Catholic schools cannot afford to be places where the topic of faith is “off limits,” said the Archbishop of Perth, Timothy Costelloe, in an address to the 2016 National Catholic Education Commission Conference, reports The Record.
If the goal of our leadership is to lead people to faith, then we, too, will need to be people who have set out on the journey of faith ourselves, said Archbishop Costelloe last week, speaking to some 1400 representatives from the Catholic education sector.
The conference focused on the theme Lead to Faith, Faith to Lead, and the representatives from across Australia came together to explore, reflect and engage.
“We, too, need to . . . have had some experience of what that journey involves, and especially what it means to persevere in the journey when it proves to be more challenging than we had anticipated,” the Archbishop said in his official opening speech.
Hosted by Catholic Education Western Australia, the conference was held at the Perth Convention and Exhibition Centre from June 19-22.
The conference commenced with ABC journalist Karen Tighe as MC and local Aboriginal elder Dr Robert Issacs conducting the Welcome to Country, accompanied by a performance by local Aboriginal dancers and the playing of the didgeridoo.
Archbishop Costelloe said faith should never be a purely private matter and was, in fact, in our Christian understanding, always a communal reality.
“We will need to be willing to commit ourselves to walking with our students and their families, and with our staff and colleagues, as they, too, travel this journey."
Catholic schools, said the Archbishop, cannot afford to be places where the topic of faith is “off limits. Catholic schools need to be places where it is as natural to talk about faith as it is to talk about the football.
“I would not be telling you anything you did not already know if I were to suggest to you that faith is about much more than merely intellectual assent to a series of propositions, or teachings, or dogmas."