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Communities of Faith,Knowledge and Service
Sunday, 25 January marks the beginning of Catholic Schools Week 2015. During this week we aim to celebrate the unique contribution that our own Catholic schools, the three primary and new post-primary schools, make to the mission of the Church in our local faith communities and throughout the wider church. This year’s theme is Catholic Schools: Called to Serve.
This call to serve comes from Christ himself. Jesus is called ‘teacher’ on forty-six occasions in the Gospels. It is the title most commonly associated with him by his first followers. So what did Jesus teach? In the villages, hills and valleys of Galilee he taught the people that the reign of God was dawning in their midst. He spoke of the reign of God as healing for the sick, hearing for the deaf, new sight for the blind, freedom for prisoners and good news for the poor.
This is how we continue the healing ministry of Jesus so that ‘the blind see again, the lame walk, lepers are cleansed, and the deaf hear, the dead are raised to life, the good news is proclaimed to the poor’ (Lk 7:22).
Catholic schools are called to serve also. This year’s theme ‘Catholic Schools: Called to Serve’ lends itself to examine what we understand by service and who it is our schools serve. To this end, Catholic education is called to self-reflect and refresh its mission.
Serve, as a word, is a call to action. As a concept, to serve is an integral element of Jesus’ mission in the Gospels. Education is a platform from which all are called to serve – parents, teachers, students, community and the wider world. In particular, Catholic schools place at the centre of their ethos an identity with the mission of Jesus Christ, who continually calls all who hear his voice to serve.