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B Papal interventions and Roman documents repeatedly emphasize that certain characteristics must be present for a school to be considered authentically Catholic. 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: These benchmarks help to answer the critical question: Is this a Catholic school according to the mind of the Church?
It is of utmost importance, therefore, that the Church's institutions be genuinely Catholic: Catholic in their self-understanding and Catholic in their identity.
It is precisely because of its Catholic identity, which is anything but sectarian, that a school derives the originality that enables it to be a genuine instrument of the Church's evangelizing mission.
Michael Guerra, former president of the National Catholic Educational Association put the challenge succinctly: Moreover, they are measurable benchmarks, forming the backbone and inspiring the mission of every Catholic school. Let us now look at each of the marks that give a school a Catholic identity.
Inspired by a Supernatural Vision The Church sees education as a process that, in light of man's transcendent destiny, forms the whole child and seeks to fix his or her eyes on heaven.
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.
In a speech addressed to American Catholic educators in New Orleans, Pope John Paul II presented them with the pressing challenge of clearly identifying the aims of Catholic education, and applying proper methods in Catholic elementary and secondary education.
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.
An emphasis on the inalienable dignity of the human person — above all on his or her spiritual dimension — is especially necessary today. 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.
Such an impoverished vision of education is not Catholic. If Catholic educators, parents, and others who dedicate themselves to this apostolate fail to keep in mind a high supernatural vision, all their talk about Catholic schools will be no more than "a gong booming or a cymbal clashing" 1 Cor.
Founded on a Christian Anthropology Emphasis on the supernatural destiny of students brings with it a profound appreciation of the need to perfect children in all their dimensions as images of God cf.
Catholic theology teaches that grace builds on nature. 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.
Repeatedly the Holy See's documents emphasize the need for an educational philosophy built on a correct understanding of who the human person is.
How do they describe such an anthropological vision?Catholic schools are important in because there is hope all around us, and hope does not disappoint. Benjamin Devin John Potts, Ed.M., is the Principal of Notre Dame Catholic School in the Diocese of Gary, Indiana.
Any form of Catholic education will ultimately fail when the student is confronted with the word being spoken not conforming to the life being lived. Schools and the Social Order 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.
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Catholic School Education is not merely moral or spiritual education; rather, it is education of the whole man, developing his intellectual, social, cultural, and physical endowments..
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The Catholic Foundation was established in by a group of visionary Catholic business and professional leaders in the midst of a period of remarkable growth and prosperity in the Dallas area to ensure that the physical and spiritual needs of those in the community who were less fortunate would never be overlooked.