What Makes a School Catholic?

All schools in the Republic of Ireland hold much in common in terms of structures, curriculum and the centrality of the State examination system. Every school attempts to serve society in a meaningful way. Yet all schools today find themselves in difficult circumstances due to enormous social, cultural and economic changes. In an age dominated by media and information technology, significant new pressures are brought to bear on adolescents, on family structures, on religious practice, on employment mobility and, not least, on behaviour in the school classroom.

In this new cultural context every Catholic school needs to redefine its identity so that it is not just reacting to the latest trend or fashion but that it can truly articulate its self-understanding.

  1. The Catholic school treats every individual human person as a child of God called to share in God’s own life forever.
  2. The Catholic school takes its inspiration from the ministry of Christ.
  3. The Catholic school participates in the mission of the Church within the surrounding culture in which it lives and breathes.
  4. The Catholic school is an inclusive community ideally built on love and formed by the interaction and collaboration of its various components: students, parents, teachers, non-teaching staff and members of the Board.
  5. The Catholic school is at the service of society in both a critical and supportive manner.