“I come that you may have life and have it to the full.” (John 10:10)
Developed over the centuries, the Catholic understanding of education shares with many other education philosophies the idea that education is rooted in the development of the human person from within. It is directed toward the growth of the whole person in the context of relationship with God in Jesus Christ. A Catholic vision seeks to sustain and enhance people’s capacity to discover the meaning of life in the context of God’s love. Such an anthropology, such an understanding of the meaning of being human, confirms the person’s dignity as an individual, while supporting them in their relationship with God and with others. When our understanding of humanity is based in relationship with God and with one another we will be open to hear the liberating, saving and loving Word of God. 'The ultimate aim of Catholic education is the full growth of the individual, a fully alive person for self and for others, in communion with Christ.’ Love should indeed be the ‘distinguishing mark of Christ’s disciples.’ The work of Catholic education is a work of hope and love which ‘helps individuals to be ever more human, leads them ever more fully to the truth, instils in them a growing respect for life, and trains them in the right inter-personal relationships.’ (Share the Good News: National Directory for Catechesis in Ireland, Gareth Byrne)
- Catholic education is inspired by Jesus Christ. It is person-centred, seeking to develop the full potential of each person.
- Catholic education proposes a sacramental view of reality, helping pupils to see Gog ‘in the bits and pieces of everyday life’.
- Catholic education takes place in an open, happy, stimulating and mutually respectful communities.
- Catholic education values intellectual and practical reason, promoting dialogue and understanding between faith, tradition, culture and heritage.
- Catholic education values tolerance and inclusiveness. Catholic schools welcome pupils of other traditions, faiths and none, seeing diversity as offering opportunities for deeper understanding among people holding diverse convictions.
- Catholic education seeks to enable pupils to act with integrity and justice, in pursuit of the common good in an imperfect world, and to act as stewards of creation.
(Vision ’08: a Vision for Catholic Education in Ireland, Irish Catholic Bishops Conference)
The focus of this section is the various Catholic education initiatives across the Diocese of Limerick.