They aspire to teach love for wisdom, habituating each student "to desire learning so much that he or she will delight in becoming a self-learner. Cardinal Zenon Grocholewski Prefect, Congregation for Catholic Education. Theirs is a supernatural calling and not simply the exercise of a profession. 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." The gospel of Jesus Christ and his very person are to inspire and guide the Catholic school in every dimension of its life and activity – its philosophy of education, its curriculum, its community life, its selection of teachers, and even its physical environment. ", 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 bishop must see to it that the education in his schools is based on the principles of Catholic doctrine. 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. As an educational mission of the local church, Catholic schools share in the vision and priorities of the Archdiocese of Brisbane. This concern ensures that the student is seen as a person whose intellectual growth is harmonized with spiritual, religious, emotional, and social growth. Catholic education strives to make a difference in the lives of individuals and … Central to the Catholic school is its mission of holiness, of saint-making. A final indicator of a school's authentic catholicity is the vital witness of its teachers and administrators. First, trust. Such an impoverished vision of education is not Catholic. 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.". Imbued with a Catholic Worldview throughout its Curriculum. Elementary schools "should try to create a community school climate that reproduces, as far as possible, the warm and intimate atmosphere of family life. Their communion fosters appreciation of the various charisms and vocations that build up a genuine school community and strengthen scholastic solidarity. In addition, he was the founding president of the Phoenix Institute Europe Foundation, an educational institution that aims to form young men and women in the classical and Judeo-Christian tradition. Mission. He also serves as Professor of Insurance and Risk Management at Cass Business School, City University and has been a Fellow of Blackfriars Hall, University of Oxford. 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. It is the only way to enable the student to beat out a coherent path of life by being guided by the one and only God who created heaven and earth. The specific purpose of a Catholic education is the formation of boys and girls who will be good citizens of this world, loving God and neighbor and enriching society with the leaven of the gospel, and who will also be citizens of the world to come, thus fulfilling their destiny to become saints. Authentic Catholic educators recognize Christ and his understanding of the human person as the measure of a school's catholicity. 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. . 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. This conviction about the nature of truth is too important for Catholics to be confused about. 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. Archbishop Salvatore Cordileone summed up … A primary way of helping Catholic students become more committed to their faith is by providing solid religious instruction. Catholic schools are an integral part of the Church and are Christ-centred communities based on gospel values. 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. 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 … People should not be forced to act contrary to their religious convictions (Dignitatis humanae, no. The fact that in their own individual ways all members of the school community share this Christian vision, makes the school “Catholic,” principles of the Gospel in this manner become the educational norms since the school … In the United States, various accrediting agencies monitor the institutional effectiveness of schools' educational activities. Because, as St. John Bosco said, "education is a thing of the heart," authentic formation of young people requires the personalized accompanying of a teacher. 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.". "During childhood and adolescence a student needs to experience personal relations with outstanding educators, and what is taught has greater influence on the student's formation when placed in a context of personal involvement, genuine reciprocity, coherence of attitudes, lifestyle, and day-to-day behavior." Since the school is rightly considered an extension of the home, it ought to have "some of the amenities which can create a pleasant and family atmosphere." Every school, and every educator in the school, ought to be striving "to form strong and responsible individuals, who are capable of making free and correct choices," thus preparing young people "to open themselves more and more to reality, and to form in themselves a clear idea of the meaning of life" [The Catholic School, 31]. Unfortunately, far too many in government, business, the media, and even the educational establishment perceive education to be merely an instrument for the acquisition of information that will improve the chances of worldly success and a more comfortable standard of living. 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. Booth has worked on a number of projects developing insurance and finance education in Central and Eastern Europe. This does imply that, if there is insufficient support from a family's own means or from charity or the Church to provide all children with a basic education, then government funds could be used for this purpose. As we consider how to go about promoting the renewal of Catholic education so as to align it more closely with the purposes described, one of the critical questions that confronts us is the role of government. Teachers, administrators, bishops, parents, and school-board members would all take part in the review. "The legacy of a Catholic education is more than the knowledge imparted to our … This is largely, of course, because of the relationship between evangelization, education and the formation of the whole human person and because of the vital role of the family — and especially the parents chosen by God — in both formation and education. Booth is Deputy Editor of Economic Affairs. It is he who must judge whether the children in the Catholic schools in his diocese are receiving the fullness of the Church's faith in their catechetical and religious formation. Unwavering commitment to truth is at home in an authentically Catholic school. Catholic schools do far more than convey information to passive students. The Catholic Church, in the authentic promotion of her teaching, does not wish to defend such arrangements as privileges. Indeed, "it depends chiefly on them whether the Catholic school achieves its purpose." 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. When Christ is the center of all we do, then we are enabled to redirect our focus of life towards an understanding of the world in which we live that is geared towards the promotion of human dignity and the common good. Catholic theology teaches that grace builds on nature. 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. Catholic schools are obligated to evangelize simply because that is the core and mission of the Catholic Church, according to Thomas Burnford, president and CEO of the NCEA. . Young people are especially sensitive to this for they are shaped more by the concrete experiences in their lives, and thus the lived example of their teachers, than by the best of pedagogical techniques. A fourth distinctive characteristic of … The five elements that necessarily belong to a school's Catholic identity are the principles proposed by the Holy See that justify the Church's heavy investment in schooling. In measured terms, the Congregation's document Lay Catholics in Schools: Witnesses to Faith describes the student-teaching relationship: A personal relationship is always a dialogue rather than a monologue, and the teacher must be convinced that the enrichment in the relationship is mutual. "For this reason neither his life nor the development of his thought, nor his good, nor those who are part of his personal and social activities can be subject to unjust restrictions in the exercise of their rights and freedom" (CSD, no. However, this freedom is not necessarily available to all parents. The Archdiocese of Chicago Catholic Schools system serves more than 78,000 students in 217 schools, including 180 Archdiocesan-sponsored schools… This means that parents can choose a Catholic education that is funded by government on the same basis as secular education. In 2016, the church supported 43,800 secondary schools, and 95,200 primary schools. Children will pick up far more by the example of their educators than by masterful pedagogical techniques, especially in the practice of Christian virtues. 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. Like the marks of the Church proclaimed in the Creed – one, holy, catholic, and apostolic – so, too, does the Holy See identify the principal features of a school as Catholic: a Catholic school should be inspired by a supernatural vision, founded on Christian anthropology, animated by communion and community, imbued with a Catholic worldview throughout its curriculum, and sustained by gospel witness. . The Holy See shares the solicitude of the American bishops about employing teachers with a clear understanding of and commitment to Catholic education. What is really being proposed by secularist movements is that the pupil should replace whatever god he believes in with the secular god. Personal relationships marked by mutual trust, close cooperation, and continuing dialogue are required for a genuine spirit of communion. 1 Pet.3:15] and is personally involved in the truth that he proposes. Our schools are committed to the evangelizing mission of the church to educate and form witnesses who transform the world. A fourth distinctive characteristic of Catholic schools is that the "spirit of Catholicism" should permeate the entire curriculum. Furthermore, Catholic parents can be limited in their choice of schools to those the state wishes to authorise (with places and the building of new schools often being severely limited). Below is our mission and vision for the Catholic school system of the Diocese of Fort Worth. Catholic schools participate in the evangelizing mission of the Church, integrating religious education … The Incarnation, which emphasizes the bodily coming of God's Son into the world, leaves its seal on every aspect of Christian life. Catholic educators do not want their students to say, "We had the experience but missed the meaning. Direct and personal contact between teachers and students is a hallmark of the Catholic school. First, the bishop must integrate schools into his diocese's pastoral program; and, second, he must oversee the teaching within them. 160). What is human and visible can bear the divine. This witness becomes a proper reference point to the extent that the person can account for the hope that nourishes his life [cf. Pope Benedict fittingly calls it the duty of the educator to be led by 'intellectual charity' which is inspired by the recognition that leading the young to truth is an act of love. 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