Philosophy of Total Catholic Education
The educational mission of the Catholic Church finds its center in the life and teachings of Jesus, who reveals God’s design for all creation. In Jesus, the Church invites all people into communion with the Father, Son and Spirit and into the mission of transforming all of life into God’s kingdom. Through education, the Church seeks to prepare her members to hear, live and proclaim the good news of the Gospel. The shared tradition of the Church supports, challenges, and enlightens persons at every stage of human life as they grow toward their full potential as individuals and as members of family, Church and world.
Catholic education includes all the deliberate, systematic, and sustained efforts of the Church community, in both formal and informal educational settings, to develop the skills, knowledge, and values needed for life. In today’s pluralistic society, the Church offers the harmonizing perspective of faith to human culture and history. Catholic education sees all knowledge as sacred when human insight is combined with divine revelation in the pursuit of truth, goodness, and beauty.
Catholic education involves the active participation of the learner in studying and interpreting human experience in the light of faith, so as to advance God’s glory and the dignity of all peoples. Through methods appropriate to differing age-levels and ways people learn, the Church provides opportunities for the learner to explore, reflect, and integrate a Christian understanding of nature, self, society and God, and to manifest this in their lives of love and service. In this endeavor, the Church recognizes the learner’s dependence on grace to bring human nature to completion.
It is the educator--teacher, administrator, pastor--who is preeminent in creating the unique climate in which a Catholic philosophy of education can be realized. Called to a specific ministry in the Church, Catholic educators are committed to professional excellence and spiritual growth in their Christian lives, witnessing to the Tradition and vision they share. Respecting each learner as created by God with special gifts and needs, they direct the learning process as guide and companion.
The Church calls parents, as the first educators of their children in knowledge and faith, to partnership in the mission of Catholic education by taking responsibility for their own life-long learning and supporting the educational opportunities offered for their children. The entire Catholic community, especially the parish family, shares responsibility for providing the learning environment, the resources, the leadership, and the community of faith that supports the educational mission of the Church.