There are many similarities and differences between the Catholic Church and the Protestant denominations. In this video, Fr. Mike Schmitz narrows the differences down to one thing that really sets Catholicism apart from other Christian Churches: authoritative teaching.
Catholicism is not simply a system of beliefs; it is also a life to be lived: a life of worship, shaped by the Eucharist and the other sacraments, and a life of moral commitment and behaviour, shaped by moral values rooted in the teaching and example of Jesus Christ. Catholic schools foster this way of life grounded in the love of God and values of the Reign of God proclaimed in the gospels.
Spirituality in Catholic schools consists in letting God be present in each moment of the day, becoming attuned to God”s presence in the ups and downs of the life journey of the school community. Prayer and a commitment to the moral and ethical values of the gospel provide the opening to God’s presence. The Catholic school, therefore, is a place of prayer, a place where the principals of Christian morality find expression in the interactions that take place there.
Catholic schools invite all members of the learning community into that place of prayer and moral living by modelling a prayer life in the school and by providing a learning environment characterized by relationships that are caring and nurturing.
Strategies for nurturing Spirituality in Catholic Schools:
Make resources for spirituality available to all members of the community
Provide opportunities for retreat and reflection days
Participate in faith development activities
Structure prayer into the life of the school on a daily basis
Celebrate Catholic identity through prayer, liturgy, and worship
Celebrate school events, the various passages and seasons of the year with religious rituals
Celebrate school patron saints, school feasts
How do Catholic schools integrate spirituality into the learning environment?