Core Business of Catholic Schools: Christian Formation
"...School should be able to offer young people the means to acquire the knowledge they need to find a place in a society, which is strongly characterized by technical and scientific skill. But, at the same time, it should be a place, above all, to impart a solid Christian formation" (The Catholic School on the Threshold of the Third Millennium).
The core business of our Catholic schools is "Christian formation." While academic excellence has always been at the forefront, we seem to have lost that plot for Christian formation in our Catholic schools. In fact, so much energy is placed today on excellence in education as well as the dire need for more involvement in Sporting activities with very little focus on Christian formation.
According to Catholic Social Teaching, '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.'
The Church also states, 'The Catholic school is committed thus to the development of the whole man, since in Christ, the Perfect Man, all human values find their fulfillment and unity. Herein lies the specifically Catholic character of the school. Its duty to cultivate human values in their own legitimate right in accordance with its particular mission to serve all men has its origin in the figure of Christ. He is the One who enables man, gives meaning to human life, and is the Model which the Catholic school offers to its pupils.'
As Church, let us therefore strive to provide greater formation opportunities at all levels in our Catholic schools.