SCHOOL, HOME AND PARISH: BUILDING BRIDGES TOWARDS FAITH

A recurring theme in documentation emulating from Conferences of Catholic Bishops across the world is the crucial nature of the relationship between School, Home and the Parish. The U.S. Conference of Catholic Bishops states that the mission of Catholic education is to provide a particular environment for New Evangelization by presenting the Gospel anew within the school and parish communities whilst providing support for parents who may not feel entirely comfortable delivering catechetical programs to their children.

In the catholic education sector we recognize that our schools can support some of our parents by offering more opportunities for communal prayer and providing information to help them work on deepening their faith with their children; however, we also recognize the diversity of our communities and we welcome children and families from all religions of the world in our schools. All our celebrations, liturgies and para-liturgies are inclusive and are designed to allow children to develop their own spiritual identity whether as Catholics, Christians of other denominations or of other faiths. Catholic schools promote personal and communal prayer and reflection and as a community of faith we seek to empower each individual to understand, live and bear witness to his/her faith whilst maintaining a respectful awareness of others’ beliefs. We are on a journey of faith together as a community. We often talk about Student Learning Outcomes in educational circles but what is our desired “outcome” for our children, or for that matter ourselves? For most of us that is an eschatological dimension – something beyond our current reality. In establishing our personal relationships with God we can subsequently grow as a community of faith and journey together towards passing the ultimate test and securing everlasting life.

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