Bishop Patrick O’Donoghue of Lancaster, England has called upon the Catholic schools in his diocese to strengthen their Catholic identity. To do this, the Bishop has suggested, in a document called ‘Fit for Mission? Schools’, that we get back to some basics.

The document recognises that the best modern resource for creating a Catholic ethos in our schools is the Catechism of the Catholic Church, and the Compendium of the Catechism of the Catholic Church, which present the ‘rich and full symphony of faith.”

Bishop Patrick expects to see the Four Pillars of the Catechism ­ the Profession of Faith, Sacraments, Morals, and Prayer ­ as prominent sources informing the Catholic ethos in the diocese’s schools and colleges:

To that end, ‘Fit for Mission? Schools’ presents practical guidance drawing on the Catechism of the Catholic Church under four sections:
Pillar One: The Profession of Faith. This section includes, amongst others,

The Way We Teach the Faith; Faith Beyond Our everyday Experience; Teach the Trinity; Teach the Profession of Faith with the Catechism; Use the Core Curriculum of the Catholic Church.

Pillar Two: Sacraments. This section includes, amongst others, Liturgy is a Basic Human Need; What is Authentic Catholic Collective Worship ­ Liturgy and Prayer; Teach the Real Presence from a Young Age; Challenge the Loss of a Sense of Sin.

Pillar Three: The Moral Life. This section includes, amongst others,
Schools on the Moral Flash-points of Society; The Size of the Mountain We Must Climb; Promote Our Call to Holiness; Always Teach Sex Within the Sacrament of Marriage; Teach Respect for the Language of the Body; Fight for Justice.

Pillar Four: Prayer. This section includes, amongst others, Young Christians at Risk!; Do we live Our Lives as if Christ Did Not Really Exist? Teach Meditation on the Word of God; Teach Adoration of the Blessed Sacrament; Teach Devotion to the Most Holy Rosary; Teach Devotion to the Saints.

What ever happened to the good ol’ days when all we were required to do was learn that Jesus was a really good guy, rock out to some hip folk music, make some groovy banners, and call it ‘Catholic’ education? The times, they are a changin’.

Bishop O’Donoghue issues new teaching document for Catholic schools