Canberra, Australia, Feb 18, 2021 / 18:01 pm
Australia's Catholic bishops marked the 200th anniversary of Catholic education in the country this week, calling for continued renewal of Catholic education in the country and the primacy of Catholic identity, while also stressing the importance of adequate funding.
"We are fortunate to have Catholic schools in most towns and suburbs, and university campuses in most capital cities, serving students from diverse backgrounds and beliefs," said Archbishop Anthony Fisher, OP, of Sydney, who chairs the Bishops Commission for Catholic Education.
In their pastoral letter 200 Years Young, the Australian bishops challenged "all those involved in Catholic education to dedicate themselves to ensuring that our primary and secondary schools … are truly Catholic in their identity and life, are centres of the new evangelisation, enable our students to achieve high levels of Catholic religious literacy and practice, and are led and staffed by people who will contribute to these goals. This will require that, as far as possible, we retain a 'critical mass' of Catholic students and staff in our schools."
They added that among the essential conditions "for a genuinely Catholic school" are that "leaders and staff understand, and are solidly committed to, the Catholic identity of the school" and that "pre-evangelisation, primary proclamation, catechesis and spiritual formation seek to ensure our young people have a personal encounter with Christ, develop an enduring relationship with God and the Church, and have a genuine apprenticeship in the Christian life."