Christ at the Centre
The document Christ at the Centre (2012) firmly places Catholic schools at the heart of formation in faith. Below are exerts from the document about the school’s fourfold role:
Fullness of Life
The fullness of life is to be found when Christ is at the centre of our lives. By placing Christ at the centre of all that they are and all that they do, Catholic schools have the potential to promote the “fullness of Christian life” through an “…educational philosophy in which faith, culture and life are brought into harmony.” Catholic schools are to be the communities where the spiritual, cultural and personal worlds within which we live are harmonised to form the roots from which grow our values, motivation, aspirations and the moral imperatives that inform our choices and actions as persons. It is with good reason therefore that Pope Benedict XVI described Catholic schools as “an essential resource for the new evangelization.”
The second key reason why the Church provides Catholic schools is to assist parents in the education and religious formation of their children: “Since parents have given children their life, they are bound by the most serious obligation to educate their offspring and therefore must be recognized as the primary and principal educators. This role in education is so important that only with difficulty can it be supplied where it is lacking.”
The local Church
The partnership between school, home and parish provides the source of a school’s authentic ecclesial foundation – its mission and communion within the Catholic Church – and forms the secure basis for the school’s mission and communion with the parish and the home. Being at the service of the local Church and fostering communion within the local Church is then the third key reason why Catholic schools are provided.
The common good
The fourth key reason why the Catholic Church provides schools is to contribute to the creation of a society that is highly educated, skilled and cultured. For this reason the Church emphasises the contribution that Catholic schools make to the common good of society and its culture.