Wednesday, September 24, 2008

Catholic Education: Looking to the Future w/ Confidence

Well, one of the problems I have been having lately is time to write. But I have promised to comment upon the Archbishop’s pastoral letter on Catholic Education.

Part One: The Command to Share the Good News

In this section, he outlines, using New Testament scripture, the command by Jesus to share the good news. He also touches upon the Holy Father’s visit to the US earlier this year which highlighted, among a number of things: education. He quotes from Dues caritas est (God is Love):

Education is integral to the mission of the church to proclaim the Good News. First and foremost every Catholic educational institution is a place to encounter the living God, who in Jesus Christ, reveals his transforming love and truth.

Part Two: the Many expressions of the Catholic Faith

In this, he mentions the many different ways that Catholic education takes – such as RICA or youth ministry – but that all are help us to come to know Christ. (Personally, I wonder about some of these ministries, since they rarely mention Christ, let alone God. However, that is another story.)

So, Catholic education is the responsibility of the whole Church. He states:

We look to the future of Catholic Education throughout our archdiocese with the hope to renew in the hearts of all the members of this Church a sense of ownership of all of the expressions of education, particularly our schools.

He also points out the CARA study and the Pew Forum on Religion and Public Life survey results, both issued in Feb. 2008. These dealt with belief in God and living one’s faith.

So because of these studies, and the economic realities of educating as many as possible with the funding available, assist families who are attempting to send their children to Catholic schools and compensating teachers (“I wonder why he did not use the phrase “Just Wage” to describe this, since it is in line with the social justice crew”) two assessments are already underway.

The important thing to note is that these have already been started! We don’t know how long ago they started (at this point in the letter) but they are underway.

In the first area, an assessment will take place through a parish catechetical visitation assessment. The second will focus on how “our Catholic schools to work together towards a more equitable manner of sustaining them across the archdiocese.” This second assessment came out of the Convocation on Catholic Education in 2007.

To be continued...

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