One of the main staples of a thriving and constantly growing Catholic school is a strong and undying sense of mission and purpose. A Catholic school above all others must stay steady in their faith and know where they stand at the present moment and where they intend to stand in the future. Unfortunately Catholic education has come under much scrutiny in the past decade due to religious views from those outside the institution and varying ideas to how the organization is allowed to operate.
On the other side of the fence, there are countless families across the country and across the word that believe in a faith based education system. Generations have passed through the doors of some of the most famous institutions and continue to support them by making generous donations or being available to assist in many ways. For those that are well informed about the educational workings of a religious school they understand the strong drive for personal betterment, social responsibility, and community involvement. These same institutions also have high standards in respect to personal faith and morals.
Every so often organizations question the meaning of a religious school and who the school really caters to. The question of whether a religious institution caters to students of a particular faith and are willing to only teach according to that faith, or are they just a private school that welcomes in students of all religions. Dr. Jamie Arthur of The Cardinal Newman Society addressed these concerns in an insightful quote stating, “Catholic schools cannot compromise on Catholicity for it is the integrity and reputation of this ‘brand’ that parents are desperately seeking to assist them in the intellectual and spiritual development of their children.” It is this kind of teaching that keeps the Catholic education systems strong and able to share its ideals and knowledge. It is these same schools that are the most successful in the United States because they know what they want and who they are at their very core. They are not afraid or ashamed to be Catholic and support their religion and know their mission and purpose.
The Archbishop Salvatore Cordileone was recently quoted on the subject of faith identity and its relation to Catholic school and he relayed the message you see below.
“Keeping the focus on Christ keeps the focus on what the heart and mission of a Catholic school is,” the archbishop stated. “The heart and the mission of Catholic education is evangelization—to help our young people know and love Christ. The reference has to be constantly on the person of Jesus Christ. Without the person of Jesus Christ, there’s no point in having Catholic schools.”