Holy Spirit College in Atlanta, Georgia Proclaims 'Love is the Purpose of Education'
Please pray with me for the continued outpouring of the Holy Spirit on this important work in Atlanta, Georgia.
Catholic identity must become the beating heart of a Catholic Educational institution.When it does, the building of a Catholic culture on campus becomes a fruit. In an institution, just as in persons, it begins from the inside and works its way throughout like leaven or yeast in a loaf.
A small classroom at Holy Spirit College where the students receive the finest of instruction by a Professor, even wearing the robe of the classical Wetsern academic tradition, who understnds his holy vocation
ATLANTA, GA (Catholic Online) - As we rapidly approach the beginning of ther "back to school season" I must again affirm my deep conviction that the most important task we face in the restoration of a Christian culture in the West is the authentically Catholic education of the next generation. Central to this mission is the building of authentically Catholic Academies and new and renewed Catholic Colleges and Universities. At the foundation of any genuinely Catholic College or Catholic Academy is a genuine Catholic Identity.
Catholic identity at a Catholic College or a Catholic Academy requires that the academic community understand its ecclesial nature. In an institution, just as in persons, it begins from the inside and works its way throughout like leaven or yeast in a loaf. Catholic identity must become the beating heart of a Catholic Educational institution and provide the infrastructure for its entire educational mission. When it does, the building of a Catholic culture on campus becomes a fruit.
The Catholic culture on campus helps to ensure the integration of the faith in every aspect of the Academy or College, through both word and witness. It flourishes when all who are involved in this educational mission, from the Catholic College President to the Professor in the classroom, first view themselves as disciples, lifelong learners, followers of the Teacher, Jesus Christ. This response is always lived within His Body, the Church, into which they have been incorporated through Baptism. That Church is by its very nature, a teacher, and they participate in her mission.
Education is not something the Church adds something to, as though the process of educating were some kind of nakedly secular pursuit which the Church somehow makes "religious". Rather, education is the very heart and core of the Churches' mission. The Catholic School is a part of the educating mission of the whole Church. In 1997, the Congregation for Catholic Education summarized the Catholic educational mission in "The Catholic School on the Threshold of the Third Millennium". In it they addressed the ecclesial identity of the Catholic School and the integration of faith, culture and life:
"It is from its Catholic identity that the School derives its original characteristics and its "structure" as a genuine instrument of the Church, a place of real and specific pastoral ministry. The Catholic School participates in the evangelizing mission of the Church and is the privileged environment in which Christian education is carried out. In this way "Catholic Schools are at once places of evangelization, of complete formation, of inculturation, of apprenticeship in a lively dialogue between young people of different religions and social backgrounds.. "The ecclesial nature of the Catholic School, therefore, is written in the very heart of its identity as a teaching institution."
Blessed John Paul II in "Ex Corde Ecclesia" (At the Heart of the Church) affirmed: "Since the objective of a Catholic University is to assure in an institutional manner a Christian presence in the university world confronting the great problems of society and culture, every Catholic University, as Catholic, must have the following essential characteristics: 1. a Christian inspiration not only of individuals but of the university community as such; 2. a continuing reflection in the light of the Catholic faith upon the growing treasury of human knowledge, to which it seeks to contribute by its own research; 3. fidelity to the Christian message as it comes to us through the Church;4. an institutional commitment to the service of the people of God and of the human family in their pilgrimage to the transcendent goal which gives meaning to life..."
Though there may be some difference in the application of these principles depending upon the level of the educational institution, the principles remain the same. The President and leaders of a Catholic College or Catholic Academy should both know and implement Catholic teaching concerning Catholic education. They should think with the mind of the Church in choosing faculty and staff who do likewise and articulate that teaching to the entire academic community under their care.
I write to once again affirm one of the most promising examples I have found of an institution which is implementing the teaching of the Church in both a Catholic Preparatory Academy and a New Catholic College which has grown from the same strong root of Catholic identity, Holy Spirit College. I recently spoke with the President ...
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