Faith & Mission

Purpose and Character of Catholic Schools

It is the task of the Catholic School to create a total environment in which it is possible for students to experience what it means to participate in Catholic discipleship.

The Catholic school in all its daily activities should generate the principles articulated in the Gospels:

principles by which disciples of Jesus are readily recognised by one another; principles by which the secularism of society is challenged.

Catholic Schools exist as places of education in their own right, fulfilling all the expectations, academic and pastoral, required of them by the funding bodies. As Catholic, they have a character and identity that sets them apart from other schools. They participate in the mission of evangelisation and derive their energy, vision and direction from the Catholic community.

The Catholic school has the particular task of offering quality education to members of the Catholic community and of presenting that quality education as an expression of the Catholic worldview. It seeks to transform the individual by informing the student of the Catholic vision and story, and offering opportunities to apply that worldview to all aspects of school life, and life outside of school.

The Catholic school consciously demonstrates the belief that every human being is unique and loved by God, that education is emancipating; that it frees people from the slavery of ignorance; that it can free them from the slavery of class and economic oppression; and that this emancipation is part of the realization of God’s Kingdom.

Such a worldview is not merely articulated or delivered as a slogan:

  • it is present and identifiable in relationships within the school
  • it is present in the symbols, the visible metaphor of the Catholic faith and culture, in and around the school
  • it is present in the rituals and routines of daily school life
  • it is present in the way pastoral care is exercised and the way pastoral care programs are developed
  • it is present in the celebrations and the values those celebrations reflect
  • it emanates from an understanding and appreciation of the Sacred Scriptures and the life and tradition of the Church

In a school where such a Catholic worldview operates Religious Education is multi- dimensional:

  • it engages all areas of school life
  • students learn about the Catholic worldview through scientific investigation
  • they learn about the Catholic worldview as they read and interpret a variety of texts
  • they learn about the Catholic worldview by the relationships they form with their teachers
  • they witness it in the actions of those around them
  • it is reflected in the policy development of the school and drives the way learning experiences are planned and refined.

In all subject areas, in fact all areas of school life, students are faces with opportunities which challenge them to reflect on their experience, to relate that experience to the richness of the living tradition, and to integrate that tradition in their own lives in a way that moves them forward in their Christian journey.

The challenge for the Catholic school is to alert students to those opportunities and to respond to their needs by providing a way into the richness of that tradition, and to help students see that tradition reflected in their motives and actions.

The Catholic school immersed in that tradition demonstrates and articulates its commitment to:

  • grounding in a local Christian community centred on the person of Jesus and guided the Gospel
  • fostering of the total development of all its students
  • participating in the evangelizing mission of the Church
  • assisting students to integrate their faith, their culture and their experiences of life
  • displaying a fundamental option for the poor and the weak
  • offering a service to individuals, society and the wider culture
  • transforming society, hastening the Kingdom which Jesus announced.

Catholic Worldview

Catholic Worldview is a comprehensive perception of the universe, revealed to us in Jesus, that provides insights into the meaning of life and how to live it.

Catholic Worldview is experiencing life through the eyes of our Catholic faith.

Catholic Worldview perceives:

  • God as Trinity, a communion of Persons who love us and invite us to share in their divine life for all eternity
  • the action of the Spirit in the words, inviting and empowering all people to respond to the divine love
  • Jesus as God’s Son, who saved us through his life, death and resurrection, and through whom we enter into the life of God;
  • the meaning and purpose of life as grounded in God’s love for us and our response as disciples of Jesus
  • the Church as the communion of disciples that makes present to the world the mystery of Jesus and, through its sacramental life, makes us part of that mystery
  • the presence of God in our daily life, in the Eucharist, in the Sacred Scriptures and in the living tradition of the Church
  • the cross of Jesus in the struggles and hardships of life and approaches them as Jesus did his cross, with trust and confidence in God
  • each human being as a unique person created in the image of God, having an inalienable dignity that is always to be respected
  • an imperative to proclaim to others the love we receive from Jesus, by loving them as Jesus loves us
  • an obligation to work to create social situations in which the unique dignity of each person is respected and all human rights protected.

Authorised by Bishop David Walker, Tuesday 27 July 2004