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Archbishop’s message on Catholic education brings Gospel values to the fore

To mark 2019’s week of celebrations, Archbishop Philip Tartaglia pastoral letter explains the key mission of our Faith schools

My dear brothers and sisters in Christ, each year around this time, we celebrate Catholic
Education Week. During this week we:

■ Celebrate the God-given talents and achievements of our young people;

■ Acknowledge the hard work and Faith witness of the staff in our schools;

■ Mark the unique contribution that Catholic education makes to our families, our parishes and to wider Scottish society;

■ Reflect on the mission of the Catholic school for the future.

This year, the theme of Catholic Education Week is Promoting Gospel Values. This theme reflects the vision and aim of Catholic education: that Catholic schools, centred on the person of Jesus Christ, form young people to discover and follow the Christian vocation to live responsibly with and for others in accordance with the message of Christ and so build up and transform society for the better.

This is a message to which our young people readily respond, as can be seen by the high levels of participation in the Pope Francis Faith Award and Caritas programme.

Our Catholic schools are communities of Faith and learning which have at their very centre the person and teaching of Jesus Christ. They are places where our young people not only learn about the Gospels but learn how to live the Gospels. They learn, through their Religious Education programme, about Sacred Scripture and how God reveals himself to us. They also learn about the saints and the many holy men and women who serve asexample and inspiration for us in our life of Faith.

Commending young people

Catholic education commends to our young people the Church’s mission to transform society through love, service and justice, and it reminds our pupils and teachers that they are a part of the Church in action.

Promoting Gospel Values is intrinsic to Catholic education and, along with liturgy, prayer and learning, is one of the defining marks of the Catholic school as an educational community of Faith.

In Catholic schools, our children and young people absorb the message that God is present and active in their lives, especially in challenging or difficult times.

They learn to recognise the signs of God’s love around them and realise that they are called to be instruments of God’s grace in their families, among their friends and in the world. In a Catholic school, there is no such thing as a secular subject, as all learning helps to develop that image of God that is in each person.

Success

I encourage you, then, to give thanks for Catholic education and to pray for its ongoing success. I ask you to support the work of the Scottish Catholic Education Service and all that it does on behalf of our Church, our young people and our families to promote the positive contribution of Catholic schools in Scotland.

I encourage you all to speak out positively on behalf of Catholic education, sharing the good news that Catholic schools remain good for Scotland.

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