As Catholic schools worldwide face several challenges – including declining enrolments, funding or maintaining a distinctive religious character – the Vatican has urged religious orders, dioceses and laypeople to come together to “take risks” and be creative in finding solutions. Source: CNS.
“It is urgent for the various institutes of consecrated life and societies of apostolic life to sing together as a choir, and for bishops, parish priests and diocesan pastoral offices to sing in tune with the rich educational charisms present in schools run by institutes of consecrated life and societies of apostolic life,” a joint document said.
“It is essential that clergy, religious men and women, and lay people all sing as one choir, and that lay people be given the chance to echo the educating voice of a diocese and even the unique timbre of a religious charism,” said the letter from the Dicastery for Culture and Education and the Dicastery for Institutes of Consecrated Life and Societies of Apostolic Life.
Published on Wednesday and addressed to “all involved in the mission of education in Catholic schools,” the letter explained a few outcomes from a meeting the dicasteries held on May 22 with “a number of leading figures in the worldwide network of Catholic schools, in order to discuss in person the prospects and difficulties involved in the mission of education in our time.”
Some of the serious difficulties the meeting addressed, it said, included: the effects of the recent pandemic; the global economic crisis; decreasing birth rates; severe poverty and “unjust disparities in access to food, water, health care, education, information, culture and the Internet.”
“We wish to emphasise certain things that ‘need to be done.’ All of us, in fact, need to be increasingly determined to ‘sing together as a choir,’” it said. “For we are convinced of the possibilities and beauty of the mission to educate, as an ‘inalienable right’ that fosters the dignity of the human person.”
Vatican: Dioceses, religious must work together to support Catholic schools (By Carol Glatz, CNS via NCR Online)