In a meeting with Catholic Educators, on April 17, 2008, His Holiness Benedict XVI articulated that “….education is integral to the mission of the church to proclaim the Good News. First and foremost every Catholic educational institution is a place to encounter the living God who in Christ Jesus reveals his transforming love and truth (c.f. spe.Salvi 4). The Catholic community here has in fact made education one of its highest priorities. This undertaking has not come without great sacrifice. Towering figures like Saint Elizabeth Ann Seton and other founders and foundresses with great tenacity and foresight, laid the foundation of what is today a remarkable network of parochial schools contributing to the spiritual well being of the church and nation..”. The Catholic school participates in the evangelizing mission of the Church and is the privileged environment in which Christian education is carried out. (The Catholic School on the Threshold of the Third Millennium, n.11). Evangelizing means; bringing the Good News into all strata of humanity, and through its influence, transforms humanity from within and making it new. It involves, but is not restricted to, scripture, prayer, history, liturgical events, homilies, spiritual exercises, theological insights, personal faith sharing, diverse learning experiences and last but not least the understanding of the Catechesis. The teaching of the Catholic faith or Catechesis is a response to God’s call to continued conversion and deepening of faith. As a process it is a coming to know and respond to God more fully. Catechesis is a vital element within the evangelizing work of the Church and its schools.“The deﬁnitive aim of catechesis is to put people not only in touch, but also in communion and intimacy, with Jesus Christ”… Parents, as the ﬁrst teachers of their children, retain prime responsibility for fostering their growth by work and example in faith and Christian living. Bishops are responsible for ensuring that the tradition of the Church is taught and expressed faithfully throughout the schools. The local parish priest / parish leader, who has responsibility for the proclamation of the word of God, ensures that the Religious Education Policy is implemented in the school community in conformity with the Religious Education Curriculum Framework established for the diocese. The parish priest has the obligation of ensuring that the word of God is proclaimed in its entirety to those living in the parish… (Code of Canon Law, 1983, can. 528 #1) GOOD NEWS >>> forliving 14 Exercising particular leadership responsibilities in the school community, the principal ensures that the school staff develops programs that are faithful both to the religious education curriculum and to the needs and maturity of the students. It is the classroom teacher who cooperates with the bishop, priest, principal, parents, students, and other teachers in the delivery of school programs and the religious education curriculum to fulﬁl the evangelizing mission of the Church within each classroom and for each student. Can it be said therefore, that students who attend Catholic schools in Trinidad and Tobago have a distinctive and profound understanding of the Catholic Faith? Can it also be said that along with a firm academic background and the understanding of the Catechesis that the Catholic educational institutions here, assist students to encounter the living God through its high level of spiritual programs?
In the most profound sense, the purpose of Catholic education is to sponsor the integral education of the human person through a clear educational project of which Christ is the foundation. Catholic education is important because it promotes Christian values and provides academic excellence. Catholic education nurtures spiritual, physical and emotional growth and encourages students to become life-long...
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