What is “a Catholic worldview?” A worldview is “the gaze upon the totality of existence in its concrete particularity. This existence, however, is not seen indifferently, but as a task, as a demand to work and imitate.” (R. Guardini) There are two essential components to this definition: the gaze and the task. A worldview “gazes” upon the concrete things of existence from the perspective of totality, or the whole. In other words we cannot understand an object until we see it in a context. For example, we can make no sense of a hand until we understand it as part of a body. If we continue in this direction, we reach that ultimate context or whole—the worldview. This worldview is not a consciously articulated theory; rather it is an intuitive grasp of the whole—a network of basic assumptions that we make about the world. It allows us to place the concrete objects of experience in context so that we can begin to understand them in their particularity.
Guardini writes, “To believe means to go to Christ from that place where one stands. It means to see with his eyes; to measure by his norm. The believer stands beyond the world through him, simply by believing.” This view comes from the heart of the Church. “She is the historical bearer of the full vision of Christ over the world. The Catholic attitude of the individual rests herein, that he lives from the Church.” To Pope John Paul II, the Catholic worldview is a way of understanding reality in light of “the total truth about God, humanity and the world.” (cited in E. Echevarria, The Apostolate of College Campus Ministry—John Paul II’s contribution ) A worldview influences how we look at everything in life, and how we think and act in all circumstances, though we may not even be aware of having a “worldview.” A Catholic worldview often starts with a Christian anthropology.
Other worldviews Most of us have a worldview that is informed by many things other than our Catholic faith. For example, by secularism, by a culture that is profoundly un-Christian and even anti-Christian. Pope Benedict and St. John Paul used terms such as “reductive secularism” and “relativism” to describe the secular humanist worldviews prevalent in western society. Other terms include “scientism”, “rationalism”, “naturalism”, “modernism”, postmodernism”, etc to describe alternative worldviews
Anaconda Insert a music video that demonstrates a world view in opporsition to Catholicism e.g. Anaconda by Nicki Minaj
Catholic Worldview at School Every school culture conveys to its community a particular ethos or view of the world An authentic Catholic school will live and breathe a vison that is shaped by reflection, action, official teaching and prayer that is grounded in the teachings of Jesus and His Church. Physical space, allocation of time and resources, relationships and quality of teaching and learning can all express a worldview.
“When Catholic worldview permeates a school’s life, then it is the driving force behind every activity, so that the Church’s mission may be served effectively.” Archbishop Michael Miller Growing Forward, February 21, 2014
Challenges Challenge #1: Creating and sharing a Catholic worldview with staff and students Do you have staff in place that can articulate a Catholic worldview? What would it take to form staff to clearly disseminate a Catholic worldview? What resources would the division need? Are they available? How can you ensure that your teachers are presenting the Catholic worldview daily to your students? Is there evidence that can be found in the planning and outcomes of lessons and subjects?
Challenge #2: Polarization of Secular and Church culture Is a Catholic worldview overtly available on your website and in newsletters? On your stationary, school signs and in your messaging to the community? How might this happen? The Catholic worldview is one of full inclusivity, a spirit of hospitality and invitation – would your LGBTQ youth encounter this in your schools?
Challenge #3: The need for a strong leadership in creating Catholic environments in schools Describe concretely how your school is physically different than the public school across the street. Articulate how the ethos of your school is different. Can you see it in your policies, daily school routines, fundraising, extracurricular, etc.? Without looking it up, recite to your group your school’s (division) mission statement.
Proposed Standards for Catholic Worldview (selected) The school’s Catholic worldview is evident in the art and architecture of the school’s exterior and signage as well as in hallways, classrooms, offices, library, cafeteria, gymnasium and auditorium. The school/board office has a chapel or specific space for community prayer that is used solely for the purpose of prayer and worship. Students have opportunities to pray numerous times every day Eucharist (source and summit) is celebrated either in the school or local parish on a “regular” basis. Service projects reflect and articulate Catholic teachings on social justice and charity.