To Teach as Jesus Did:
Catholic Education in the Archdiocese of Milwaukee
“Catholic School Educators and the Year of Faith”
As the 2012-13 school year begins, we’re drawn to think about the special significance of this particular year for us as Catholic educators in the Archdiocese of Milwaukee. The Year of Faith, proclaimed by Pope Benedict XVI last October, will officially begin on October 11, 2012, the 50th anniversary of the opening of the Second Vatican Council and the 20th anniversary of the Catechism of the Catholic Church.
What are some of the unique challenges and opportunities afforded to us as Catholic educators during this Year of Faith? I suggest that at least three courses of action are relevant for us and for our Catholic educational ministry in the Church at this time.
Actively engage in Year of Faith events, activities, and discussions, especially those that are parish-based, to increase our own knowledge and appreciation of the faith. Practice the faith personally, and encourage school community members, through our enthusiastic example, to do the same.
Be aware of the unique possibilities for evangelization we enjoy, consistent with our place at the heart of the teaching mission of the Church, as members of the Catholic educational community. For five days a week and ten months a year, students from diverse backgrounds come into our care, seeking, however unknowingly, evangelization. No other ministry has the opportunity to influence so many others on a daily basis, for the sake of the Gospel, that we do. The command of Jesus, “Go, make disciples of all nations,” applies particularly to us. Whatever the composition of our school populations, our mission is to proclaim the Gospel, with passion and personal witness, to all.
Make time and space in our daily lives for personal prayer. A regular routine of quiet reflection that allows us to cultivate our relationship with God will enable us to be authentic men and women of faith.
We cannot proclaim what we do not know;
we cannot give what we do not live.
A blessed Year of Faith to us all!
Kathleen A. Cepelka, Ph.D.
Superintendent of Catholic Schools