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WHAT DOES IT MEAN TO BE CATHOLIC?. “We need to be reminded more often than instructed.”S.Johnson  Catholics are Christians who affirm Jesus –we are saved.

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Presentation on theme: "WHAT DOES IT MEAN TO BE CATHOLIC?. “We need to be reminded more often than instructed.”S.Johnson  Catholics are Christians who affirm Jesus –we are saved."— Presentation transcript:


2 “We need to be reminded more often than instructed.”S.Johnson  Catholics are Christians who affirm Jesus –we are saved  Tradition is important to us  Catholics use minds and hearts –ratio et fides  We believe in sacramentality  ordinary reveals extraordinary  Catholics emphasize community  we are the Body of Christ

3 Core characteristics of Christianity:  positive anthropology;  conviction of the sacramentality of life;  emphasis on relationship;  commitment to history, tradition  appreciation of wisdom;  emphasis on: –spirituality –social justice –hospitality

4 According to the Bishops’ 1972 letter “To Teach as Jesus Did”, the Catholic school is characterized by :  Teaching of the message of Jesus  Creation of a faith community  The expectation of Christian service

5 Message:  We teach the Scriptures and Tradition  We study the life and teachings of Jesus  We study the teachings and doctrine of the Church  We infuse the religious dimension into all parts of the curriculum  We train our teachers in the knowledge of the Catholic religion and methods for teaching religion

6 Message  There is an annual faculty retreat  There is a clear articulation of the religious mission of the school  There is a concise plan for updating of religion curricula  There is a requirement that teachers be updated regularly on Church teaching

7 Community  We welcome all into the school community  We regularly share our faith and take opportunities for communal prayer and worship.  We treat all persons with dignity and respect.  We relate the school community to the larger parish and Church community

8 Community  Students participate in meaningful liturgies and prayer opportunities  Teachers are inserviced on various forms of prayer  Parents are involved in sacramental preparation  Parents are involved in the religious formation of their children

9 Service  Service learning opportunities are an integral part of the curriculum  Students are instructed on the integration of Gospel teaching into service  Service projects are regularly assessed with regard to the appropriateness and value  Students are instructed in the social justice teachings of the Church

10 Service  Issues such as racism, ageism, sexism are addressed by the school and by teachers  Students are challenged to live in a socially responsible way by taking example from administrators and teachers  There is a conscious effort to recruit a diverse student population  There is a sense of global responsibility

11 What Makes the School Catholic?

12 Elements of Catholic Identity Catholic Leadership Religious Education Worship Faith Development Witness/Service Faith Community Total Person/Student Philosophy Tradition Parental Involvement

13 Leadership: a rubric  School administration and staff give witness to the lived Gospel.  The principal develops and promotes integration of faith and values.  Financial accountability and sharing of resources reflect Catholic social teaching.  The administrator emphasizes the Catholic nature of the school in the public forum.

14 Religious Education: a rubric  There is an articulated religion program.  Priority is given to the teaching of religion.  Values are added to the curriculum.  The religion program articulates the teachings of the Catholic Church.  The religion curriculum is supervised and evaluated.  Teachers of religion are professionally competent.

15 Worship: a rubric  Meaningful liturgies are provided.  Students participate in preparation of liturgical celebrations.  Liturgies and paraliturgical celebrations mark important observances in the school.  Students are instructed in meaning and participation in worship services.

16 Faith Development: a rubric  Signs, symbols, rituals and traditions of the Catholic Church are evident within the environment.  The school fosters and promotes the faith experience of students and staff.  The school teaches prayers and praying as part of the development of students and staff.

17 Witness/Service: a rubric  The students are given instruction on the Church’s social teaching.  Ample opportunities are provided for service to others.  The students and the teachers reflect the lived message of the Gospel

18 Faith Community  The school seeks to aid the parents through programs of family evangelization.  The students and staff see themselves as integral parts of the parish, the diocese, the universal Church.  Opportunities for communal prayer are made available.

19 Total Person: a rubric  The school provides for all aspects of human development: intellectual, social, spiritual.  The school is known as a welcoming place.  The school values the gifts and talents of all its students and staff.  The building and its furnishings reflect a Catholic presence.

20 Philosophy/Mission: a rubric  The mission and philosophy reflect the integration of the Catholic faith and Gospel values with learning and life.  The mission and philosophy are consistent with the educational ministry of the Church.  The school expresses its belief through worship, teaching of Catholic doctrine and programs for spiritual formation.

21 Tradition: a rubric  Besides Scripture, the Church’s tradition is transmitted to students.  The grace and richness of sacramental experience and history is reflected in the curriculum and the climate.  Students and staff study the “heroes” of the faith and strive to emulate their witness.  School traditions reflect the Catholic heritage.

22 Parental Involvement: a rubric  The rights of parents, as primary educators, are respected.  There is accountability to parents and families.  There are ample opportunities for parental involvement in the life of the school.

23 For Us to Ask Ourselves:  How can we use the rubric to determine the extent of presence/absence of the elements of Catholic identity?  What place does Catholic identity have in the school’s strategic plan? In its budget?  What can the school guarantee parents? Students?  What role does Catholic identity play in the development of teachers/ staff?


25 Creating the Catholic Classroom  the physical set-up  creating opportunities to grow and learn  creating the local community  offers to serve  the person in the front of the room

26 The Physical Set-Up  bulletin boards  prayer corner  arrangement of desks, tables  decorations  themes  sacramentals

27 Opportunities to Grow & Learn  WWJD??  Seamless infusion of Catholic values  Time to reflect, pray  Catholic teachings

28 Creating the Local Community  the Domestic Church  “all are welcome”  Importance of forgiveness  Investigation of Learning Styles  Affective climate  Respect for individual differences  Respect for families

29 Offers to Serve  Classroom helpers  Global awareness, concern  Service Projects  Influence on public, political scene

30 The most important element...the people who work there  held to higher standards  “living logos”  “... once in awhile, use words  know when to hold ‘em

31 To Summarize:Our Commitment  to affirm students’ basic goodness, promote their dignity, develop their gifts;  to educate people to live responsibly as responsible partners;  to convince them that their lives are worthwhile and have historical significance.

32 In practical terms:  seamless integration of values;  sacramentality in academic excellence;  emphasis on the community of faith;  development of “right relationship”;  partnership with local and universal Church;  concern for the whole world.

33 Be it known to all who enter here: that Christ is the reason for this school; He is the unseen, but ever- present teacher in its classes, the model of its faculty, the inspiration of its students.

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