Catholic Schools Today

A Statement of Principles Regarding Catholic Education in the Diocese of Sale

The mission of Catholic education is to provide the highest-quality education for all students. Imbued by the Catholic faith tradition, a high quality Catholic education is evidence based and research informed ensuring that all students come to know the love of Jesus Christ and develop knowledge and capabilities that will enable them to thrive in the world. Leaders and staff in Catholic schools in the Diocese of Sale are called to promote and enact excellence in teaching and learning, and to foster the mission of the Catholic Church in all they do in a recontextualising and dialogical manner.

From the first moment a person enters a school in the Diocese of Sale we want them to encounter the person, story and message of Jesus Christ. It is through this encounter that a fullness of life is gifted to our school communities and to the individuals that form these communities. We want people in our schools to encounter an authentic Christian message through their lived experience of the school. In this encounter, and through the formal Religious Education programs offered in our schools, school community members are called to witness and contribute to God’s plan of salvation.

In this work, a key objective is for school leaders and staff to walk alongside students, listening to their challenges and aspirations, sharing their joy and pain, and helping to create a stillness and an openness in their hearts to the presence and action of God in their lives.

The educator in a Catholic school must be, first and foremost, competent and qualified but, at the same time, someone who is rich in humanity and capable of being with young people in a style of pedagogy that helps promote their human and spiritual growth.

- Pope Francis, Address to Congregation for Catholic Education, 2014

In today’s cultural context, where Christian truth is continually rediscovered and made real through a continuous search for it, all school community members are encouraged to be open to God’s revelation as something that inspires and shapes a living faith. Through all the activities of a school’s life, in its teaching and through its prayer, ritual and liturgical life, we want school community members to have the opportunity to have religious faith shaped and nurtured. In this, schools are able to draw on the richness and depth of Christian tradition for inspiration and guidance.

Schools are places where people learn how to live their lives, achieve cultural growth, receive vocational training and engage in the pursuit of the common good; they provide the occasion and opportunity to understand the present time and imagine the future of society and humanity.

- Congregation for Catholic Education, 2014

All staff in the Catholic school have an important role to play in the mission of the school. It is expected of all employed in a Catholic school that they:

§ Accept the Catholic educational philosophy of the school;

§ Develop and maintain an adequate understanding of those aspects of Catholic teaching that touch upon their subject areas and other aspects of their work;

§ By their teaching and other work, and by personal example, strive to help students to understand, accept and appreciate Catholic teaching and values;

§ Avoid, whether by word, action or public lifestyle, influence upon students that is contrary to the teaching and values of the Church community in whose name they act;

§ In relation to teachers, comply with the Accreditation Policy of the Catholic Education Commission of Victoria (CECV);

§ Be committed to regular ongoing professional development;

§ Be qualified as required by state authorities.

Catholic schools require people not only to know how to teach . . . they also require them, using the skills of their profession, to know how to bear authentic witness to the school’s values, as well as to their own continuing efforts to live out ever more deeply . . . the ideals that are stated publicly.

- Congregation for Catholic Education, 2015