An Interesting Look at Authentic Catholic Education

In this recent post, Leonardo Franchi of the University of Glasgow presents his views on the way Catholic schools are and are not instruments of evangelization, drawing on the notions of communio and culture.

In brief, Catholic schools are not schools for Catholics: they are schools for all, rooted in a solid Catholic world view which informs a wider view of education. This is how a vision of Catholic truth (unity) is expressed in different contexts (diversity). The Church’s educational tradition is not, and cannot, be simply geared towards explicit evangelisation and catechesis of the school’s pupil population (of which more later) but is the ‘casting of nets’ in deep waters, an invitation to all to look at the mystery of life and therein to engage with what it means to be a human person.


About Andrew Seeley

With over 30 years of immersion in a Great Books based, fully integrated curriculum at Thomas Aquinas College in California, I enjoy sharing the fruits of the discussions I have with students, colleagues and friends about authors and ideas. As the Director of Advanced Formation for the Institute for Catholic Liberal Education and a founding member of the Justin Martyr Fellows, I work to share my good fortune with Catholic educators and students around the country. As a lover of God, Church, family, America, Tolkien, Shakespeare, Plato, Aristotle, Augustine and Aquinas, I like to write about them in particular ways.
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1 Response to An Interesting Look at Authentic Catholic Education

  1. Alvin Wolf says:

    Hi Andrew:

    My involvement in searching for a principal has me focusing on several books and whatever essays that I receive on the subject. Last night a comment was made by one of the committee members that the faith of the principal is not the major factor in determining the best qualified applicant. I hope our Pastor was listening as that is the exact problem with the parish school whose staff of teachers and principal assistants is less than 50% Catholic. To me, the essential element in a Catholic education is specifically the faith, so that any other consideration pales by comparison. The Word is the Word and, as such, is central to any and all parts of an education. How to take a young mind and guide it towards our Lord ought to be woven into every daily lesson plan that the imprint of Truth onto the soul in baptism is constantly nourished. The constant soul searching by the entire adult staff to better improve the “paideia” is the short and long term challenge. If the culture of the ‘paideia’ is not Catholic, then, I suppose, the question becomes, ‘What is Catholic education?’ Recalled is the remark Dr. Hippler offered about what has happened to Catholic education when he said, ‘All that has happened to Catholic education in the last 40 years is it has adopted the public school model and added a religion class’. That thought was offered to the committee last night and most of the people, if not all the others, laughed. I made the offer and did not laugh. I welcome the loss of most of the sense of humor I once had and pray that I don’t become too much of a bore or boor, your choice. One of my goals is to be graced with the serenity of our Lady, a twinkle in my eye and a good word to all.

    A particularly sad reality is the division that exists between the church side and the school side of the Parish. While it’s true that our Lord came not to unify [necessarily] but to divide, it would seem He has plenty of help in dividing.

    Always good to hear from you and I am looking forward to our next webinar on St. Augustine.

    Yours truly, in Christ, Al

    God bless

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