A lot of parents send their kids to Catholic schools, believing these places provide outstanding quality education. Five Essential Marks of Catholic Schools. It calls for the fullest development of all that is human, because we have been made masters of the world by its Creator. The Holy See's documents insist that, in order to be worthy of its name, a Catholic school must be founded on Jesus Christ, the Redeemer. The Church is a holy institution made up of sinners. If Catholic schools are to be true to their identity, they will suffuse their environment with a delight in the sacramental. As an institution, Catholic education is the formation of young individuals to be good citizens in the world and also lovers of God and neighbor. They are very similar in all aspects to the Catholic Church (sacraments, holy orders, dogma) except the authority of the pope. Central to the Catholic school is its mission of holiness, of saint-making. Catholic Families Worship Together–The Eucharist is the source of our love and the sign of the intimacy to which we are called. Unwavering commitment to truth is at home in an authentically Catholic school. It strives to develop virtue "by the integration of culture with faith and of faith with living." Introduction What are Characteristics? The Congregation for Catholic Education has written that "the Catholic school tries to create 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.". Archbishop Miller is a specialist on the papacy and modern papal teaching, he has published seven books and more than 100 articles, scholarly, popular and journalistic. . Here are the five marks that give a school a good Catholic identity: Report. Discovery and awareness of truth leads man to the discovery of Truth itself. Their communion fosters appreciation of the various charisms and vocations that build up a genuine school community and strengthen scholastic solidarity. In an ad limina address to a group of American bishops in June 2004, Pope John Paul II summed up this point: "The Church's presence in elementary and secondary education must . Catholic schools are obligated to evangelize simply because that is the core and mission of the Catholic Church, according to Thomas Burnford, president and CEO of the NCEA. They are to educate "in the truth.". Know teaching, learning, and best practices. Personal relationships marked by mutual trust, close cooperation, and continuing dialogue are required for a genuine spirit of communion. Also know what good governance and family engagement look like. Steven Virgadamo Articulates 5 Essential Marks of an Authentically Catholic School 1. To fulfill their responsibility of speaking about the Father, educators in Catholic schools, with very few exceptions, should be practicing Catholics who are committed to the Church and living her sacramental life. Because of the gospel's guiding role in a Catholic school, one might be tempted to think that the school's distinctiveness lies only in the quality of its religious instruction, catechesis, and pastoral activities. ", A Catholic school, therefore, cannot be a factory for the learning of various skills and competencies designed to fill the echelons of business and industry. See our Privacy Policy and User Agreement for details. Rather, "the Catholic school sets out to be a school for the human person and of human persons.". A third mark of catholicity is the emphasis on the school as a community – a community of persons and, even more to the point, "a genuine community of faith." It is the Catholic faith that provides young people with the essential principles for critique and evaluation. Finally, it proposes Christ, Incarnate Son of God and perfect Man, as both model and means; to imitate him is, for all men and women, the inexhaustible source of personal and communal perfection. A mark is a given and known sign by which a thing can be distinguished from all others of its kind. Five Essential Marks of Catholic Schools. . It is he who must judge whether the children in the Catholic schools in his diocese are receiving the fullness of the Church's faith in their catechetical and religious formation. A sense of sacramentality—Today’s families may not have holy water fonts in each room or pray the rosary as a family. As we lead and participate in discussions regarding special character and school culture we should consider these points both where they confirm what we do … 1-Inspired by a Supernatural Vision As an institution, Catholic education is the formation of young individuals to be good citizens in … With trust comes dialogue. Does this mean that each and every Catholic is holy? In the United States, various accrediting agencies monitor the institutional effectiveness of schools' educational activities. ", Knowledge and understanding are far more than the accumulation of information. In particular, pastors should set in place "specific programs of formation" that will enable the laity to take on responsibilities for teaching in Catholic schools. on Christian anthropology. New teachers come into a school fired up to teach and innovate. In an age of information overload, Catholic schools must be especially attentive in their instruction to strike the delicate balance between human experience and understanding. Both bishops and educators, whether singly or in associations, should avail themselves of open, sincere, and regular dialogue in their joint efforts on behalf of Catholic schools. Five Essential Marks of a Catholic School. Schools prepare students to relate the Catholic faith to their particular culture and to live that faith in practice. Many feel that they can make a difference. It is Catholic because it provides an education in the intellectual and moral virtues. The witness never refers to himself but to something, or rather, to Someone greater than he, whom he has encountered and whose dependable goodness he has sampled. Maskot / Getty Images. © 1996-2019 Catholic Education Resource Center | Privacy Policy | Disclaimer | Sitemap, CERC is an entirely reader-supported web site and non-profit charity. See our User Agreement and Privacy Policy. Effective Catholic school leaders 1. Attitude of the Office Staff . It is, therefore, important for all who are involved in Catholic education to be familiar with the following five essential marks of a Catholic School. The pastor is fully engaged in promoting the school—its mission, its brand, its successes and the value of the education. The Four Marks of the Church, also known as the Attributes of the Church, is a term describing four distinctive adjectives—" One, Holy, Catholic and Apostolic " —of traditional Christian ecclesiology as expressed in the Niceno-Constantinopolitan Creed completed at the First Council of Constantinople in AD 381: " [We believe] in one, holy, catholic, and apostolic Church." What follows is a short description of five dimensions of Catholic education. Catholic teachers are to cultivate in themselves and develop in others a passion for truth that defeats moral and cultural relativism. When addressing Catholic-school principals in the National Directory for Catechesis (2005), the American bishops give unequivocal direction: "Recruit teachers who are practicing Catholics, who can understand and accept the teachings of the Catholic Church and the moral demands of the gospel, and who can contribute to the achievement of the school's Catholic identity and apostolic goals." The Four Marks of the Church, also known as the Attributes of the Church, is a term describing four distinctive adjectives—"One, Holy, Catholic and Apostolic" —of traditional Christian ecclesiology as expressed in the Niceno-Constantinopolitan Creed completed at the First Council of Constantinople in AD 381: "[We believe] in one, holy, catholic, and apostolic Church." It is important that the bishop be involved in Catholic schools not only by exercising veto power – whether over texts, curricula, or teachers – but also by taking an active role in fostering the specifically Catholic ethos of schools under his jurisdiction. The purpose of an education in a Catholic school is not just to ensure future economic success, but to encourage our pupils to serve the common good of society. Five Essential Marks of Catholic Schools by ARCHBISHOP J. MICHAEL MILLER, CSB A Comparison of 2 Sixth Grade Texts: Ignatius Press – Faith and Life Series: “Following Christ” & William H. Sadlier – Coming to Faith Series: “Coming to Gods Word” Catholic educators are expected to be models for their students by bearing transparent witness to Christ and to the beauty of the gospel. Catholic Identity and Mission 01/14/2013 Page 3 The essential marks of a Catholic School, as noted by Archbishop Miller, include: Inspired by a Supernatural Vision: to foster the growth of good Catholic human beings who love God and neighbor and thus fulfill their destiny of becoming saints. Know the business of schools. The Congregation's Religious Dimension of Education in a Catholic School sums up this new emphasis: The declaration Gravissimum Educationis notes an important advance in the way a Catholic school is thought of: the transition from the school as an institution to the school as a community. "During childhood and adolescence a student needs to experience personal relations with outstanding educators, and what is taught has greater influence on the student's formation when placed in a context of personal involvement, genuine reciprocity, coherence of attitudes, lifestyle, and day-to-day behavior." u/EmelieWilson. In an article titled, “Five Essential Marks of Catholic Schools,” Archbishop J. Michael Miller quotes Michael J. Guerra, former president of the National Catholic Educational Association, who once remarked, "The first and most important task for Catholic schools is to maintain and continually strengthen their Catholic identity" (2006). By contrast, veteran teachers provide years of experience and understanding about how to manage their classrooms and get things done in the school… The national conversation on saving Catholic schools has gained momentum and moved beyond defining the scope and nature of the problem to sharing real progress. FOUNDED ON CHRISTIAN ANTHROPOLOGY … founded . Papal interventions and Roman documents repeatedly emphasize that certain characteristics must be present for a school to be considered authentically Catholic. Because of this complementarity of the natural and the supernatural, Catholic educators should have a sound understanding of the human person that addresses the requirements of both the natural and the supernatural perfection of the children entrusted to their care. ", Intrinsically related to the search for wisdom is another idea frequently repeated in Vatican teaching: the confidence that the human mind, however limited its powers, can come to a knowledge of truth. Five Essential Marks of Catholic schools. vision . This concern ensures that the student is seen as a person whose intellectual growth is harmonized with spiritual, religious, emotional, and social growth. 3. A growing movement in the philanthropic community focuses on creating change and implementing best practices to sustain and ensure the future of Catholic schools. Such prayer teaches students that they belong to the communion of saints, a community that knows no bounds. The five elements that necessarily belong to a school's Catholic identity are the principles proposed by the Holy See that justify the Church's heavy investment in schooling. In Lay Catholics in Schools: Witnesses to Faith, the Vatican proposes a response: In today's pluralistic world, the Catholic educator must consciously inspire his or her activity with the Christian concept of the person, in communion with the Magisterium of the Church. These Roman documents identify the characteristics of a Catholic School that makes it distinctively ‘Catholic’. Since the school is rightly considered an extension of the home, it ought to have "some of the amenities which can create a pleasant and family atmosphere." We all have funny stories to share … Press J to jump to the feed. Catholicism is a remarkably rich religion, characterized by a complex tapestry of beliefs, practices, values, rituals, traditions, and more. Catholic schools take up the daunting task of freeing boys and girls from the insidious consequences of what Pope Benedict XVI has called the "dictatorship of relativism" – a dictatorship that cripples all genuine education. William Saunders: Christ sanctifies the Church, and in turn, through Him and with Him, the Church is His agent of sanctification. Press question mark to learn the rest of the keyboard shortcuts. 1-Inspired by a Supernatural Vision. When such a policy is ignored, it is inevitable that children will absorb, even if they are not explicitly taught, a soft indifferentism that will sustain neither their practice of the faith nor their ability to imbue society with Christian values. As human beings, we are made to be social. Closely following papal teaching, the Holy See's documents on schools insist that education is about truth – in both its natural and its supernatural dimensions: The school considers human knowledge as a truth to be discovered. 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