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Honor Roll Principles

Principles: Catholic High School Honor Roll

StudentsThe Cardinal Newman Society relies on the teachings of the Catholic Church about Catholic education as the foundation for the Catholic High School Honor Roll. These teachings expect parents to take seriously their role in the education of their children1 and school leaders to seek ways to create "genuinely Catholic" institutions.2 In his book The Holy See’s Teaching on Catholic Schools, Archbishop J. Michael Miller, C.S.B., former secretary of the Vatican Congregation for Catholic Education, cites numerous “papal interventions” and documents published since Vatican II summarizing the goals of education:

"The integral formation of the human person, which is the purpose of education, includes the development of all the human faculties of the students, together with preparation for professional life, formation of ethical and social awareness, becoming aware of the transcendental, and religious education. Every school, and every educator in the school, ought to be striving 'to form strong and responsible individuals, who are capable of making free and correct choices,' thus preparing young people 'to open themselves more and more to reality, and to form in themselves a clear idea of the meaning of life.'"3

Applying Catholic teaching to all aspects of the Catholic high school, The Cardinal Newman Society has created a framework of four fundamental topics: Institutional Identity, Governance and Administration, Faculty and Academics, and Student Life


Institutional Identity

The Catholic school is a faith community4 which contributes to the salvific mission of the Church5 by providing a “privileged environment in which Christian education is carried out”6 through a partnership with parents.7

Description

From its governing organization8 to its administration, faculty, and staff, the culture of the school must be institutionally committed to the Catholic Faith as it comes to us through the Magisterium. The united focus and foundation of the identity of the Catholic school must be on Christ and His Church. Pope Benedict stated, “a good Catholic school, over and above this, should help all its students to become saints.”9

However, a Catholic school should be more than an institution; rather, all constituencies associated with the school are part of a community with a shared mission and vision.10 In the Council texts, the community dimension is primarily a theological concept rather than a sociological category; this is the sense in which it is used in the second chapter of Lumen Gentium, where the Church is described as the People of God.11

Thus, the institutional identity of the Catholic school must, from its very core, be unabashedly Catholic. The ecclesial dimension is not a mere adjunct, but is a proper and specific attribute, a distinctive characteristic which penetrates and informs every “program, policy or commitment” of the institution, a fundamental part of its very identity and the focus of its mission.12, 13


Governance and Administration

Living the Catholic faith in their daily lives by public witness14 and proper formation, Catholic school leaders and administrators carry out the day-to-day task of providing for the intellectual, corporal, and spiritual15 needs of the school community.

Description

As Catholic role models, “…administrators must never have any doubts about the fact that they constitute an element of great hope for the Church. The Church puts its trust in them entrusting them with the task of gradually bringing about an integration of temporal reality with the Gospel and with the integral human formation16 and the faith education of young people.”17


Faculty and Academics

Catholic teachers, through their witness,18 are “practicing Catholics who can understand and accept the teachings of the Catholic Church and the moral demand of the gospel, and who can contribute to the achievement of the school’s Catholic identity and apostolic goals.”19

Description

“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.”20


Student Life

The life of faith needs to be the driving force behind every activity of the school, so the Church’s mission may be served effectively and young people can “deepen their relationship with God and to discover that all things human have their deepest meaning in the person and teaching of Jesus Christ.”21

Description

The integral formation of the human person22 is the purpose of Catholic education. Every school, and every educator in the school, should be striving "to form strong and responsible individuals, who are capable of making free and correct choices,"23 thus preparing young people "to open themselves more and more to reality, and to form in themselves a clear idea of the meaning of life." Thus, the Catholic school creates “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.”24


1 Cf, Gravissimum Educationis, 3,6; John Paul II, Familiaris Consortio, 36; Lay Catholics in Schools, 12; Pontifical Council for the Family,  Charter of the Rights of the Family (October 22, 1983), 1-3;  Code of Canon Law, canon 793; Catechism of the Catholic Church, n.2229; John Paul II, Letter to Families, 16; Pontifical Council for Justice and Peace, Compendium of the Social Doctrine of the Church (Vatican City: Vatican Press, 2005), n.239.

2 Blessed John Paul II, Ad Limina Address to American Bishops of the Ecclesiastical Provinces of Portland in Oregon, Seattle, and Anchorage (June 24, 2004), 1: Origins, 34:14 (September 16, 2004), 220-221.

3 Miller, J. Michael, The Holy See’s Teaching on Catholic Schools, Sophia Press, 2006; Lay Catholics in Schools, 17, The Catholic School 31; cf. The Religious Dimension of Education in the Catholic School, 99.

4 Lay Catholics in School: Witnesses to Faith, 41.

5 The Catholic School and the Salvific Mission of the Church, 5-7.

6 The Catholic School on the Threshold of the Third Millennium, 11.

7 Familiaris Consortio, 36; The Catholic School on the Threshold of the Third Millennium, 20.

8 Comment – How is the school governed? (diocesesan, parish, religious order, board of trustees, or another governing body).

9 Pope Benedict XVI,  Address of the Holy Father to Pupil of St. Mary’s University College, September 17, 2010

10 Gravissimum Educationis, 18.

11  The Religious Dimension of Education in a Catholic School, 31.

12,13 The Catholic School on the Threshold of the Third Millennium, 11.

14 Apostolic Journey to the United States of America and visit to the United Nations Organization Headquarters, Meeting with Catholic Educators, Address of His Holiness Benedict, XVI, 2008.

15 Comment: integral Formation includes Mind, Body & Soul.

16 See footnote #3.

17 Lay Catholics in Schools, Witnesses to Faith, 81.

18 Gravissimum Educationis, 5.

19 USCCB (2005), National Directory for Catechesis, 231.

20 The Catholic School on the Threshold of the Third Millennium, 14.

21 Blessed Pope John Paul II Ad Limina address to visiting bishops from Ecclesiastical Provinces of Illinois, Indiana, and Wisconsin, May 30, 1998.

22 See footnote #3.

23 See footnote #3.

24 The Catholic School, 47.

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