what does it mean to be catholic l.
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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 Tradition is important to us Catholics use minds and hearts ratio et fides We believe in sacramentality ordinary reveals extraordinary

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we need to be reminded more often than instructed s johnson
“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
core characteristics of christianity
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
in other words
In other words...

Why did God make us?

know love serve

message community service

problems of our culture
Problems of our Culture
  • Privatization of religion
      • separation of private from public life
  • Tendency to “psychologize”
      • “how do you feel?”
  • Reductive inclusivity
      • Seinfeld: “not that there’s anything wrong”
  • Relativism
      • it’s OK if it’s me
religious dimension of the catholic school
Religious Dimension of the Catholic School:

“From the first moment that a student sets foot in a

Catholic school, he or she ought to have the impression

of entering a new environment, one illumined by the light

of faith, and having its own unique characteristics.”

the impression of a new environment
“…the impression of a new environment…
  • Creating the Catholic culture:
    • What is money spent on?
    • What is talked about on the PA?
    • Who/what is honored?
    • What is time spent on?
    • How are problems solved?
    • What are the rituals and rites of passage?
    • How are important matters communicated?
    • How are “things done around here”?
elements of catholic identity
Elements of Catholic Identity

Catholic Leadership

Religious Education


Faith Development


Faith Community

Total Person/Student



Parental Involvement

catholic leadership
Catholic Leadership
  • …the leader of the Catholic school is a Catholic who is knowledgeable in the Faith and steeped in the Tradition.
leadership a rubric
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.
religious education
Religious Education
  • …religious instruction is based on the doctrine and tradition of the Catholic Church...
religious education a rubric
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.
  • … liturgical celebrations are integrated into the experiences of students...
worship a rubric
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.
faith development
Faith Development
  • …the achievement of faith community within the school is clearly articulated...
faith development a rubric
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.
witness and service
Witness and Service
  • …the counter-cultural aspects of the Catholic Faith, e.g. reflection, social justice, peace, non-consumerism, etc. are integral to the school’s curriculum...
witness service a rubric
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
faith community
Faith Community
  • …the achievement of a faith community within the school is a clearly articulated and constantly pursued goal….
faith community21
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.
total person
Total Person
  • …Church teachings and Gospel values form the basis of person to person interactions and of organizational practices within the school...
total person a rubric
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.
  • …the characteristics of Catholic education enunciated by the National Conference of Catholic Bishops, i.e.word, worship, community, service, are visible in the mission and practice of the school...
philosophy mission a rubric
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.
  • …the presence of sacred imagery, saints, pious practices, etc. are integrated into the experiences provided to the students...
tradition a rubric
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.
parental involvement
Parental Involvement
  • …the parents are the primary educators of their children and must be involved in their education, including their education in the faith...
parental involvement a rubric
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.
for us to ask ourselves
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?
according to the bishops 1972 letter to teach as jesus did the catholic school is characterized by
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
  • 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
  • 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
  • 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
  • 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
  • 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
  • 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
creating the catholic classroom
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
the physical set up
The Physical Set-Up
  • bulletin boards
  • prayer corner
  • arrangement of desks, tables
  • decorations
  • themes
  • sacramentals
opportunities to grow learn
Opportunities to Grow & Learn
  • WWJD??
  • Seamless infusion of Catholic values
  • Time to reflect, pray
  • Catholic teachings
creating the local community
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
offers to serve
Offers to Serve
  • Classroom helpers
  • Global awareness, concern
  • Service Projects
  • Influence on public, political scene
the most important element the people who work there
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
to summarize our commitment
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.
in practical terms
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.

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.