Cardinal Agostino Vallini, Vicar for the Diocese of Rome, has sent a letter to Catholic teachers encouraging them to educate children and young people in hope, giving clear testimony to the Gospel of Christ and striving to always make an important contribution to contemporary culture.
In his letter entitled, “Educating with Hope,” the cardinal pointed out that for the important mission of education it is necessary to keep in mind the role of families. “We cannot forget that the first educators are and will always be the parents, therefore dialogue with the mothers and fathers of your students.”
The cardinal also encouraged teachers to be witnesses to Christ and professionals in their field. “While moral rectitude cannot be substituted by professional competencies, it does promote and cultivate them.”
Cardinal Vallini expanded his call to teachers to include being “witnesses of the truth of the love of God. Children and young people are fervently seeking credible role models: solid, trustworthy teachers capable of offering a word of affectionate closeness at the right time, perceived by both as a gesture of love.”
This “special mission” is carried out in Catholic schools, “which promote a culture whose understanding of man is anchored to the values of the Gospel.” “Public schools also need your contribution, as education without a religious dimension would be incomplete,” he added.
Therefore, the cardinal stressed, “do not be content with just presenting the religious facts of Christianity: speak as well of the One in whom history and Christian culture find their origin. Any presentation of Christianity that does not put at the center the person of Jesus of Nazareth, the risen and living Lord of history, becomes biased and deceitful.”
Lastly, Cardinal Vallini exhorted teachers not be discouraged amidst the challenges they face in their profession. “Teach with hope and enthusiasm. The good seed will bear fruit in time,” he said.