacramental life. The Church believes that freedom in education should be available to all parents. 8). The Department of Catholic Schools in the Diocese of Trenton provides leadership, direction, support, and service to pastors, principals, and school communities as they form students in the Catholic … A learning atmosphere that encourages the befriending of students is far removed from the caricature of the remote disciplinarian cherished by the media. The Most Reverend J. Michael Miller, CSB, "Five Essential Marks of Catholic Schools." While their demands are high, perhaps sometimes even unreasonably so, if teachers fail to model fidelity to the truth and virtuous behavior, then even the best of curricula cannot successfully embody a Catholic school's distinctive ethos. The more profound foundation for such trust is shared adherence to the person of Jesus Christ. A chapel, classroom crucifixes and statues, liturgical celebrations, and other sacramental reminders of Catholic life, including good art that is not explicitly religious in its subject matter, should be evident. Catholic schools should let the educational endeavor be guided by a constant promotion of the virtues, especially the cardinal virtues of prudence, justice, fortitude and temperance. A second principle that derives from communicating a Catholic worldview to children is the notion that they should learn to transform culture in light of the gospel. More than a master who teaches, a Catholic educator is a person who gives testimony by his or her life. Archbishop Miller is a member of the Pontifical Committee for International Eucharistic Congresses and of the Pontifical Council for Pastoral Care of Migrants and Itinerant People as well as a consultor to the Congregation for Bishops. Catholic educators and leaders: embrace the person and vision of Jesus. This approach to justice is … Archbishop Miller is a specialist on the papacy and modern papal teaching, he has published seven books and more than 100 articles, scholarly, popular and journalistic. This means that parents can choose a Catholic education that is funded by government on the same basis as secular education. Archbishop Salvatore Cordileone summed up … For young Catholics, such instruction embraces both teaching the truths of the faith and fostering its practice. Catholic educational institutions should have three goals in order to be able to fulfil their primary mission to allow students to "encounter the living God who in Jesus Christ reveals his transforming love and … Clearly, such a right would not be fulfilled if a secular education were provided free by the government and the less-well-off lacked the means to obtain a Christian education. Now, more than in the past, teachers and administrators must often encourage parental participation in the school's mission and life. When such a policy is ignored, it is inevitable that children will absorb, even if they are not explicitly taught, a soft indifferentism that will sustain neither their practice of the faith nor their ability to imbue society with Christian values. Its duty to cultivate human values in their own legitimate right in accordance with its particular mission to serve all men has its origin in the figure of Christ. This freedom belongs to parents because of our God-given nature and the gift of free will that is given to us: Government, in consequence, must acknowledge the right of parents to make a genuinely free choice of schools and of other means of education, and the use of this freedom of choice is not to be made a reason for imposing unjust burdens on parents, whether directly or indirectly. It is the challenge of fully understanding the educational enterprise, of properly evaluating its content, and of transmitting the full truth concerning the human person, created in God's image and called to life in Christ through the Holy Spirit. Also, rapport with the students ought to be a prudent combination of familiarity and distance; and this must be adapted to the need of each individual student. . Rather, the Catholic school must embody its genuine catholicity even apart from such programs and projects. © 1996-2019 Catholic Education Resource Center | Privacy Policy | Disclaimer | Sitemap, CERC is an entirely reader-supported web site and non-profit charity. He is Chief Development Officer at the International Theological Institute, a private Catholic university near Vienna. This collaborative and systematic exercise of assessing a school's catholicity would serve to identify, clarify, and strengthen its effectiveness in its service of Christ and the Church. As we have seen, the Catholic school would betray its purpose if it failed to found itself on the person of Christ and his teaching: "It derives all the energy necessary for its educational work from him.". A primary way of helping Catholic students become more committed to their faith is by providing solid religious instruction. An emphasis on the inalienable dignity of the human person – above all on his or her spiritual dimension – is especially necessary today. In an ad limina address to a group of American bishops in June 2004, Pope John Paul II summed up this point: "The Church's presence in elementary and secondary education must . Schools prepare students to relate the Catholic faith to their particular culture and to live that faith in practice. The Catholic philosophy of education has always paid special attention to the quality of interpersonal relations in the school community, especially those between teachers and students. On 19 November, Cardinal Zenon Grocholewski presented the new instruction on "Consecrated Persons and their Mission in Schools", focusing on the indispensable mission of Catholic schools … 13:1). Shortly after his election, Pope Benedict XVI spoke about the kind of witness required of all teachers of the faith, including those in Catholic schools: The central figure in the work of educating . Catholic schools in the diocese of Wagga Wagga are faith communities that participate in God’s mission of creating a just and peaceful world; building the Kingdom of God. Catholic Education in the Archdiocese of Milwaukee October 2011 “Catholic Schools and Mission Month” Catholic schools in the Archdiocese of Milwaukee have historically been committed to educating students about global issues and, specifically, to furthering the mission … As the Code of Canon Law states, "Pastors of souls have the duty of making all possible arrangements so that all the faithful may avail themselves of a Catholic education. The witness never refers to himself but to something, or rather, to Someone greater than he, whom he has encountered and whose dependable goodness he has sampled. Catholic teachers are to cultivate in themselves and develop in others a passion for truth that defeats moral and cultural relativism. "The Purpose of Catholic Education and the Role of the State." Because of this complementarity of the natural and the supernatural, Catholic educators should have a sound understanding of the human person that addresses the requirements of both the natural and the supernatural perfection of the children entrusted to their care. . These benchmarks help to answer the critical question: Is this a Catholic school according to the mind of the Church? Reprinted with permission of Sophia Press and the author, Archbishop J. Michael Miller, CSB of Vancouver, B.C. Such a perspective includes criteria such as "confidence in our ability to attain truth, at least in a limited way – a confidence based not on feeling but on faith . Our Mission & Vision. In an age of information overload, Catholic schools must be especially attentive in their instruction to strike the delicate balance between human experience and understanding. Unlike skeptics and relativists, Catholic educators share a specific belief about truth: that, to a limited but real extent, it can be attained and communicated to others. Holy Trinity Catholic High School is a private, co-educational college-preparatory school dedicated to the fullfilment of the educational ministry of the Catholic Church. Such a "Catholic" accreditation process would involve an internal review of the five benchmark indicators – as well as others that could be developed. Therefore they should express physically and visibly the external signs of Catholic culture through images, symbols, icons, and other objects of traditional devotion. Christiaan Alting von Geusau, LL holds a law degree (LL.M.) Discovery and awareness of truth leads man to the discovery of Truth itself. This witness becomes a proper reference point to the extent that the person can account for the hope that nourishes his life [cf. Both bishops and educators, whether singly or in associations, should avail themselves of open, sincere, and regular dialogue in their joint efforts on behalf of Catholic schools. Philip Booth is Editorial and Programme Director at the Institute of Economic Affairs in London. All too many Catholic schools fall into the trap of a secular academic success culture, putting their Christological focus and its accompanying understanding of the human person in second place. In many traditionally Catholic countries (though also in the UK) systems of Catholic education have become intertwined with the provision of free state education more generally. Teachers, administrators, bishops, parents, and school-board members would all take part in the review. As John Paul II straightforwardly affirmed, "Bishops need to support and enhance the work of Catholic schools.". Preparing and inspiring students to lead meaningful lives, rooted in the teachings of Christ in our Catholic tradition. In particular, pastors should set in place "specific programs of formation" that will enable the laity to take on responsibilities for teaching in Catholic schools. If you’ve appreciated, Christian Perspectives on the Financial Crash, Catholic Social Teaching and the Market Economy, CHRISTIAAN ALTING VON GEUSAU & PHILIP BOOTH. Children will pick up far more by the example of their educators than by masterful pedagogical techniques, especially in the practice of Christian virtues. It calls for the fullest development of all that is human, because we have been made masters of the world by its Creator. . . His books include The Shepherd and the Rock: Origins, Development, and Mission of the Papacy the Encyclicals of John Paul II, and The Holy See's Teaching on Catholic Schools. Catholic educational institutions should have three goals in order to be able to fulfil their primary mission to allow students to "encounter the living God who in Jesus Christ reveals his transforming love and truth" (Pope Benedict XVI). They are to educate "in the truth.". His responsibility for Catholic schools derives from the munus docendi, the office of teaching, he received at ordination. 2):  "Since all Christians have become by rebirth of water and the Holy Spirit a new creature so that they should be called and should be children of God, they have a right to a Christian education." On June 29, 1975, Pope Paul VI ordained him a priest, and on November 23, 2003 Pope John Paul II appointed him titular Archbishop of Vertara, Secretary of the Congregation for Catholic Education and Vice President of the Pontifical Work of Priestly Vocations. Contrary to their faith is by providing solid religious instruction to act to. 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