At a recent conference I attended for Faith leaders within schools, the vexed question arose about the relevancy of faith in our contemporary times, not just for the young people we work with and essentially minister to on a daily basis, but for adults as well. Of course, whenever this question surfaces, regardless of the forum or context, there will be a multitude of opinions and “philosophical viewpoints” given. I have no doubt right now that as many of our families and staff maybe reading this, their own viewpoints will start to come forth.
It was put to us at the conference that the primary challenge modern culture (if we use this term) offers the Catholic faith is that the former is itself the fruit of a historical-cultural process deeply influenced by faith. This may be reassuring.
In many ways modern culture is an elevated, sophisticated one, containing a great variety of insights and strengths and at times weaknesses, with a surprising adaptability and openness to absorb, to clarify and to unite. Within this context, faith, spirituality and personal values and beliefs still hold a vital place. This is part of the dialogue that we have with our senior students in their studies in Religion and Society Units 1-4.
However, in the present moment it comes across, in many cases, as a ‘culture without faith’, where there is some disconnect from the faith that gave life to it in the first place, and thus, ultimately, a fragile culture maybe emerging- as was proposed by some various opinions at the conference I was a part of.
This has led many of those influenced by modern culture to speak of a generalised loss of faith, and a growing secularism that tends to see a gravitation towards more of an individualism and pluralism, as we attempt to live in a world that grapples with many competing interests.
As we talk about these things with our young people, we must also be prepared to recognise the world they live in and the privileges they enjoy as God’s gifts, and the centrality that faith plays. Whilst we cannot be dismissive of contemporary challenges to faith in our pluralistic society and totally ignore the vast array of opinions and secular influences, at the same time we must actively promote the role that faith can play in finding meaning in a world which is ever challenging to navigate.
This ultimately means we need to consider the relationship between culture and faith in terms of the influence of faith on culture and of culture on faith, with a view to understanding (1) how modern culture is formed and informed to an important degree by faith and now challenges faith to provide answers to questions that have not been asked before, and (2) how faith can challenge culture anew, not just by providing solutions but also by posing new questions itself. The topic of course is very ample and complex, and reflection is required.
Read an update from Acting Principal, Mrs Angela Romano
An update from our Principal, Mr Mark Brockhus, as we prepare to commence the 2019 school year.
Cricket great, Darren Lehmann, visited last week as part of our Ashes Oval Redevelopment Project and our Father's Day Breakfast