Those who are involved in Catholic education are to be on the “leading edge of the new evangelization,” writes Archbishop Samuel Aquila of Denver, Colo., in a column in honor of Catholic Schools Week in the Denver Catholic Register.
Reminding parents that they are the “first and most important teachers” that students will ever have, Archbishop Aquila also emphasizes the importance of Catholic schools in forming the whole child, stating that it’s “vital to the future success of our society.”
Archbishop Aquila reflects on the “spread of secularism” and how Catholic schools can be a part of the solution to the “cultural currents” that work against Christianity today. He writes:
Benedict XVI highlighted one of these cultural currents when he coined the term “the dictatorship of relativism” to describe the growing loss of the belief that there is objective truth. Every idea and thought is not equal and must be tested for the truth. The consequence of this change is the loss of a common moral language, and Catholic schools can help fight this by reinforcing parents’ moral formation of their children.
Pope Francis highlighted another trend in his recent apostolic exhortation, Evangelii Gaudium (“The Joy of the Gospel”). He pointed out that society has become “information-driven” and that it “bombards us indiscriminately with data—all treated as being of equal importance.” …This cultural sea-change makes Catholic schools’ mission of teaching critical thinking vital for discerning between what is true and good, and what is harmful.
But a Catholic education is not complete if it fails to instill a sense of mission in its students and equip them to share their personal encounter with the Father, Son and Holy Spirit with the world. Every Catholic school, diocesan or private, has the task as Blessed John Paul II said in Catechesi Tradendae (“Catechesis in Our Time”), “to put people not only in touch but in communion, in intimacy, with Jesus Christ: only he can lead us to the love of the Father in the Spirit and make us share in the life of the Holy Trinity.”
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