Director of Faith & Religious Studies

Catholic Identity and Mission-Part 1
Last year the term “Enhancing Catholic Identity” created such a buzz around Catholic education, it even gained prominence in the Archdiocese. So much so, that it was hard not to hear this term in many Catholic circles.  When the word “enhancing” is placed in front of “Catholic identity”, we are dealing with a complex term that requires a detailed explanation to appreciate the full extent of what it means. However, we need a starting point.

Catholic schools are called to be real and living expressions of the Church’s pastoral mission in the world. Schools are challenged to be centres of ‘the New Evangelisation’ and to proclaim and give witness to Jesus Christ. Catholic schools should nurture students in their lifelong journey in faith and help them develop as mature people. Empowered to shape and enrich the world by living the Gospel of Jesus Christ in their everyday lives.

Catholic schools support students and their families in connecting with Catholic traditions and accessing the richness of our shared faith and spiritual heritage. Through quality Religious Education, students are supported in developing their relationship with God. This is done through, rich experiences of prayer and celebration, reflection, and engagement in social action and justice.

Developing faith is a lifelong process. Parents are the first and foremost educators of their children and the family is generally the first place where children come to Christian faith. Catholic Schools provide Religious Education to nourish and develop the faith of students in partnership with the family, parish and local community.

The mission to provide quality Religious Education is one entrusted to us by the Church. It is a mission we take seriously, and for all of us to have a shared understanding and be supportive of. We should have our ‘thumbprints’ clearly over the Catholic identity of our school.

We have a lot to be proud of as a Catholic school in Catholic Education Week. Yet as stated previously, faith formation is an ongoing journey. We should never think we have already arrived at the destination and our work is done. We must continue the work of Jesus Christ and the mission to be proclaimers of the good news and importantly, be a school that is befitting the legacy of St John Bosco.

Our Catholic identity must never be hidden away, but rather joyously celebrated!

Stephen Connelly
Director of Faith and Religious Studies