From the Director
At our most recent gathering of Principals and senior TCEO staff I spoke about Christ being the ‘cornerstone’ on which the whole Catholic enterprise is founded. As you may be aware in the construction of sandstone buildings, the cornerstone is crucial to the integrity of the building. Without a cornerstone many of these old buildings would collapse. Those of us who serve within a Catholic school or college become an agent for that ‘cornerstone’ which is founded on our belief in the dignity of the human person.
With Christ as our cornerstone our schools and colleges become places of mission where we proclaim the message of the Gospel and witness to them by our actions, traditions, rituals and relationships.
The question I then posed at the gathering was if our schools and colleges are ‘mission places’ then how do we know that we are true to our mission? Professor Gerald Grace, Director of the Centre for Research and Development in Catholic Education at the Institute of Education, University of London, responds to this question by talking in terms of Mission Integrity.
Professor Grace suggests that there were five key elements to maintaining mission integrity. Those five elements are:
- Education in the Faith: Our foundation cause and rationale is our duty to educate on the context of the Catholic faith.
- Preferential Treatment for the Poor: The ‘poor’ includes all aspects of poverty, economic, social, emotional and spiritual.
- Education as Solidarity and Community of service to society, which juxtaposes the cult of individualism. Catholic schools need to be countercultural to individualism.
- Education for the Common Good: We use your skills, talents and expertise to enhance the common good.
- Academic Education as a means and not an end: The acquisition of knowledge is not for material success but as a call to serve and to use your talents to the common good.
I would encourage you in your in conversations to reflect on your school or college as being a place of mission where Christ is the ‘cornerstone’ of all that matters in your educational community.
Yours in Hope
Director of Catholic Education