A sacramental outlook invites Catholic educators to develop and nurture their own sacramental consciousness. When Catholic educators live their own lives in appreciation of the goodness of creation and as meaningful and worthwhile, their attitude permeates their interaction in the educational milieu and will encourage a similar outlook in others. The ideal of a Catholic school is to educate its members into a world that is sacred and holy because it is God’s creation. Appreciation for God’s gift finds expression in the attitudes and actions of a school community through liturgy and stewardship. School policies and practices include reverence for the sacredness of created things through environmentally respectful actions that regard creation as the Lord’s and for the enhancement of the life of all people.
Strategies to Develop a Sacramental Awareness in Catholic Schools
- create attractive learning environments
- attend to the sacred dimension in all subject areas
- celebrate key moments in the life of the community
- provide opportunities to participate in the sacramental and liturgical life of the church
- include sacramental awareness programs in faith and professional development activities
- keep a clean and healthy environment for learning
- promote environmental awareness programs
- celebrate the gifts of creation, Earth Day
- participate in recycling programs
- encourage responsible stewardship of resources
How does Catholic education express the sacramentality of all creation?
The fundamental task of Catholic schools is the integration of faith and culture and the integration of faith and life. The task is reached by integrating all the different aspects of human knowledge and in the growth of the virtues characteristic of Christians. Through this integration, the Catholic school models the kind of community that forms students to be citizens who care for the common good and and people of faith committed to the reign of God in the world. Catholic schools contribute to the common good of society.
Strategies to develop the Community Dimension of Catholic Schools:
- Invite reflection on the mission statement of the school and/or school jurisdiction
- Encourage committees that will animate the life of the school
- Celebrate the unity within the diversity of the school population
- Celebrate and participate in societal and community events and church sponsored initiatives such as Family Day, United Nations Day, Ecumenism
- Foster social consciousness by addressing social ills through events such as Share Lent, Elimination of Racism Day
- Integrate community service programs and projects into the life of the school
- Hold induction ceremonies for new staff, students, parents, welcoming them into the community
- Communicate to school community members about the life of the school
What does the community dimension mean for a Catholic school community?
1 Corinthians 1:10
Prayer: God, indivisible Trinity of Love, you created us in your image. May husbands and wives unite and raise children in your loving way. We ask that all families find inspiration in the Holy Family of Nazareth and pass along to their children humane and Christian values, establishing a strong foundation for a more loving society. (Adapted from the prayer for the 6th World Meeting of Families).
Reflection Question: How can you work in unity with other Christians to spread the Good News of Jesus Christ?
Discussion Questions: Our Catholic schools are committed to many Social Justice causes, regardless of Faith, discuss past and perhaps a future project the school could undertake for others in need.