Principles of Catholic Identity in Education: Board Reflection is designed to help members of a school’s governing body reflect upon those elements the Catholic Church expects to be present in all Catholic education and which make it distinctive. The reflection is structured upon five principles of Catholic identity derived from Church documents related to education: Inspired by Divine Mission; Models Christian Communion and Identity; Encounters Christ in Prayer, Scripture, and Sacraments; Integrally Forms the Human Person and Imparts a Christian Understanding of the World. Each principle includes a summary which is comprehensive, yet concise. It is then followed by a series of suggested questions to help board members enhance and assess their school’s Catholic identity.
Intention for Use
Catholic Identity in Education: Board Reflection helps school board members conduct an internal formative self-assessment of their school’s Catholic identity.
Suggestions for Use
Because of the limited amount of time available to school board members, it is recommended that the board chair and head of school reflect on which specific areas of Catholic identity would be most beneficial to examine. Allow 1-1½ hours for each principle. Boards could review in-depth just one principle or undertake an examination of all five principles in a cursory fashion in about 4 hours.
All members the governing body should be present and involved in an unhurried and deliberate discussion that is substantial and honest. This might include recording strengths and weaknesses, brainstorming ideas to enhance Catholic identity, and making specific plans for growth and improvement.
It is highly recommended that a school administrator be present at group discussions to address issues as they arise and to add additional information as warranted. Some schools might choose to use an objective third-party facilitator.
Principle I: Inspired by Divine Mission
Catholic education is an expression of the Church’s mission of salvation and an instrument of evangelization:1 to make disciples of Christ and to teach them to observe all that He has commanded.2 Through Catholic education, students encounter God, “who in Jesus Christ reveals His transforming love and truth.”3 Christ is the foundation of Catholic education;4 He journeys with students through school and life as “genuine Teacher” and “perfect Man.”5 As a faith community in unity with the Church and in fidelity to the Magisterium, students, parents, and educators give witness to Christ’s loving communion in the Holy Trinity.6 With this Christian vision, Catholic education fulfills its purpose of “critical, systematic transmission of culture in the light of faith”7 and the integral formation of the human person by developing each student’s physical, moral, spiritual, and intellectual gifts in harmony, teaching responsibility and right use of freedom, and preparing students to fulfill God’s calling in this world and to attain the eternal kingdom for which they were created.8 Catholic education is sustained by the frequent experience of prayer, Sacred Scripture, and the Church’s liturgical and sacramental tradition.9
Reflection on Church Teaching
Vatican II describes the mission of Catholic education as leading all students to salvation by helping them become prayerful, moral, and Christ-like individuals to build the Church on earth, evangelize the world, and contribute to the common good.
A Christian education does not merely strive for the maturing of a human person… but has as its principal purpose this goal: that the baptized, while they are gradually introduced the knowledge of the mystery of salvation, become ever more aware of the gift of Faith they have received, and that they learn in addition how to worship God the Father in spirit and truth especially in liturgical action, and be conformed in their personal lives according to the new man created in justice and holiness of truth; also that they develop into perfect manhood, to the mature measure of the fullness of Christ and strive for the growth of the Mystical Body; moreover, that aware of their calling, they learn not only how to bear witness to the hope that is in them but also how to help in the Christian formation of the world that takes place when natural powers viewed in the full consideration of man redeemed by Christ contribute to the good of the whole society.10
This notion is carried forth in subsequent documents which again emphasize the evangelizing mission of Catholic education for personal sanctification and social reform.
Catholic education is an expression of the mission entrusted by Jesus to the Church He founded. Through education, the Church seeks to prepare its members to proclaim the Good News and to translate this proclamation into action. Since the Christian vocation is a call to transform oneself and society with God’s help, the educational efforts of the Church must encompass the twin purposes of personal sanctification and the social reform in light of Christian values.11
How a school accomplishes this mission includes many elements, but chief among them is a focus on Christ, especially His life and His teachings. Church documents on education consistently emphasize a Christocentric dimension for the school’s existence.
Christ is the foundation of the whole educational enterprise in a Catholic school. His revelation gives new meaning to life and helps man to direct his thought, action and will according to the Gospel, making the beatitudes his norm of life. 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 then has them as its internal motivation and final goal.12
In a Catholic school, everyone should be aware of the living presence of Jesus the “Master” who, today as always, is with us in our journey through life as the one genuine “Teacher,” the perfect Man in whom all human values find their fullest perfection. The inspiration of Jesus must be translated from the ideal into the real. The gospel spirit should be evident in a Christian way of thought and life which permeates all facets of the educational climate.13
Catholic education must also help students encounter Christ’s presence in Scripture, in the Sacraments, in prayer, in each other, and in their studies. As Pope Benedict XVI noted:
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. This relationship elicits a desire to grow in the knowledge and understanding of Christ and his teaching. In this way those who meet him are drawn by the very power of the Gospel to lead a new life characterized by all that is beautiful, good, and true; a life of Christian witness nurtured and strengthened within the community of our Lord’s disciples, the Church.14
This helps create a distinctive Catholic school experience in culture, climate, and community.
The Catholic school pursues cultural goals and the natural development of youth to the same degree as any other school. What makes the Catholic school distinctive is its attempt to generate a community climate in the school that is permeated by the Gospel spirit of freedom and love…The Council, therefore, declared that what makes the Catholic school distinctive is its religious dimension, and that this is to be found in a) the educational climate, b) the personal development of each student, c) the relationship established between culture and the Gospel, d) the illumination of all knowledge with the light of faith.15
A further distinctive element of Catholic education is its dedication to integral formation. This integral formation is the unique way the Church responds to the complex and real crisis of the age facing her children and facing the world as a whole.
Education today is a complex task, which is made more difficult by rapid social, economic, and cultural changes. Its specific mission remains the integral formation of the human person. Children and young people must be guaranteed the possibility of developing harmoniously their own physical, moral, intellectual and spiritual gifts, and they must also be helped to develop their sense of responsibility, learn the correct use of freedom, and participate actively in social life (cf. c. 795 Code of Canon Law; c. 629 Code of Canons for the Eastern Churches). A form of education that ignores or marginalises the moral and religious dimension of the person is a hindrance to full education, because “children and young people have a right to be motivated to appraise moral values with a right conscience, to embrace them with a personal adherence, together with a deeper knowledge and love of God.”16
In summary, Catholic education is part of the saving mission of the Church.
She establishes her own schools because she considers them as a privileged means of promoting the formation of the whole man, since the school is a center in which a specific concept of the world, of man, and of history is developed and conveyed. The Catholic school forms part of the saving mission of the Church, especially for education in the faith. Remembering that, “the simultaneous development of man’s psychological and moral consciousness is demanded by Christ almost as a pre-condition for the reception of the befitting divine gifts of truth and grace”. The Church fulfills her obligation to foster in her children a full awareness of their rebirth to a new life. It is precisely in the Gospel of Christ, taking root in the minds and lives of the faithful, that the Catholic school finds its definition as it comes to terms with the cultural conditions of the times.17
It must never be forgotten that the purpose of instruction at school is education, that is, the development of man from within, freeing him from that conditioning which would prevent him from becoming a fully integrated human being. The school must begin from the principle that its educational program is intentionally directed to the growth of the whole person.18
Questions to Aid Reflection or Assessment
Below are questions to facilitate reflection and begin a discussion of how well the school fulfills the mission of Catholic education. Choose areas for discussion as time allows.
- What is our school’s mission? Do we all know it?
- Does our school’s mission advance the Church’s mission of salvation and evangelization?
- Is Christ the foundation of our school? How so? How can we make this more evident?
- What corrective action is taken when the school deviates from the mission?
- How well are we fulfilling our mission? How do we know?
Mission Statement and Governing Documents
- How do the school’s mission statement and governing documents reflect the divine mission for Catholic education?
- What in our school’s mission statement specifically distinguishes us from local, non-Catholic, private schools?
- When and how does the leadership of the school review the mission statement and the school’s compliance with the mission?
Mission and Policy Issues
- How much does the mission of the school guide our overall policy decisions? Our financial and budgetary decisions? Our strategic planning and accreditation goals?
- Does a Christian understanding of the human person form the basis for our policy development and practices? (See also Principle IV.)
- Are programs for student formation sufficiently balanced to accomplish the integral formation of the whole person (i.e., sufficient courses and budgetary commitments)? (See also Principle IV.)
Mission and Identity
- Is our school proudly and strongly Catholic in its identity? How can we tell? How can we improve in this area?
- What initiatives can we undertake to better work toward fulfillment of our mission?
Action Items: Specific ideas or plans to work toward fulfillment of our mission.
Principle II: Models Christian Communion and Identity
Catholic education teaches communion with Christ, by living communion with Christ and imitating the love and freedom of the Trinity.19 This communion begins in the home—with the divinely ordered right and responsibility of parents to educate their children—and extends to the school community in support and service to the needs of the family.20 It unites families and educators with a shared educational philosophy to form students for a relationship with God and with others.21 The educational community is united to the universal Church in fidelity to the magisterium, to the local Church, and to other schools and community organizations.22
The school community is a place of ecclesial experience, in which the members model confident and joyful public witness in both word and action and teach students to live the Catholic faith in their daily lives.23 In an environment “humanly and spiritually rich,” everyone is aware of the living presence of Jesus evidenced by a Christian way of life, expressed in “Word and Sacrament, in individual behaviour, [and] in friendly and harmonious relationships.”24 The school climate reproduces, as far as possible, the “warm and intimate atmosphere of family life.”25 As members of the Church community, students experience what it means to live a life of prayer, personal responsibility, and freedom reflective of Gospel values. This, in turn, leads them to grow in their commitment to serve God, one another, the Church, and the society.26
All teachers and leaders possess adequate skills, preparation, and religious formation and possess special qualities of mind and heart as well as the sensitivity necessary for authentic witness to the gospel and the task of human formation.27 Teachers and leaders of the educational community should be “practicing Catholics, who can understand and accept the teachings of the Catholic Church and the moral demands of the Gospel and who can contribute to the achievement of the school’s Catholic identity and apostolic goals.”28
Reflection on Church Teaching: Part 1
Encourages and Participates in Christian Communion
The Church teaches that education cannot be accomplished in isolation, but finds success when all those responsible for the education of the child work together.
Because its aim is to make man more man, education can be carried out authentically only in a relational and community context. It is not by chance that the first and original educational environment is that of the natural community of the family. Schools, in their turn, take their place beside the family as an educational space that is communitarian, organic and intentional and they sustain their educational commitment, according to a logic of assistance.29
Through the building up of interpersonal relationships between colleagues, students, and families as well as between the school community and universal Church, and
By giving witness of communion, the Catholic educational community is able to educate for communion, which, as a gift that comes from above, animates the project of formation for living together in harmony and being welcoming. Not only does it cultivate in the students the cultural values that derive from the Christian vision of reality, but it also involves each one of them in the life of the community, where values are mediated by authentic interpersonal relationships among the various members that form it, and by the individual and community acceptance of them. In this way, the life of communion of the educational community assumes the value of an educational principle, of a paradigm that directs its formational action as a service for the achievement of a culture of communion.30
This community facilitates openness for the sharing of values and must not remain an ideal but become a lived and felt reality.
The school must be a community whose values are communicated through the interpersonal and sincere relationships of its members and through both individual and corporative adherence to the outlook on life that permeates the school.31
How is this done?
Some of the conditions for creating a positive and supportive climate are the following: that everyone agree with the educational goals and cooperate in achieving them; that interpersonal relationships be based on love and Christian freedom; that each individual, in daily life, be a witness to Gospel values; that every student be challenged to strive for the highest possible level of formation, both human and Christian. In addition, the climate must be one in which families are welcomed, the local Church is an active participant, and civil society—local, national, and international—is included. If all share a common faith, this can be an added advantage.32
So while the community of the school builds on the family and is lived and nurtured within its walls, the students should also experience a sense of belonging to the community of the universal Church.
Concretely, the educational goals of the school include a concern for the life and the problems of the Church, both local and universal. These goals are attentive to the Magisterium, and include cooperation with Church authorities. Catholic students are helped to become active members of the parish and diocesan communities. They have opportunities to join Church associations and Church youth groups, and they are taught to collaborate in local Church projects.33
Finally, this ecclesial community is destined not for itself, but to be of service to the common good of the world through evangelization and service.
More than any other program of education sponsored by the Church, the Catholic school has the opportunity and obligation to be unique, contemporary, and oriented to Christian service; unique because it is distinguished by its commitment to the threefold purpose of Christian education and by its total design and operation which foster the integration of religion with the rest of learning and living; contemporary because it enables students to address with Christian insight the multiple problems which face individuals and society today; oriented to Christian service because it helps students acquire skills, virtues, and habits of heart and mind required for effective service to others.34
Questions to Aid Reflection or Assessment
Below are a series of questions to facilitate reflection and begin a discussion of how well the school encourages and participates in Christian communion. Choose areas for discussion as time allows.
Communion in General
- How strong and healthy is our school’s sense of community?
- How effectively do we express and reinforce our commitment to foster communion among school members in our mission statement, governing documents, student and faculty handbooks, online and print publications, and website?
- How do we foster a school environment that evidences a Christian way of life, reproducing as far as possible the warm and intimate atmosphere of family life?
- Are there policies and procedures in place to ensure that student and employee organizations and associations conform to Catholic ideals, principles, and teachings?
- Are there programs in place or resources available to help employees struggling with personal challenges and crises?
Communion with Parents
- How strongly do our parents feel a sense of belonging to this community?
- How strong is parent commitment to our school?
- How do we recognize the rights and responsibilities of parents to educate their children?
- What more can we do to make Catholic education accessible to large families and to the economically disadvantaged?
- What programs are in place to help families participate in the spiritual life of the school and as part of its faith community?
Communion among Students
- Do our students seem to get along and treat each other kindly and respectfully?
- Do we have adequate opportunities for play, celebration, and fellowship building among the students?
- How do we provide for conflict management, breaking down any walls between groups and building healthy relationships among the students?
- Are there programs in place or resources available to help students struggling with personal challenges and crises? Do board members attend student celebrations, especially graduation?
Communion beyond the School
- Is our school a respected and valued member of the larger community?
- How effectively do we express and reinforce our commitment to foster communion with individuals beyond the school environment in our mission statement, governing documents, student and faculty handbooks, online and print publications, and website?
- Are students active in service programs of the school and the community?
- How effectively do we relate with and support other area Catholic schools, our local parishes, efforts of the diocesan school office, and efforts of the universal Church?
- Do we have a respectful relationship with the local bishop?
- Are there programs or opportunities for students to experience the universality of the Catholic Church beyond our school walls?
Action Items: Specific ideas or plans to work toward building a more Christian community.
Reflection on Church Teaching: Part 2
Models Communion in Christ
The community of a Catholic school begins with its faculty and staff and is fostered by its board. Teachers play a special role in creating an enriching atmosphere throughout the school.
In the Catholic school, “prime responsibility for creating this unique Christian school climate rests with the teachers, as individuals and as a community”. Teaching has an extraordinary moral depth and is one of man’s most excellent and creative activities, for the teacher does not write on inanimate material, but on the very spirits of human beings. The personal relations between the teacher and the students, therefore, assume an enormous importance and are not limited simply to giving and taking. Moreover, we must remember that teachers and educators fulfill a specific Christian vocation and share an equally specific participation in the mission of the Church, to the extent that “it depends chiefly on them whether the Catholic school achieves its purpose.”35
For this reason, Catholic educators need a “formation of the heart”: they need to be led to that encounter with God in Christ which awakens their love and opens their spirits to others, so that their educational commitment becomes a consequence deriving from their faith, a faith which becomes active through love. In fact, even care for instruction means loving. It is only in this way that they can make their teaching a school of faith, that is to say, a transmission of the Gospel, as required by the educational project of the Catholic school.36
The success of the faculty and staff in creating a community that assists in leading students to communion with Christ and His Church depends upon their authentic witness and faithfulness in both word and action.
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.37
In light of this, the Church insists that
Instruction and education in a Catholic school must be based on the principles of Catholic doctrine, and the teachers must be outstanding in true doctrine and uprightness of life.38
Because authentic and lived teaching and living in communion is so critical to a Catholic school’s mission, the board needs to hire a faithful and practicing Catholic principal who in turn is capable of identifying and hiring Catholic teachers willing to participate in the mission of Catholic education to the fullest extent possible.
Under the direction of the pastor or the duly elected or appointed school board, the principal of the Catholic school plays a crucial role in achieving the catechetical objectives of the parish…Therefore, the principal of a Catholic school must be a practicing Catholic in good standing who understands and accepts the teachings of the Church and the moral demands of the Gospel.39
As a catechetical leader in the Catholic School, the principal is called to recruit teachers who are practicing Catholics, who can understand and accept the teachings of the Catholic Church and the moral demands of the gospel, and who can contribute to the achievement of the school’s Catholic identity and apostolic goals…As a catechetical leader in the Catholic school, the principal is called to provide opportunities for ongoing catechesis for faculty members…The distinctive Catholic identity and mission of the Catholic school also depend on the efforts and example of the whole faculty…All teachers in Catholic schools share in the catechetical ministry… 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.40
Questions to Aid Reflection or Assessment
Below are questions to facilitate reflection and begin a discussion on how well the school acknowledges and fulfills the requirements for individuals within the school, as well as those affiliated with the school, to model and be in communion with Christ. Choose areas for discussion as time allows.
- Do others see our Board as “walking the walk” when it comes to living as disciples and joyfully working to spread God’s Kingdom?
- Are the requirements for members of the governing body or school board published, and do they require members to be practicing Catholics?
- Are members of the governing body or school board required to take an annual Oath to the teaching of the Magisterium of the Church, Catholic code of ethics for school board members, or other such public oath? How does the school ensure each governing official is informed of their responsibility to respect, promote, strengthen, and defend the Catholic identity of the school?
- How does the school ensure there is a commitment by the governing body to its Catholic identity?
- How does the school ensure that all school employees, volunteers, and board members have the qualities, skills, and commitment necessary for authentic witness to the Faith and the mission of Catholic education?
- What policies does the school have for teacher employment in the rare instance only a non-Catholic is available to fill a position that does not involve formal catechesis of students?
- Are there policies or protocols in place to ensure that a non-Catholic employee or volunteer is aware and supportive of the school’s Catholic mission?
- Are there policies or programs in place to hold accountable employees and volunteers when commitment to Catholic ideals, morals, teachings, and/or principles is lacking?
- Are personnel policies applied in a consistent manner?
- Action Items: Specific ideas or plans to work toward better modeling of communion with Christ.
Principle III: Encounters Christ in Prayer, Scripture, and Sacrament
Rooted in Christ, Catholic education is continually fed and stimulated by Him in the frequent experience of prayer, scripture, and the Church’s liturgical and sacramental tradition.41 The transmission of faith, catechesis, is intrinsically linked to these living encounters with Christ, by which He nurtures and educates souls in the divine life of grace and the gifts of the Holy Spirit.42 By their witness and sharing in these encounters, educators help students grow in understanding of what it means to be a member of the Church.43 Students discover the real value of the Sacraments, especially the Eucharist and Reconciliation, in accompanying the Christian in the journey through life. They learn “to open their hearts in confidence to Father, Son, and Holy Spirit through personal and liturgical prayer,” which makes the mystery of Christ present to students.44
Reflection on Church Teaching
The community comprising the Catholic school finds its source of nourishment in the Word, in the Sacraments, and in the traditions of the Church.
No Catholic school can adequately fulfill its educational role on its own. It must continually be fed and stimulated by its Source of life, the Saving Word of Christ as it is expressed in Sacred Scripture, in Tradition, especially liturgical and sacramental tradition, and in the lives of people, past and present, who bear witness to that Word.45
In a Catholic school, prayer and Gospel values facilitate harmony and a desire for service.
Within such communities, teachers and pupils experience together what it means to live a life of prayer, personal responsibility and freedom reflective of Gospel values. Their fellowship helps them grow in their commitment to service God, one another, the Church and the general community.46
This ardent and vibrantly lived life of prayer and faith must not be hidden but freely and naturally expressed.
From the first moment that a student sets foot in a Catholic school, he or she ought to have the impression of entering a new environment, one illumined by the light of faith, and having its own unique characteristics.47
Moreover, the Catholic school is well aware that the community that it forms must be constantly nourished and compared with the sources from which the reason for its existence derives: the saving word of God in Sacred Scripture, in Tradition, above all liturgical and sacramental Tradition, enlightened by the Magisterium of the Church.48
The characteristics of a rich faith life include easily identifiable representations of the spiritual life such as crucifixes, statues or pictures of saints, and a place set aside for prayer. It also involves introducing students to traditional Catholic prayers, traditions of the Church, and spiritual devotions, especially Marian devotions.
An awareness of Mary’s presence can be a great help toward making the school into a “home”. Mary, Mother and Teacher of the Church, accompanied her Son as he grew in wisdom and grace; from its earliest days, she has accompanied the Church in its mission of salvation.49
As important as these Catholic devotions are, an essential element to any Catholic school is a rich and faithful sacramental life.
An understanding of the sacramental journey has profound educational implications. Students become aware that being a member of the Church is something dynamic, responding to every person’s need to continue growing all through life. When we meet the Lord in the Sacraments, we are never left unchanged. Through the Spirit, he causes us to grow in the Church, offering us “grace upon grace”; the only thing he asks is our cooperation. The educational consequences of this touch on our relationship with God, our witness as a Christian, and our choice of a personal vocation.50
Especially important in the documents is a rich Eucharistic component.
The essential point for students to understand is that Jesus Christ is always truly present in the Sacraments which he has instituted, and his presence makes them efficacious means of grace. The moment of closest encounter with the Lord Jesus occurs in the Eucharist, which is both Sacrifice and Sacrament. In the Eucharist, two supreme acts of love are united: Our Lord renews his sacrifice of salvation for us, and he truly gives himself to us.51
In the life of a Catholic school the Eucharist and the Sacrament of Reconciliation become frequent, lived, and loving encounters with God.
The teacher will assist students to open their hearts in confidence to Father, Son, and Holy Spirit through personal and liturgical prayer. The latter is not just another way of praying; it is the official prayer of the Church, which makes the mystery of Christ present in our lives—especially through the Eucharist, Sacrifice and Sacrament, and through the Sacrament of Reconciliation. Religious experiences are then seen, not as something externally imposed, but as a free and loving response to the God who first loved us. The virtues of faith and religion, thus rooted and cultivated, are enabled to develop during childhood, youth, and in all the years that follow.52
As with all elements of the integral formation of its students, the authentic and lived participation of the faculty and staff in liturgies and Sacraments play a critical role in the success of the school’s mission.
As a visible manifestation of the faith they profess and the life witness they are supposed to manifest, it is important that lay Catholics who work in a Catholic school participate simply and actively in the liturgical and sacramental life of the school. Students will share in this life more readily when they have concrete examples: when they see the importance that this life has for believers. In today’s secularized world, students will see many lay people who call themselves Catholics, but who never take part in liturgy or sacraments. It is very important that they also have the example of lay adults who take such things seriously, who find in them a source and nourishment for Christian living.53
Questions to Aid Reflection or Assessment
Below are a series of questions to facilitate reflection and to begin a discussion of how one encounters Christ in the school. Choose areas for discussion as time allows.
- Do we start all Board meetings with prayer?
- Do we pause meetings as necessary with a prayer for guidance in particularly difficult situations?
- Do board members attend religious celebrations and events of the school?
Policies for Administrative Member
- How does the school ensure that each member of the school community understands and shares in the school’s commitment to personal and liturgical prayer, contemplation of Sacred Scripture, and nourishment from the Sacraments?
- How does the school ensure that priests, religious, educators, and staff members possess the necessary qualities, skills, and commitment to lead student formation in the methods of prayer, authentic interpretation of Sacred Scripture, reverent liturgies, and reception of Sacraments according to the Church’s liturgical norms?
- How does the school provide for the continued spiritual formation of the governing body of the school or the school board?
Policies for Students
- How does the school express a commitment to providing constant reference to the Gospel message, frequent opportunities for students to encounter Christ in both personal and liturgical prayer, Sacred Scripture, and the Sacraments in its mission statement, its governing documents, its student and faculty handbooks, or other means?
- How does the school ensure the availability of the Sacraments for its students?
- How does the school work with the local Church to facilitate the reception of First Sacraments for students?
Action Items: Specific ideas or plans to work toward encountering Christ in prayer, Scripture, and Sacraments.
Principle IV: Integrally Forms the Human Person
The complex task of Catholic education is the integral formation of students as physical, intellectual, and spiritual beings called to perfect humanity in the fullness of Christ, which is their right by Baptism.54 The human person is “created in ‘the image and likeness’ of God; elevated by God to the dignity of a child of God; unfaithful to God in original sin, but redeemed by Christ; a temple of the Holy Spirit, a member of the Church; destined to eternal life.”55 Catholic education assists students to become aware of the gift of Faith, worship God the Father, develop into mature adults who bear witness to the Mystical Body of Christ, respect the dignity of the human person, provide service, lead apostolic lives, and build the Kingdom of God.56
Catholic education forms the conscience through commitment to authentic Catholic doctrine. It develops the virtues and characteristics associated with what it means to be Christian so as to resist relativism, overcome individualism, and discover vocations to serve God and others.57 “Intellectual development and growth as a Christian go forward hand in hand” where faith, culture, and life are integrated throughout the school’s program to provide students a personal closeness to Christ enriched by virtues, values, and supernatural gifts.58 As a child of God, made in his image, human formation includes the development of personal Christian ethics and respect for the body by promoting healthy development, physical activity, and chastity.59
In Catholic education, “There is no separation between time for learning and time for formation, between acquiring notions and growing in wisdom”; education and pedagogy inspired by Gospel values and distinguished by the “illumination of all knowledge with the light of faith” allows formation to become living, conscious and active.60 The atmosphere is characterized by discovery and awareness that enkindles a love for truth, and a desire to know the universe as God’s creation. The Christian educational program facilitates critical thinking that is ordered, precise, and responsible as it builds strength and perseverance in pursuit of the truth.61
Reflection on Church Teachings: Part 1
Integral Formation Focused on Intellectual Development
The Catholic intellectual tradition is about more than simply maximizing intellectual skills; it is about ensuring that the intellect is authentically human, integrated, and oriented toward wisdom.
Catholic schools are encouraged to promote a wisdom-based society, to go beyond knowledge and educate people to think, evaluating facts in the light of values.62
This intellectual work unites all three elements of truth, beauty, and goodness in a pursuit of wisdom, but especially a virtuous and rigorous search for truth.
Within the overall process of education, special mention must be made of the intellectual work done by students. Although Christian life consists in loving God and doing his will, intellectual work is intimately involved. The light of Christian faith stimulates a desire to know the universe as God’s creation. It enkindles a love for the truth that will not be satisfied with superficiality in knowledge or judgment. It awakens a critical sense which examines statements rather than accepting them blindly. It impels the mind to learn with careful order and precise methods, and to work with a sense of responsibility. It provides the strength needed to accept the sacrifices and the perseverance required by intellectual labor.63
We do not just seek knowledge for the sake of power and utilitarian purposes, but rather for complete human flourishing and complete human formation.
In the Catholic school’s educational project there is no separation between time for learning and time for formation, between acquiring notions and growing in wisdom. The various school subjects do not present only knowledge to be attained, but also values to be acquired and truths to be discovered.64
The Church does not shy away from a bold claim to know and teach the truth in a modern relativistic culture. St. John Paul II encouraged American educators to realize this point.
The greatest challenge to Catholic education in the United States today, and the greatest contribution that authentically Catholic education can make to American culture, is to restore to that culture the conviction that human beings can grasp the truth of things, and in grasping that truth can know their duties to God, to themselves and their neighbors. The contemporary world urgently needs the service of educational institutions which uphold and teach that truth is “that fundamental value without which freedom, justice and human dignity are extinguished.”65
Reflection on Church Teachings: Part 2
Integral Formation Focused on Spiritual Development
All schools focus on developing the intellect, but Catholic schools have a long history of particularly excelling in this academic enterprise. We have the added advantage of being able to actively form all aspects of the human person, especially the spiritual dimension. The spiritual life we model and the spiritual truths we teach must be completely faithful to the Church and should permeate and sit proudly alongside all academic disciplines of a school’s program.
The integration of religious truth and values with life distinguishes the Catholic school from other schools. This is a matter of crucial importance today in view of contemporary trends and pressures to compartmentalize life and learning and to isolate the religious dimension of existence from other areas of human life.66
One component of this integral development is the specific teaching of Catholic doctrine.
Educational programs for the young must strive to teach doctrine, to do so within the experience of Christian community, and to prepare individuals for effective Christian witness and service to others. In doing this they help foster the student’s growth in personal holiness and his relationship with Christ.67
The presentation of Catholic doctrine through religious instruction is not the whole of the school’s efforts; a catechetical component is also involved.
Religious instruction is appropriate in every school, for the purpose of the school is human formation in all of its fundamental dimensions, and the religious dimension is an integral part of this formation. Religious education is actually a right – with the corresponding duties – of the student and of the parents. It is also, at least in the case of the Catholic religion, an extremely important instrument for attaining the adequate synthesis of faith and culture that has been insisted on so often. Therefore, the teaching of the Catholic religion, distinct from and at the same time complementary to catechesis properly so called, ought to form a part of the curriculum of every school.68
A result of this process is a religious formation that leads to an active and lived life of faith and worship.
The life of faith is expressed in acts of religion. The teacher will assist students to open their hearts in confidence to Father, Son, and Holy Spirit through personal and liturgical prayer. The latter is not just another way of praying; it is the official prayer of the Church, which makes the mystery of Christ present in our lives – especially through the Eucharist, Sacrifice and Sacrament, and through the Sacrament of Reconciliation. Religious experiences are then seen, not as something externally imposed, but as a free and loving response to the God who first loved us. The virtues of faith and religion, thus rooted and cultivated, are enabled to develop during childhood, youth, and in all the years that follow.69
Reflection on Church Teaching: Part 3
Integral Formation Focused on Moral Development
The intellectual and spiritual formation we provide our students assists them in living a life of virtue guided by a well-formed Catholic conscience and a consistent moral ethic.
…the Catholic school tries to create within its walls a climate in which the pupil’s faith will gradually mature and enable him to assume the responsibility placed on him by Baptism. It will give pride of place in the education it provides through Christian Doctrine to the gradual formation of conscience in fundamental, permanent virtues—above all the theological virtues, and charity in particular, which is, so to speak, the life-giving spirit which transforms a man of virtue into a man of Christ. Christ, therefore, is the teaching-centre, the Model on Whom the Christian shapes his life. In Him the Catholic school differs from all others which limit themselves to forming men. Its task is to form Christian men, and, by its teaching and witness, show non-Christians something of the mystery of Christ Who surpasses all human understanding.70
In an age of pluralism and relativism, the Catholic school holds out fundamental goods and teaches clearly about what is right and what is wrong.
Cultural pluralism, therefore, leads the Church to reaffirm her mission of education to insure strong character formation. Her children, then, will be capable both of resisting the debilitating influence of relativism and of living up to the demands made on them by their Baptism…For this reason the Church is prompted to mobilize her educational resources in the face of the materialism, pragmatism and technocracy of contemporary society.71
In forming the moral compass of our students based on Catholic truths, the school works closely with the student’s primary educators, the parents.
Partnership between a Catholic school and the families of the students must continue and be strengthened: not simply to be able to deal with academic problems that may arise, but rather so that the educational goals of the school can be achieved. Close cooperation with the family is especially important when treating sensitive issues such as religious, moral, or sexual education, orientation toward a profession, or a choice of one’s vocation in life. It is not a question of convenience, but a partnership based on faith. Catholic tradition teaches that God has bestowed on the family its own specific and unique educational mission.72
Reflection on Church Teaching: Part 4
Integral Formation Focused on Physical Development and Expression
The Catholic Church teaches of an intimate unity between body and soul. We are incarnate beings whose physical lives and bodily expression should be in deep and natural accord with our souls and our spiritual life and dispositions. The Catholic school seeks to develop all these facets of the human person.
Since true education must strive for complete formation of the human person that looks to his or her final end as well as to the common good of societies, children and youth are to be nurtured in such a way that they are able to develop their physical, moral, and intellectual talents harmoniously, acquire a more perfect sense of responsibility and right use of freedom, and are formed to participate actively in social life.73
This understanding of the human person is based on a Christian anthropology which acknowledges our complete human nature, including our dignity and our brokenness:
Students should be helped to see the human person as a living creature having both a physical and a spiritual nature; each of us has an immortal soul, and we are in need of redemption. The older students can gradually come to a more mature understanding of all that is implied in the concept of “person”: intelligence and will, freedom and feelings, the capacity to be an active and creative agent; a being endowed with both rights and duties, capable of interpersonal relationships, called to a specific mission in the world.74
The human person is present in all the truths of faith: created in “the image and likeness” of God; elevated by God to the dignity of a child of God; unfaithful to God in original sin, but redeemed by Christ; a temple of the Holy Spirit; a member of the Church; destined to eternal life.75
It also means the cultivation of intellectual and spiritual gifts in a spirit of respect for oneself and others includes physical health and a life lived chastely.
Not a few young people, unable to find any meaning in life or trying to find an escape from loneliness, turn to alcohol drugs, the erotic, the exotic etc. Christian education is faced with the huge challenge of helping these young people discover something of value in their lives…We must learn to care for our body and its health, and this includes physical activity and sports. And we must be careful of our sexual integrity through the virtue of chastity, because sexual energies are also a gift of God, contributing to the perfection of the person and having a providential function for the life of society and of the Church. Thus, gradually, the teacher will guide students to the idea, and then to the realization, of a process of total formation.76
Questions to Aid Reflection or Assessment:
Below are a series of questions to help facilitate reflection and begin discussion of the intellectual, spiritual, moral, and physical development of students. Choose areas for discussion as time allows.
Philosophy of Integral Formation
- Does the school seem to do a good job at harmoniously forming students’ hearts, minds, and bodies?
- How do we provide for the integral formation of students?
- Is the integral formation of students part of our school’s educational philosophy? How does the school provide for Board development and understanding in areas of Catholic school mission, philosophy, leadership, and integral formation of students?
School Programs – General
- Is there an annual evaluation of academic, co-curricular, and extra-curricular programs focusing on the spiritual, intellectual, moral, and physical formation of students?
- What policies and procedures are in place to ensure our programs, including extra-curricular programs, are on mission and in accordance with the teachings of the Catechism of the Catholic Church?
- Are there programs or courses we can offer to help facilitate a more balanced curriculum?
School Programs – Specific
- Is our sports program adequately balanced with other programs and at the service of virtue development and furtherance of the school’s mission?
- What programs, options, or professional services are in place to assist students with special physical and developmental learning needs?
- Are technology policies and software updated at least annually to ensure students and faculty avoid unhealthy and undesired social media?
- What policies, programs, and procedures do we have in place to help students, employees, volunteers, and families with unhealthy addictions? Are these programs adequately financed in the annual budget?
- How does the school support families in developing an understanding and dialogue with their children so they might better discern popular, fleeting options and lifestyle choices?
- If there is a program in place teaching human sexuality, are parents allowed to opt their students out?
- Is there a policy in place addressing students with same-sex attraction and gender identity issues that supports Church guidance and defends the school against the inroads of false gender ideology or unchastity? If not, how are these issues addressed in accordance with the teachings of the Catholic Church?
Action Items: Specific ideas or plans to work on integral formation of our students.
Principle V: Imparts a Christian Understanding of the World
In the light of faith, Catholic education critically and systematically transmits the secular and religious “cultural patrimony handed down from previous generations,” especially that which makes a person more human and contributes to the integral formation of students.77 Both educator and student are called to participate in the dialogue with culture and to pursue “the integration of culture with faith and faith with living.”78 Catholic education imparts a “Christian vision of the world, of life, of culture, and of history,” ordering “the whole of human culture to the news of salvation.”79 This hallmark of Catholic education, to “bring human wisdom into an encounter with divine wisdom,”80 cultivates “in students the intellectual, creative, and aesthetic faculties of the human person,” introduces a cultural heritage, and prepares them for professional life and to take on the responsibilities and duties of society and the Church.81 Students are prepared to work for the evangelization of culture and for the common good of society.82
Reflection on Church Teaching: Part 1
Traditions, Values, and Evangelization
The Church teaches that the task of a Catholic school is to provide,
fundamentally a synthesis of culture and faith, and a synthesis of faith and life: the first is reached by integrating all the different aspects of human knowledge through the subjects taught, in the light of the Gospel; the second in the growth of the virtues characteristic of the Christian.83
Both the current common culture and aspects of cultural history giving rise to it are to be explored and critically analyzed in the light of the Catholic faith. Positive elements that can be brought into harmony with the faith are to be celebrated and expanded. Elements appearing in contradiction to the faith are to be challenged and critically analyzed. This is a role to which Catholic schools are particularly suited.
A school uses its own specific means for the integral formation of the human person: the communication of culture… if the communication of culture is to be a genuine educational activity, it must not only be organic, but also critical and evaluative, historical and dynamic. Faith will provide Catholic educators with some essential principles for critique and evaluation; faith will help them to see all of human history as a history of salvation which culminates in the fullness of the Kingdom. This puts culture into a creative context, constantly being perfected.84
In addition to critically examining and transmitting those best elements of human culture in general, the school also embodies and imparts a specific Catholic culture: that is an integrated pattern of knowledge, values, beliefs, behaviors, and traditions that celebrate and pass on to a new generation the unique contributions of the Church in the arts and the intellectual life, enriching the social and faith lives of our students with the great patrimony of the Catholic Church.
Catholic schools provide young people with sound Church teaching through a broad-based curriculum, where faith and culture are intertwined in all areas of a school’s life. By equipping our young people with a sound education, rooted in the Gospel message, the Person of Jesus Christ, and rich in the cherished traditions and liturgical practices of our faith, we ensure that they have the foundation to live morally and uprightly in our complex modern world. This unique Catholic identity makes our Catholic elementary and secondary schools “schools for the human person” and allows them to fill a critical role in the future life of our Church, our country, and our world.85
Through this transmission of culture, students become Christ for others and work to evangelize both inside and outside the school community.
The mission of the Catholic school is the integral formation of students, so that they may be true to their condition as Christ’s disciples and as such work effectively for the evangelization of culture and for the common good of society.86
Reflection on Church Teaching: Part 2
Literature, History, and the Arts
The school’s curriculum is the vehicle for examining various cultural elements.
From the nature of the Catholic school also stems one of the most significant elements of its educational project: the synthesis between culture and faith. The endeavor to interweave reason and faith, which has become the heart of individual subjects, makes for unity, articulation, and coordination, bringing forth within what is learned in a school a Christian vision of the world, of life, of culture, and of history.87
A Catholic school curriculum examines issues of culture, meaning, faith, and value in the light of the Gospel. Literature, history, and the arts lend themselves readily to this enterprise.
Literature and the arts are also, in their own way, of great importance to the life of the Church. They strive to make known the proper nature of man, his problems and his experiences in trying to know and perfect both himself and the world. They have much to do with revealing man’s place in history and in the world; with illustrating the miseries and joys, the needs and strengths of man and with foreshadowing a better life for him. Thus they are able to elevate human life, expressed in multifold forms according to various times and regions.88
Not only is history analyzed for its content and facts, but also for its comportment to reality and truth. Catholic schools are free to discuss and unravel the numerous historical circumstances where God’s hand is seen interjecting itself in temporal affairs. These opportunities are vast and plentiful and add an additional dimension to the study of historical timelines.
Teachers should guide the students’ work in such a way that they will be able to discover a religious dimension in the world of human history. As a preliminary, they should be encouraged to develop a taste for historical truth, and therefore to realize the need to look critically at texts and curricula which, at times, are imposed by a government or distorted by the ideology of the author…they will see the development of civilizations, and learn about progress…When they are ready to appreciate it, students can be invited to reflect on the fact that this human struggle takes place within the divine history [of] universal salvation. At this moment, the religious dimension of history begins to shine forth in all its luminous grandeur.89
The study of human historical and social realties in a Catholic school occurs in the context of a permanent philosophical heritage which must be understood.
Every society has its own heritage of accumulated wisdom. Many people find inspiration in these philosophical and religious concepts which have endured for millennia. The systematic genius of classical Greek and European thought has, over the centuries, generated countless different doctrinal systems, but it has also given us a set of truths which we can recognize as a part of our permanent philosophical heritage.90
This heritage includes a rich patrimony of social justice which should also be reflected in the curriculum.
The curriculum must help the students reflect on the great problems of our time, including those where one sees more clearly the difficult situation of a large part of humanity’s living conditions. These would include the unequal distribution of resources, poverty, injustice and human rights denied.91
Especially in the arts, both auditory and visual, Catholic schools have a rich tradition to draw from for discussions of beauty and harmony and that which fulfills a human soul.
Literary and artistic works depict the struggles of societies, of families, and of individuals. They spring from the depths of the human heart, revealing its lights and its shadows, its hope and its despair. The Christian perspective goes beyond the merely human, and offers more penetrating criteria for understanding the human struggle and the mysteries of the human spirit. Furthermore, an adequate religious formation has been the starting point for the vocation of a number of Christian artists and art critics. In the upper grades, a teacher can bring students to: an even more profound appreciation of artistic works: as a reflection of the divine beauty in tangible form. Both the Fathers of the Church and the masters of Christian philosophy teach this in their writings on aesthetics—St. Augustine invites us to go beyond the intention of the artists in order to find the eternal order of God in the work of art; St. Thomas sees the presence of the Divine Word in art.92
Reflection on Church Teaching: Part 3
Science and Mathematics
The school’s science and math curriculum is the vehicle not just for examining standard scientific content, but also for introducing students to the Catholic intellectual tradition and the specific contributions of Catholics to the world of math and science. It can help the students see the limitations of materialism and open them up to the depths of wonder held in God’s creation.
The Catholic school should teach its pupils to discern in the voice of the universe the Creator Whom it reveals and, in the conquests of science, to know God and man better.93
By not ignoring the religious dimension, Catholic schools
…help their students to understand that positive science, and the technology allied to it, is a part of the universe created by God. Understanding this can help encourage an interest in research: the whole of creation, from the distant celestial bodies and the immeasurable cosmic forces down to the infinitesimal particles and waves of matter and energy, all bear the imprint of the Creator’s wisdom and power, The wonder that past ages felt when contemplating this universe, recorded by the Biblical authors, is still valid for the students of today; the only difference is that we have a knowledge that is much more vast and profound. There can be no conflict between faith and true scientific knowledge; both find their source in God. The student who is able to discover the harmony between faith and science will, in future professional life, be better able to put science and technology to the service of men and women, and to the service of God. It is a way of giving back to God what he has first given to us.94
Education in science includes the relationship of science to other disciplines in the life of the intellect.
Furthermore, when man gives himself to the various disciplines of philosophy, history and of mathematical and natural science, and when he cultivates the arts, he can do very much to elevate the human family to a more sublime understanding of truth, goodness, and beauty, and to the formation of considered opinions which have universal value. Thus mankind may be more clearly enlightened by that marvelous Wisdom which was with God from all eternity, composing all things with him, rejoicing in the earth and delighting in the sons of men. In this way, the human spirit, being less subjected to material things, can be more easily drawn to the worship and contemplation of the Creator. Moreover, by the impulse of grace, he is disposed to acknowledge the Word of God, Who before He became flesh in order to save all and to sum up all in Himself was already “in the world” as “the true light which enlightens every man” (John 1:9-10). Indeed today’s progress in science and technology can foster a certain exclusive emphasis on observable data, and agnosticism about everything else. For the methods of investigation which these sciences use can be wrongly considered as the supreme rule of seeking the whole truth. By virtue of their methods these sciences cannot penetrate to the intimate notion of things. Indeed the danger is present that man, confiding too much in the discoveries of today, may think that he is sufficient unto himself and no longer seek the higher things.95
This notion is in line with the Catholic intellectual tradition in which
Catholic schools strive to relate all of the sciences to salvation and sanctification. Students are shown how Jesus illumines all of life—science, mathematics, history, business, biology, and so forth.96
As God is the source of all reality and because all things live, move, and have their being in Him, an understanding of all aspects of creation can assist in understanding and glorifying God in whom all truths converge.
Questions to Aid Reflection and Assessment:
Below are a series of questions to facilitate reflection and begin discussion of how a Catholic school imparts a Christian understanding of the world. Choose areas for discussion as time allows.
Christian Understanding – General
- Does our school seem to integrate the various disciplines?
- Does our school seem to actively promote a Christian view of the world, life, and culture?
School Foundational Documents
- How does the school express its commitment to:
- the critical and systematic transmission of Catholic culture and worldview?
- forming students’ faculties so they can evaluate culture?
- preparing students for evangelization and vocations?
- facilitating opportunities for students to integrate faith and life in its mission statement, governing documents, student and faculty handbooks, and academic programs?
Budgeting and Planning
- Does the school’s budget and academic plan include funding and time for cultural opportunities for students? evangelistic opportunities? faculty professional development opportunities? facilities to enhance interdisciplinary instruction?
Action Items: Specific ideas or plans to better impart a Christian understanding of the world.
 A more complete exposition of the principles is available in these resources: Principles of Catholic Identity in Education: Church Documents for Reflection and Principles of Catholic Identity in Education: Principles and Sources in Church Teaching.
 The Cardinal Newman Society has also created other assessment tools for schools including: Principles of Catholic Identity in Education: Faculty and Staff In-Service and our Catholic Education Honor Roll.
1 Sacred Congregation for Catholic Education, The Catholic School (Vatican City, 1977) 5-7; Pope Paul VI, Gravissimum Educationis (Vatican City, 1965) 2; United States Conference of Catholic Bishops, To Teach as Jesus Did (Washington, National Conference of Catholic Bishops, 1972) 7.
2 Matthew 28:19-20.
3 Pope Benedict XVI, Meeting with Catholic Educators: Address of His Holiness Benedict XVI (Washington, April 2008); Pope Benedict XVI, Spe Salvi (Vatican City, 2007) 4.
4 The Catholic School (1977) 34; Congregation for Catholic Education, Educating Today and Tomorrow: A Renewing Passion (Vatican, 2014) III.
5 Congregation for Catholic Education, The Religious Dimension of Education in a Catholic School (Vatican City, 1988) 25.
6 Congregation for Catholic Education, Educating Together in Catholic Schools: A Shared Mission Between Consecrated Persons and the Lay Faithful (Vatican City, 2007) 5, 10; The Religious Dimension of Education 44.
7 The Catholic School (1977) 49.
8 Canon Law Society of America, Code of Canon Law (Washington, D.C., 1983) 795; Gravissimum Educationis, Introduction; Congregation for Catholic Education, Circular Letter to the Presidents of Bishops’ Conferences on Religious Education in Schools (Vatican City, 2009) 1.
9 The Catholic School (1977) 54.
10 Gravissumum Educationis 2.
11 To Teach as Jesus Did 7.
12 The Catholic School (1977) 34.
13 The Religious Dimension of Education 25.
14 Pope Benedict VI (2008).
15 The Religious Dimension of Education 1.
16 Circular Letter 1.
17 The Catholic School (1977) 8-9.
18 The Catholic School (1977) 29.
19 Educating Together 10, 12-14.
20 Code of Canon Law 793 §1; Congregation for Catholic Education, Lay Catholics in Schools: Witnesses to Faith (Vatican City, 1982) 12.
21 Lay Catholics in Schools 22; The Catholic School (1977) 53; The Religious Dimension of Education 34.
22 Educating Together 50; The Religious Dimension of Education 44.
23 Educating Together 5; Congregation for Catholic Education, Educating in Intercultural Dialogue in the Catholic School: Living in Harmony for a Civilization of Love (Vatican, 2013) 86; Lay Catholics in Schools 18; United States Conference of Catholic Bishops, Renewing Our Commitment to Catholic Elementary and Secondary Schools in the Third Millennium (Washington, D.C., 2005) excerpt.
24 The Religious Dimension of Education 26, 28.
25 The Religious Dimension of Education 25-26, 28-29, 40; Educating Together 48.
26 Code of Canon Law 795; To Teach as Jesus Did 107; The Religious Dimension of Education 39; Educating Today and Tomorrow, conclusion.
27 Gravissimum Educationis 5, 8; Code of Canon Law 803§2; To Teach as Jesus Did 104.
28 United States Conference of Catholic Bishops, National Directory for Catechesis (Washington D.C., 2005) 231-233; Congregation for Catholic Education, The Catholic School on the Threshold of the Third Millennium (Vatican, 1997) 19.
29 Educating Together 12.
30 Educating Together 39.
31 The Catholic School (1977) 32.
32 The Religious Dimension of Education 103.
33 The Religious Dimension of Education 44.
34 To Teach as Jesus Did 106.
35 The Catholic School on the Threshold 19.
36 Educating Together 25.
37 Lay Catholics in Schools 32.
38 Code of Canon Law 803 §2.
39 National Directory for Catechesis 231.
40 National Directory for Catechesis 231, 233.
41 The Catholic School (1977) 54-55; Pope Pius XI, Divini Illius Magistri (Vatican City, 1929) 15-17, 76; Catechism of the Catholic Church (Vatican City, 1993) 2675; Educating Today and Tomorrow I, 1b.
42 Pope Saint John Paul II, Catechesi Tradendae (Vatican City, 1979) 23; Educating Together 17, 26.
43 The Religious Dimension of Education 78; Educating Together 26.
44 The Religious Dimension of Education 79, 83.
45 The Catholic School 54.
46 To Teach as Jesus Did 107.
47 The Religious Dimension of Education 25.
48 Educating Together 26.
49 The Religious Dimension of Education 29.
50 The Religious Dimension of Education 79.
51 The Religious Dimension of Education 78.
52 The Religious Dimension of Education 83.
53 Lay Catholics in Schools 40.
54 Circular Letter 1; The Catholic School on the Threshold 4; The Religious Dimension of Education 98.
55 The Catholic School on the Threshold 9; The Religious Dimension of Education 55, 84.
56 The Religious Dimension of Education 95; The Catholic School (1977) 7; Educating Today and Tomorrow III.
57 The Catholic School on the Threshold 10; The Catholic School (1977) 12, 45; Educating Together 46.
58 The Religious Dimension of Education 51, 63; Educating in Intercultural Dialogue 64-67; The Catholic School (1977) 37; Lay Catholics in Schools 56; Educating Together 24.
59 The Religious Dimension of Education 84, 112.
60 The Religious Dimension of Education 1; Educating in Intercultural Dialogue 56; The Catholic School on the Threshold 14; To Teach as Jesus Did 102.
61 The Religious Dimension of Education 49.
62 Educating in Intercultural Dialogue 66.
63 The Religious Dimension of Education 49.
64 The Catholic School on the Threshold 14.
65 Pope Saint John Paul II, Ad Limina Visit of Bishops from Illinois, Indiana, and Wisconsin (Vatican City, May 1998) 3.
66 To Teach as Jesus Did 105.
67 To Teach as Jesus Did 82.
68 Lay Catholics in Schools 56.
69 The Religious Dimension of Education 83.
70 The Catholic School 47.
71 The Catholic School 12.
72 The Religious Dimension of Education 42.
73 Code of Canon Law 795.
74 The Religious Dimension of Education 55.
75 The Religious Dimension of Education 84.
76 The Religious Dimension of Education 13, 84.
77 Lay Catholics in Schools 12; The Catholic School (1977) 26, 36; The Religious Dimension of Education 108.
78 The Catholic School (1977) 15, 49; The Religious Dimension of Education 34, 51, 52.
79 The Catholic School on the Threshold 14; The Religious Dimension of Education 53, 100; Gravissimum Educationis 8.
80 The Religious Dimension of Education 57.
81 Gravissimum Educationis 5; Lay Catholics in Schools 12.
82 Pope Saint John Paul II (1998); Renewing Our Commitment, excerpt; Educating Today and Tomorrow II-1.
83 The Catholic School 37.
84 Lay Catholics in Schools 20.
85 Renewing Our Commitment, excerpts.
86 Pope Saint John Paul II (1998).
87 The Catholic School on the Threshold 14.
88 Pope Paul VI, Gaudium et Spes (Vatican City, 1965) 62.
89 The Religious Dimension of Education 58 – 59.
90 The Religious Dimension of Education 57.
91 Pope Pius XI (1929) 21.
92 The Religious Dimension of Education 61.
93 The Catholic School (1977) 46.
94 The Religious Dimension of Education 54.
95 Pope Paul VI (1965) 57.
96 National Directory for Catechesis 233.
Photo credit: Père Igor (Wikimedia Commons)