“Catholic education is not simply about values or even ‘faith values.’ Catholic education is about a vision, an investment in a vision that comes from the Gospel: that creates the values by which the Catholic school is known and identified and that makes its values real and alive and applicable to life.
“Catholic education is about passion, a vision and passion that views every young person in our Catholic schools, every parent, every teacher, every administrator, every staff member, every alumnus, every benefactor as a partner in the Church’s mission to spread the Gospel of Jesus Christ, in season and out of season, in the classroom and on the playground, on the computer screen, when school is in session and when it is not, in the school, in the home, in the neighborhood and community.
“What we do is educate. The enduring effects of what we do, however, depend upon how we do it and that’s what makes us different, unique and worthy of support. Catholic schools are places ‘where faith and knowledge meet’ but unless that meeting inspires, unless that meeting engages, unless that meeting lights a fire, unless that meeting changes lives, our schools are simply that, ‘schools.’
“To inspire, to engage, to light a fire, to change lives – these are the results of a Gospel vision and passion that occur within a committed partnership, a convinced and courageous partnership that educates in a way that is unambiguously and, therefore, distinctively Catholic. Because of that identity, we have in our Catholic schools unambiguous and distinct opportunities to evangelize. That is where the vision and the passion come in. Evangelization, Catholic education, is a vision and passion for excellence.”
Excerpted from Bishop O’Connell’s Catholic Schools’ homily, March 17, 2011
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