Loading
Bishop O’Connell: Catholic schools need strong ‘identity and mission’
Bishop David M. O’Connell of Trenton, N.J.
Bishop David M. O’Connell of Trenton, N.J.
By Michelle Bauman
Facebook Twitter Google+ Pinterest Addthis

.- Catholic schools must maintain a strong Catholic identity and mission if they are to help young people understand how to access truth in their lives, said Bishop David M. O’Connell of Trenton, N.J. on Oct. 3.

“The idea of Catholic identity is very simple,” he said. “A Catholic school derives its identity from Jesus Christ, from the Gospels, from the Church and its teachings – all of its teachings.”

Bishop O’Connell was the keynote speaker at a conference on “The Catholic Identity of Catholic Elementary and Secondary Schools” at the Catholic University of America in Washington, D.C.

The invitational conference was sponsored by the Catholic University of America and St. John’s University.

Bishop O’Connell, who served as the president of Catholic University from 1998 to 2010, explained to his audience that identity and mission are two critical elements of Catholic education.

“Catholic education is not simply about values.”

Rather, it is about a vision that comes from Jesus Christ, he explained. This vision presents a different way of looking at the world.

It is up to Catholic educators to present this vision with passion, he said. “It’s how we do it that can make all the difference in the world.”

The bishop explained that the mission of evangelization is not one that is carried out simply in the classroom, but also in the everyday lives of the educators.

If teachers are successful in presenting the Catholic vision with a strong passion, they will not merely pass on information, but will change lives, he said.

Bishop O’Connell acknowledged that Catholic schools today face challenges in enrollment, staffing and finances.

He explained that these obstacles must be overcome with a strong sense of mission that flows from a clearly-understood Catholic identity.

Part of every Catholic school’s “call to excellence” is a call to be firmly rooted in Christ, the bishop explained.

“Our Catholic identity is who and what we are,” he said.

Bishop O’Connell also emphasized the role of administrators in Catholic education.

“It is the administrator in the Catholic school that must lead the charge,” he said.

In order to do this, administrators must understand and commit themselves to the idea of Catholic identity, he explained.

The bishop encouraged the conference participants to act as leaders in the field of Catholic education, striving for excellence and encouraging others to do the same.

“You are the leadership of Catholic education in our country,” he said.

He urged them to carry out their work with a “special zeal” that is authentic and courageous, while never being apologetic or ashamed of their faith.

Ads by AdsLiveMedia(What's this?)

* The number of messages that can be online is limited. CNA reserves the right to edit messages for content and tone. Comments and opinions expressed by users do not necessarily reflect the opinions or beliefs of CNA. CNA will not publish comments with abusive language, insults or links to other pages

RESOURCES »

Ads by Google (What's this?)

Featured Videos

An Indian contribution to the Vatican's Synod on the Family
An Indian contribution to the Vatican's Synod on the Family
Christ Cathedral CNA video Sept 2014
Alejandro Bermudez of CNA accepts ice bucket challenge
'The Real Albania,' remembering those who fled
Pope Francis in Albania, "one of the most important visits of the post-communist era in Albania"
Pope Francis greets paralyzed man who risked all to see him
Franciscans on the banks of the Tiber in Rome, working for the New Evangelization
Pilgrimage from Czech Republic to Assisi and Rome for intentions
Testimony of young Indian who met Pope in Korea
Preparations of the Closing Mass of 6th Asian Youth Day
Missionary of Charity, Korea
Testimony of Christian Love during Pope's Visit to Korea
Religious Sisters in South Korea react to Pope Francis kissing a baby
Warm atmosphere during Holy Mass at Daejeon World Cup Stadium
Images inside Pope Francis flight to South Korea
The tombs of the early Christians
Missionaries of Africa, called "the White Fathers"
Italian youth give testimony after mission to Peru
Interview with Iraqi Ambassador to the Holy See on the persecution of Christians
New book 'The Vatican unknown'
Oct
24

Liturgical Calendar

October 24, 2014

Friday of the Twenty-Ninth Week in Ordinary Time

All readings:
Today »
This year »

Catholic Daily

Gospel of the Day

Lk 12:54-59

Gospel
Date
10/24/14
10/23/14
10/22/14

Daily Readings


First Reading:: Eph 4: 1-6
Gospel:: Lk 12: 54-59

Saint of the Day

St. Romuald »

Saint
Date
10/24/14

Homily of the Day

Lk 12:54-59

Homily
Date
10/24/14
10/23/14
10/22/14