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Educating Today and Tomorrow: A renewing passion

Last week, Wednesday to Saturday, I attended the world Congress on Catholic education organised by the Vatican to celebrate the 50th anniversary of the publication of Gravissimum Educationes. The papers and details of the conference are available HERE. 

On Saturday, Pope Francis addressed over 7,000 delegates at the Conference. He answered a number of questions from educators working in difficult situations around the world. He made the following points (as I understood from the translation!):

  • To educate in the Christian manner, we must educate young people in the fullness of their humanity (there was much emphasis on holistic education).
  • We cannot educate within the walls of exclusivity.
  • We must be open to transcendence so that the Lord can manifest Himself in the work. We must make room for dialogue to let Christ in.
  • We must take risks, particularly in informal education. Pope Francis cited the example of teaching a child to walk – it’s slow and they might fall over but they have to keep going.
  • We must teach young people in the languages of thinking, doing and feeling.
  • “We all have a place”.
  • A real school must teach ideas, habits and values.

Pictured above CEIST CEO, Dr. Marie Griffin, meeting Bishop Brendan Kelly, retired Bishop of Kerry Dr Bill Murphy and Bishop Brendan Leahy at the Catholic school conference. 

Young People Attending Catholic Schools and Universities

There has been an extraordinary growth in the number of young people worldwide attending Catholic schools and Universities. In 2012, nearly 19 million students attended Catholic secondary schools, a growth from 8.6m in 1971.

The challenge for Catholic universities, primary and secondary schools is to redefine, for current circumstances and to meet the many challenges of today, how they are to be present and serve. It was apparent, from examples cited, that schools around the world are facing many challenges, as we are ourselves.

However, there is a great commitment to Catholic education and a huge community of dedicated educators to which you all belong.

Belated good wishes to all our Presentation schools for Presentation day last Saturday.

School Session (Part II)

Click here to view further information and resources from the congress.